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YumeTwins Kawaii Culture Blog10 Cute-But-Weird Japanese Plushies You’ll Love to Cuddle

10 Cute-But-Weird Japanese Plushies You’ll Love to Cuddle

By Alana Juric
September 21, 2021

Japan is famous for its kawaii (cute) culture, which includes a plethora of adorable plushies. But the country is also famous for coming up with some of the weirdest inventions. When you mix these two qualities, the result is some very strange stuffed animals. 

Here are our top 10 picks for some of the weirdest plushies in Japan!

A bunch of shiba inu plushies in various colored wrappings.

Image via Shutterstock

A Cat Ball Bag

From the front, the Nyantama is an adorable, cat-shaped pouch, with a happy kitty face and two legs. But it’s this pouch’s backside that scores it a spot on our list of weird plushies. Nyan is the cute Japanese word for “meow”, and tama means ball, so you can probably guess where this is going. 

The rear of the bag includes a fluffy tail, plus a pair of fuzzy “pom poms”—the anatomically accurate “nyan-tama”. Who knew cat balls could be so cute?

This Gengar-Morpeko Combo

This oh-so-scary Gengar is hiding a secret—it’s actually a Morpeko in disguise! The cuddly rodent is all set to scare this Halloween, but we’d much rather give it a big hug. Whoever thought of this creatively cute combo deserves some serious props! The surprising Pokémon combination plushie is exclusive to the Pokemon Center’s Halloween 2021 collection, but you can get it online at Japan Haul too.

Love cute Japanese plushies, weird or otherwise? YumeTwins sends cute character goods, including plushies for your collection, right to your door straight from Japan!

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The Robo-Cat

Enter an uncanny valley of kitty cuteness with the Yume Neko (Dream Cat) Venus Robotic Cat. The robotic cat is perfect for cat lovers who are allergic to real cats, whose apartments don’t allow pets, or those who don’t have the time to take care of a living cat. This robo-cat purrs, blinks, and moves, just like the real thing. Unfortunately, its glassy-eyed stare and robotic movements make this kitty-bot more than a little unsettling compared to a virtual pet.

This Kuromi Pumpkin plushie

We bet you’ve never seen a pumpkin quite like this one. Jack-o-lanterns are meant to be scary, but when they have the face of the beloved Kuromi, they can’t help but be cute! This Kuromi-themed pumpkin is perfect for fans of both Sanrio and Halloween. It’s also a Yumetwins exclusive plush, coming up in our Halloween box, so get it while you can!

The Octopus Blanket

This giant octopus blanket from Village Vanguard is weird in the best way. The blanket drapes over your shoulders to keep you warm. As long as you don’t mind looking like you’re being devoured by a Cthulhu-like monster from the deep, you’ll be cozy in the arms of this cuddly octopus. 

An octopus plushie on a pole in front of a country setting

Image via Shutterstock

It’s also more than just a blanket, each of the octopus’ tentacles serves as an extra hand, with snaps that can close around anything from a pen to a ladle! Whether you’re in the office or cooking dinner, the octo-blanket will certainly come in handy!

The Terrifying Teddy

Gloomy Bear is a 2-meter tall pink bear who eats humans. The violent teddy bear was invented by the graphic designer Mori Chack, as a reaction to the kawaii and kind creatures of Disney and Sanrio. 

Despite the bear’s dark past, or perhaps because of it, Gloomy Bear has become incredibly popular in Japan —  it even has its own anime. Gloomy Bear’s plushies are best sellers in Japan too. The pink teddy bears look so cute and innocent… until you spot the bloodstains and the claws.

The “Giant Microbes” Plushies

A Village Vanguard store in Japan with many items on display in front of the store

Image via Shutterstock

Village Vanguard strikes again with their series of plush dolls called “Giant Microbes”. Because who doesn’t want a bunch of oversized, fuzzy human cells? Each cell has a pair of eyes, giving them an oddly expressive touch. 

The series includes plushie blood cells, neurons, leukocytes, platelets, antibodies, eggs, and more. While they’re certainly strange, the toy cells are probably great for teaching kids about the human body.

The Molting Crab Plushie

This stuffed animal crab molts, just like a real crab. When you pull off the crab’s stiff outer shell, you’ll find a second crab inside. The inner crab is soft, like a normal plushie, while the outer one is harder, just like a real crab shell. 

The best part of the crab plush? You get two toys for the price of one!

The Human-Radish Body Pillow

Two daikon on top of each other in front of a white background

Image via Shutterstock

Humanoid daikon (Japanese radishes) took over the Japanese internet this past year, thanks to the farmer in Hyogo prefecture finding a running radish in his garden. The running radish became so famous it even appeared on Japanese TV. You can buy radish calendars and even a radish book! 

But if all those weren’t enough, now you can own your own four-limbed radish pillow! This giant radish plushie is the perfect size to hug to sleep—but it has to be one of the strangest body pillows available.

This Mochi Shiba Eating Mochi 

The cutest Japanese dog and the cutest Japanese snack make for a delightfully weird combination. Mochi Shiba is a plushie line named after the Japanese snack mochi (Japanese sticky rice cakes), since the Shiba pupper’s round shape and squishy body are reminiscent of mochi rice cakes. 

Do you know what else is made of mochi? Dango (colorful mochi balls on a stick)! While real Shiba can’t eat dango, this mochi plushie loves them. 

Which plushie is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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Alana Juric

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