Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cutie Pie Kawaii: Amuse Products

Hi cuties~! Today Im happy to introduce something a little new to my blog~! Typically I work with indie designers and crafters and review their items but this time around I'll be promoting a different kind of shop... Cutie Pie Kawaii! Cutie Pie Kawaii is a United States based shop that sells online as well as at different East Coast conventions. Their shop offers everything anyone invested in kawaii culture could need! They specialize in obscure and fun Japanese candies that not only taste good but are also fun to eat. Although in addition to that Cutie Pie Kawaii has a range of products including Korean Beauty Products, Anime Merchandise, Plushies, and then tons of other kawaii goods such as stationary, decoden supplies, bento boxes ect! They essentially have many different products you can buy that help you live a full on kawaii lifestyle!

Today though I'll be talking about something very special that Cutie Pie Kawaii offers..... Official Amuse products! Amuse is a Japanese toy company that creates the ever so famous AlPacassos! Now, many people have seen these cute alpaca plushies and I bet a lot of you even own a few! What makes this such a special opportunity though is the fact that floating around on the internet there are quite a lot of fake alpacas for sale. Probably even more than the originals! I wouldn't go as far as saying AlPacassos are "rare" per-say, but they definitely a little harder to come by outside of Japan compared to other kawaii characters such as those made by Sanrio (Hello Kitty, My Melody, Little Twin Stars, ect) or even San-X (Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, Tarepanda, Mamegoma, ect). The biggest difference between Amuse and the other companies mentioned is that AlPacasso's were originally only sold through UFO Catchers (UFO catchers are the crane games which we typically just call "crane games" or "claw machines" here in the US c:). With their growing popularity, now it's much more common to be able to buy these cute characters online rather than just winning them in an arcade game. Although because of their undeniable popularity many more generic toy companies have been mass producing alpacas of their own, and they are nearly identical. Sometimes when buying online or even buying in person (at a convention, for example) it can be difficult to tell the difference between what is a real Amuse product and what's made by a different manufacturer.

I have a decent amount of knowledge when it comes to telling the difference between a real and fake although most of that information I obtained through the internet! Instead of just rewriting the guides that I've learned from I'd prefer if you took a look at them yourselves~ For a couple of reasons! First they are much much more knowledgeable that I am. And besides the fact that it would take so much more time than I have I feel like it's only fair to read their information since that is where I got it from eheh. Anyway I would recommend checking out The F-yeah AlPacasso tumblr because they have a great deal of sources! And then another great one would be this blog which has a whole guide as to how to tell the difference!

If you aren't interested in reading those blogs thought, to sum it up, one of the biggest things to note (which you will see in this review) is how many tags that the Alpaca has~ Typically Amuse products will have between 2-4 different tags on them instead of just one! This is only one method of determining the authenticity though so I definitely would recommend looking at those links for a better understanding!

Anyyyyway! What is great about Cutie Pie Kawaii shop is that they are an official authorized US distributor of Japanese Amuse products! They buy them directly from the company which is a plus in many different ways. One being that they are definitely a trusted seller! You can expect that you will definitely be receiving an official Amuse product verses a fake so there's no reason to worry! In addition to that there is a huge bonus regarding price which I will discuss later.

For now though, I'd like to share with you all what Amuse products Cutie Pie Kawaii has to offer! They graciously sent me a few to review and talk about so I will be able to share my full experience with you so you can get a better understanding of their shop.

Cutie Pie Kawaii offers Amuse's popular AlPacassos in a couple varietys including (but not limited to) their Goodnight AlPacasso, Girly Kid AlPacasso, AlPacasso Corps, ect. Amuse is always coming out with new AlPacasso series so I assume whatever series Cutie Pie Kawaii offers right now is destined to change in the future!
Whats great about Cutie Pie Kawaii though is they offer more than just Amuse's AlPacassos! Although the alpacas are probably the most popular of Amuse's characters they have many more cute animals. Cutie Pie Kawaii carries goods from many of their other collections including Poteusa, Tsuchineko, and more!

When discussing what to be sent, I requested that Cutie Pie Kawaii send me their Alpacasso Lovely Bag and the Poteusa change purse. I felt that the wearable Amuse products would appeal more to all of my followers that are interested in the fashion side of Kawaii Culture~ Cute plush many not be as essential for some street fashions such as Lolita or gyaru, but for my personal favorite style, decora, cute plushies are almost a necessity! After reviewing each item I'll talk about some coordination ideas! (Ah gosh, I don't want to overload you all with too much information at once! ;x; Im trying my best to organize this all ehe)

So now! Finally! Onto what Cutie Pie Kawaii shop has sent me~~!!


Shop review
My package from Cutie Pie Kawaii was shipped out in a standard large envelope which was lined with bubble wrap on the inside~ The owner of the shop included cute sticker tape on the outside of the package which is always nice! I love finding cute packages in my mailbox c:
The front had a Creamy Mami tape on the outside, and the back was sealed with a chocolate themed tape! The inside also had cute confetti in it (...which I neglected to take a picture of..) so when I opened the package up I had a cute little surprise!
In addition to my goods Cutie Pie Kawaii sent me a hand written note, a business card and a little extra gift!

They also included a cute little Sanrio memo book which would be an example of the type of other "kawaii goods" that the shop offers! They have a lot of different stationary options which you can find here~~

Now onto everything else I was sent~! As I said earlier I was sent a bag, change purse, and a few surprise goodies! I'll be reviewing the bag first though~!
The first thing I was sent is Amuse's AlPacasso Lovely Bag! The lovely bag will be perfect for styles such as fairy kei and decora!
I received the bag in the pink option with the red bow! Originally when I first pulled it out of the package a small wrapper was wrapped around the back of the alpaca to keep the strap safe in sound in its travels (....although it seems I neglected to take a picture of that too... hmm come on Prince pull yourself together!)
All together the bag is very cute! The Alpaca measures at 29 x 22 x 12 CM and has a little strap on the back. It's priced at $17USD which is fantastic price and it can either be used in coordinates or even just as cute decoration in your room!
The Alpaca has cute little eyelashes and a red bow tied around it's neck which you can always change out for a different color! It also has a pale pink blush on its cheeks which unfortunately my camera did not pick up ; A ;

Even though the Alpaca is technically a bag the zipper pocket in the back isn't too roomy which to be frank is expected of a plush bag. Typically character bags have little too no room and are just for show. Although even though its a squeeze I can still fit my phone and wallet in the back. (though if you have an iphone6 your phone will be a little too big for it as a heads up!)
And to give you just a better idea of its size here's what it looks like when Im holding it~! It makes quite a nice little hand purse! Again it holds just about my phone and some cash in it so its definitely a nice statement piece for a coordinate you're wearing out! (I would recommend bring an extra bag with you though if it'll be a long trip haha!)

Now lastly what's really important when buying Amuse products: The tags! Tags are always a great way to confirm the authenticity of your purchase. In this case the AlPacasso bag came with four tags total! It has the series promotional tag featuring an alpaca as well as two other paper tags!
Then on the butt it has it's "AlPacasso Lovely Bag" official cloth tag c:

Overall I'm very happy with this bag c:
Next I'll be talking about one of Amuse's lesser known (but just as cute!) characters, Poteusa. Poteusa is Amuse's cute bunny character! Cutie Pie Kawaii shop sent me the Poteusa coin purse (which unfortunately does seem to be out of stock at the moment but CPK still offers a couple of other Poteusa plush!)

I received the white version of the coin purse and... oh gosh its SO cute! If you know anything about me you know I have quite a weakness for bunnies and goodness does Amuse make a precious bunny character!
The coin purse plush has a pear chain attached to it at the top with a little clasp so you can hook it onto things! I've also found that the chain is large enough so you can wear the purse as a wristlet as well c:

Unlike the AlPacasso bag, the coin purse is definitely much smaller as far as space is concerned because well, it is a coin purse. It may not be able to fit a phone in the back but it definitely is large enough in the back to store change, bills, and even bank cards, gift cards, ect!
Although the purse part is small, I wasn't expecting the actual plush to be so large! I know that the website did state the measurements but I was pleasantly surprised at the size of Poteusa c: I was expecting it to be more key chain sized but, hey Im not complaining! 

Now onto the tags! The Poteusa coin purse came with three tags!
The cloth tag is located on the side of Poteusa right beneath the bow! It reads (c) AMUSE and then made in china!

The Poteusa coin purse also came with two paper tags! One of them is the promotional tag for the series and err.. The other one well I wasn't too sure what it said because it was all in Japanese ; A ; but I assume that it's just about the manufacturing of the purse!

 Lastly Cutie Pie Kawaii sent me one more Amuse product as a surprise which made me so happy~!
I was also onbe of the Attack on Titan inspired Alpaca charms! Honestly this was such a pleasant surprise because I've been eyeing up the Attack on Titan AlPacassos for a while now but they usually sell out so fast when I see them at conventions! So I was definitely very pleased c;

So! This little cutie is priced at $7USD, measures at 8 x 6.5 x 4.5 in centimeters and has a gold strap attached to the top! It can be used as a cell phone charm, bag charm, or really wherever youd like to put it! He hangs out on my bag right now but I think I might be putting him on my Christmas Tree later ;^;

The little Alpaca wears an "Alpaca Corps" poncho which is inspired by the coats that are worn by the characters in Shingeki no Kyojin! The Aplaca symbol even has little wings on it which is very similar to one of the SNK designs~!

As far as tags are concerned this one came with four! It has the promotional image of an actual Alpaca wearing the SNK poncho as well as other two paper tags in Japanese. Then on the Alpacas back side it has an "AlPacasso" cloth tag.

The most charming thing about this keychain is definitely its size! Being so tiny makes it all the more cuter!

I cant stress how happy I am with this cute alpaca!
And now here are they all together! You can get a better idea how their sizes when you compare them next to each other c:

Typically after the end of each post I include an "overall shop review" with different categories depending on what I received! In this case my closing will be a little different considering that Cutie Pie Kawaii is a seller of goods verses a crafter or designer. So instead of using a point system of x/10 and so forth Im just going to talk about a few more things I noticed about this shop which might be helpful for your shopping experience!
Shop Layout
This is a category I've been meaning to add to all of my reviews but quite honestly Ive just been too lazy to do so. I have limited time when working on reviews and always try to cram so much into said timespan but... I do think shop layouts are important! Navigation, Clarity, and Imagery can really aid or harm a shopping experience! Anyway~ Cutie Pie Kawaii has a very cute and easy to navigate layout. Their design is very suited for their name- The background has a donut pattern and the rest of the shop is pastel colored and very appealing! I found the font easy to read and the descriptions were very clear. The only thing to keep in mind is that the website (at least on my computers) did take a decent amount of time to load. So please be patient!
Product Diversity
I found that Cutie Pie Kawaii has a very large selection of goods! I really like that they offer a variety of kawaii goods instead of just specializing in one thing. I think nowadays Japanese street fashion is very accessible online but as far as the Japanese cute/kawaii culture in general it can be difficult to find everyday things without having to search all over. Well CPK offers everything from makeup, to food, to office supplies, and more! As far as their diversity goes considering their Amuse products (because well, that is the focus of this post!) I was very pleased! At the moment they only have to pages worth of Amuse goods but I was very happy that they offer multiple Amuse characters and not just AlPacassos. With that said though I think the diversity within the Aplacas is also nice! They offer quite a few of different series.
Price is something that I definitely wanted to mention for this review! I'm not incredibly knowledgable when it comes to general kawaii goods but I definitely know a few things about AlPacasso prices! I must say that absolutely none of the Amuse products on CPK's site are overpriced. In fact, CPK has very very reasonable prices for AlPacassos. When you attend conventions is likely that you will see fake Alpaca plush sold for three times the value of the original goods. Even legitimate standard size Alpacas can run over $35USD which frankly is way too expensive. Typically in the case of conventions I assume that those reselling legit Alpacas have to go through a few different sources or the legitimate sellers as well as fake sellers just increase the prices dramatically because they are at a convention and know people will buy them. Well quite frankly if youd like to save your money I don't recommend buying convention AlPacassos. On Cutie Pie Kawaii's shop they're selling the jumbo Alpacassos for between $25-27 which is definitely a good price. To give you some more perspective, a medium sized AlPacasso that I bought at a convention last year had costed me $35 which is unfortunate considering a medium is much smaller than the jumbo sized. Anyway! Before I lose you all and continue to ramble I'll just reiterate that these are very good prices! 
Lastly, I know I've mentioned this multiple times before but I'll wrap this all up by talking about Authenticity one last time! Cutie Pie Kawaii does in fact offer official Amuse products so the biggest plus to shopping there is that there should be absolutely no doubt when purchasing that they are the real thing!
So overall Cutie Pie Kawaii is definitely a shop that I would recommend- and I would recommend it to many different people. Their shop has so many different things to offer and would be a great place to look for cute holiday gifts!
I hope that this blog post was helpful to everyone~~! I have a few more things to discuss regarding coordinating plush toys that I'll put below ! But for the most part everything regarding Cutie Pie Kawaii shop will just be above! If you'd like to stick around and read a little longer though I have a few more things to share! I know this has been such a long post ;_;
Coordinating Plushies
(all photos that are not my own are taken from!)
Alright so now to give you a quick idea as to how to coordinate plushies in street fashion! As stated earlier the most common fashion wear plush goods are used is decora. Eventually Im going to create a whole decora guide but for now, decora is a colorful Japanese street fashion which literally means "to decorate" or "decoration". The idea is to decorate yourself in cute motifs through the use of hair clips, accessories, ect. In this case plushies are very important. More often that none you find plushies being used as bags but they can also be used in a few other ways!
If you create some sort of clip or attachment for them plush goods can also be used in your hair ! In this case a plus cake is being used as a headpiece~!
Another good use is turning your plushies into necklaces! That's always incredibly cute. c:
And lastly another way to coordinate plushies would be to literally just attach them to yourself! If the plush already has a strap you can loop it through a belt, you can pin them to yourself, or you can create a strap for them yourself!
It might not seem purposeful to just attach plushies to yourself but to be quite honest there is no purpose or function to decora fashion. Its really all about having fun and wearing what makes you happy! Plushies are not only cute but are definitely fun so they always add a little something else to your coord.
If you're not interested in actually wearing the plush goods or altering them to fit your coordinate theres always the option of cute plushie key chains! I've attached both my new Poteusa change purse and my SNK AlPacasso to my purse! Now... my purse is... ridiculous, to be quite honest. I like keychains a little too much! One or two plushies would be perfectly enough to spice up your looks a bit but I just... tend to go over the top with everything, I guess!
It was just a short blog segment but I hope it could give you at least a few ideas! Again im going to do a big blog post in the future about decora but probably in the form of a youtube video c;
Well, that's all for now everyone! This was probably one of my longest posts yet so I'd like to thank everyone who read all the way through the end! I hope I was able to be a little useful this time around and you were able to take something away from this post~!
Anyway next up! Look forward to another review from Holley Tea Time coming up c;
Happy shopping!

1 comment:

  1. The AlPacasso bag is so cute!