If you’ve followed me at all anywhere online, you most definitely know that I’m incredibly particular when it comes to finding perfect plushes (or any cute collectible for the matter). Even if it means searching for months or years, I’ll hold off buying anything that doesn’t meet a certain criteria that comes much too naturally for me in my head.
Of course this all applies to one of my latest cute obsessions: Rowlet, one of the three starter Pokémon announced for the new Sun & Moon 3DS game due out this November. (The other two are named Litten and Popplio, but come on, let’s face it: they don’t even compare to Rowlet!) Not only is his character design ridiculously on point, but I have a big crush on owls. If my story (more like “critique”) about owl quality control for the Wizarding World doesn’t give it away, I honestly don’t know what would.
I can’t wait a second longer. Here he is in all his glory– my perfect, my eternally sweet, sleeping Rowlet!
While the search for the perfect Rowlet plush was short, the wait for his arrival was a journey in itself. As always when it comes to my “new toy arrival” photos, there’s a story involved. It’s nothing extravagant, but it’s still important to me. So here it is.
The Pokémon Sun & Moon starters were officially announced to the public by Nintendo this last May. No less than a half hour after the big reveal, fan art started popping up just about everywhere online– Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogs, everywhere. My team and I excitedly started taking note of just about every cute sketch and digital painting we could find, and we even composed an article dedicated to showcasing a bunch of the art pieces. It was obvious that all the other Pokémon fans were just as anxious to see more of the newly announced Pokémon as we were, and they weren’t about to wait for Nintendo to reveal official artwork to appease their cravings. And I’ll be honest; part of the appeal of loving a character so much, even when knowing nothing about it, is speculating and creating ideas and personalities with fellow fans. Needless to say, the whole day was extremely upbeat, and seeing so much Pokémon prettiness appear out of nowhere only added to the good time.
I’m constantly amazed by the talent, brilliance and speed of some of these fans. Not only were drawings being shared through communities, but physical toys were appearing within the next 24 hours as well. Just as you might have already gathered, the Rowlet plush my heart so desired was one of them.
In fact, this sleeping Rowlet plush was the very first tangible piece of art I came across while browsing my daily Nintendo stops. I couldn’t look away when I first saw it. Its size, shape and sleepy facial expression was too perfect to be real, and I knew I needed it for myself. So back in May, I contacted Piquipauparro through her Etsy shop and asked for a commission. I didn’t just want any old Rowlet plush; I wanted that one. While I waited for a reply, I scoured the internet for more plushes with the hope of maybe finding another one that could ease my longing for owly cuteness… to no avail. And I can honestly say that to this day, not one other Rowlet plush, including the official product from the Pokémon Center, has caught my eye, or my heart, as much as this guy.
I figured the customizer had been swamped with messages and attention due to the excitement over the starters, and she definitely received a lot of love from people due to the circulation of the Rowlet photos she’d taken in May. I was right– so I was patient, and I waited. Two months later, a reply from the designer appeared in my Etsy inbox. I’d never been so grateful to see a message on Etsy, ha! Over the course of the next few months, she and I exchanged messages here and there; and finally, after many months of hoping and dreaming, my perfect sleeping Rowlet plush arrived just today.
Packaged beautifully, hand-drawn and signed tag in tow, sleeping Rowlet appeared, and I couldn’t have been more smitten with his amazingly adorable appearance. The craftsmanship is impeccable (just as I expected after seeing Piquipauparro’s original photos) and the materials used to bring him to life are rich and lush. A huge portion of my plush collection– that’s been in the works now for over two decades– is composed of one-of-a-kind and/or handmade specialty plushes by artists I’ve found from all over the world. I’m used to high prices when it comes to that particular collection of mine, so I wasn’t at all surprised or put off by the higher price tag. Rowlet may be small, but he’s high in quality and craftsmanship, and I’d find it a crime to see a lower price attached to him. Every single penny was worth it. (For quotes, contact Piquipauparro through her Etsy shop.)
I really don’t buy too many items for most of my collections these days, so that’s one reason why Rowlet’s arrival is extra special to me. I’m still in awe that he’s sitting here next to me, after all this time! Happy day.