Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Dinojar Ghibli Friends Kickstarter Goodies

Hey everyone! Happy New Year!! Thank goodness 2020 has been and gone... it feels great to say goodbye to those dreadful days. I know the start of this year at least won't be very different, but I'm trying to embrace the whole 'new year, new leaf' thing, and after a year of getting used to the changes, I feel more prepared for deal with this new normal. Fingers crossed I can be more productive because of that, starting with my blog! Anyhow, gloom and new leaves aside, for today's post, I'm serving you a dose of cuteness  Calling all Studio Ghibli fans, especially! I hope you guys enjoy reading :) 

A photo of a business card for Dinojar Studios. The background is white and peach in colour and there is a little green dinosaur sitting in a jar

So, back in April 2020, towards the end of the month, I backed a kickstarter project that I was super excited about!! Dinojar/Dinojar Studio, a lovely artist based in Singapore, had set up the most adorable project dedicated to Studio Ghibli characters, focusing on pins, but also offering stickers, too. As soon as I set eyes on the designs over on Dinojar's instagram (be sure to go give them a follow), I had a mighty need to add some of the pin badges to my ever-growing collection! However, the struggle was real when it came to choosing which pins I wanted most!! I limited myself to two enamel pins, and after a few days of deliberation, I finally had my favourites settled on. I cannot wait to show them to you guys!! Although, if you follow me over on instagram then you'll have likely already seen the gorgeous items I received (because they arrived a few months ago now and life has just gotten in the way of me blogging about them, oops...). 

A photo showing a business card for Dinojar Studios, plus a thankyou note for backing their kickstarter project

How sweet is this thankyou note! I love when artists/businesses do this :) 

Before I show off the super cute 'rewards' I got, a little more about the kickstarter project. If you've never heard of/used this website before, it's basically set up so that small businesses and independent artists can create products via crowd funding. They will set a goal of how much money they need in order to make the product(s) they are proposing and people can pledge to contribute to the project. If the artist doesn't manage to reach their monetary goal, then the project backers will be refunded. But if they do gain the support they need, then they can make the products, and everyone is happy! Kickstarter is a wonderful idea and it feels great to support small businesses that little bit more than if you were just pursuing something from their online store :) Many artists also offer special reward tiers that will be unlocked once they pass their initial contribution goal, and what's more? Most kickstarter projects come with a promise of a freebie for backers, which is so lovely!

The Ghibli Friends Enamel Pins kickstarter project launched by Dinojar Studio offered twelve potential characters, and as more of the goal was reached, each of these designs was unlocked. Here's a list of the Studio Ghibli characters included: Totoro, Haku in his human form, Chihiro, Pazu, Kiki & Jiji, a Soot Sprite, Mei, the Catbus, No Face, Dragon Haku, Chibi-Totoro with a little acorn in hand, and Sheeta. Honestly, each and every design was stunning and so sweet and I wanted them all T_T. I unfortunately have a budget to stick to, so in the end I opted for Mei and Dragon Haku. The latter pin I knew I would be backing for as soon as I saw the design on Dinojar's instagram. I love dragons so much and the spirit of the Kohaku river is one of my favourites!! So let's see these cuties... 

A photo showing enamel pins of two Studio Ghibli characters: Dragon Haku and Mei, plus a sticker of Haku. They are surrounded by colourful polkadots

I am not sorry for the cuteness overload, haha! JUST LOOK HOW ADORABLE EVERYTHING IS!!!! *squeals*. My heart is happy everytime I look at my rewards from the Dinojar kickstarter. How could it not be?! Awww! As you can see above, I also decided to get a sticker, too, because I was torn between whether I wanted Dragon Haku and Haku in his human form more. I am yet to add a pin to my collection of Haku as a human, so I really wanted to, but everyone's favourite dragon boi won in the end... I mean, just look at him!! And Mei was just too cheerful not to get, but again, it was a tough decision between the Kiki & Jiji pin and this one :) It's all Dinojar's fault for designing too many brilliant pins!! :O 

Since it's been a while now, I can't remember prices exactly, but I'm pretty sure the pins were $14 (Singapore dollars) which works out at just under £8 each. What a fantastic price!! And I think stickers were $1! Wow... I was so impressed by the pricing for such adorable and intricate designs, so a big thankyou to Dinojar for being so awesome!!

A photo of an enamel pin, the character is dragon haku from the Studio Ghibli movie, Spirited Away. He is white, purple and mint in colour and has a cute solemn expression.

I fell in love with this little dragon baby as soon as I saw him! This is such a precious interpretation of Haku/Kohaku and I adore it! I really love the mint shade that has been chosen for his mane and tail fur; it's really pretty! I am a big fan of the overall pastel colour scheme of this pin, and think it's fantastic that his horns and whiskers stand out so much. Those whiskers though!! They might be my favourite feature of the entire pin. The depictions of dragons in Asian folklore is so unique and different to European folklore, and the whiskers as well as the snake-like appearance are something I think is beautiful! So, I very much appreciate the attention to detail that has gone in to making the whiskers look so eye-catching. At a very close second, in terms of favourite things, comes Haku's facial expression. It's so solemn and it looks like he's in deep contemplation/ is lost in thought, and I don't know, I can just relate it to a lot. Little solemn and/or moody faces are just too cute!! Wouldn't you all agree? I want to mention just how fluffy Haku looks!! I want to cuddle him! Also, those rosy cheeks go so well with the gold-plating. 

A photo showing two enamel pins of Studio Ghibli characters; Mei from My Neighbour Totoro and Dragon Haku from Spirited Away. Both are made by Dinojar Studio, and are very cute!

Guys, how sweet is this pin of Mei!? If you're not a Studio Ghibli fan... firstly, get off my blog. I'm only kidding; it's practically impossible to not be a fan of the creations of this amazing Japanese production company!! But if you have yet to enrich your lives by watching the movies, Mei is a character from My Neighbour Totoro (1988) and Dragon Haku is from Spirited Away (2001). I barely ever see any merch of Mei, and so I just couldn't pass up on backing this design. I really love how delighted Mei looks! She's going on a little adventure and has that expression of childish wonder and carelessness. It makes me think of my childhood when I was very young (Mei is supposed to be five, I believe but don't quote me on that) and my little adventures about the garden, collecting cool things I found and looking for bugs. Whenever I look at the pin, it puts a smile on my face, and furthermore, I picture the scene from the movie that inspired this design. It's so very cute! 

I love the contrast between the colours of the Dragon Haku pin and the Mei one. Her outfit and overlook look is bright, with vibrant, strong colours. Very summery and happy, and I especially like Mei's tiny yellow shoes and bag. One of the most precious features, in my opinion, is that Mei is swinging her bucket and water is spilling, because again, this just highlights the careless, free nature of children without a care in the world, whilst they are at play. She's skipping along, and probably hasn't even released that Chibi-Totoro is perched on top of her head. It's the sweetest image! 

A photo showing a sticker of a Studio Ghibli character, Haku. Designed by Dinojar. Haku is with his two little friends, a tiny chubby mouse and black bird.

Here's a close up of the Haku sticker I also backed. I've already popped this little cutie onto my laptop and he looks perfect, standing out so well due to the bold blue shade of his hair mostly! It's one of the best things about this design for me, as blue is up there in my top five favourite colours. How can a design be beautifully simplistic and somehow detailed at the same time!? Dinojar achieved that with their human Haku design, though! I absolutely adore that Boh (the chubby mouse) and smol version of Yubaba's bird have been incorporated into the design! Haku's got buddies with him and I love seeing these two characters in this form because it reminds me of when they didn't want to change back in the movie (sorry for the slight spoiler there!). 

The tiny smile on Haku's face just completes the whole design, and makes me audibly 'awwww!' every time I see it on my laptop. I don't know if it was a freebie, or I accidently ordered two stickers of the same design, or Dinojar didn't notice they'd packaged two by mistake, but either way, I was sent two of these lovely stickers so I will definitely be giving one away in the future :) 

A photo showing two enamel pins by Dinojar. They are of the Studio Ghibli characters, Mei and Dragon Haku. They are backed on gold enamel and are super cute!

The backing cards used to display the pins are super pretty. I'm lovin' the green ombre effect, and the dotting of little sparkles looks lovely. I almost wanted to keep them on their cards forever, but they are too stunning not to show off! So, alas, they are now in my ita bag :') Look how shiny the gold-plated enamel is!! I used to prefer silver-plating but gold makes everything glow and just highlights the colours so well. It draws your eyes into the design, and I think that's wonderful for when you out and about to get people to really notice your pins. Both of these pins are double-backed as well, so you don't have to worry that they might fall off your clothing/bags/whatever you pin them onto. Anyway, guys, I'd love to know which is your favourite of the two pins I purchased?

A final note that I'd like to make is that Dinojar launched a second Ghibli Friends kickstarter last year, featuring more adorable character designs and I so wish that I had the money free at the time to back another of their projects. I will certainly be trying to get my hands on some of those pins in the future, via Dinojar's Etsy shop. Most recently, Dinojar hosted another campaign for Avatar pins, so if that's something you're into, definitely go have a look at their instagram account to see the designs! 

I want to give a huge thankyou to Dinojar for creating such beautiful pins, and for always being so lovely on instagram. I am very happy to have some of your work in my enamel pin collection, and I am looking forward to your next projects! I hope you all enjoyed reading my first post of 2021!! Wishing you a marvellous year, guys, with good health and happy moments for you and your loved ones :) 

Thankyou for reading!

What is your favourite Studio Ghibli movie and/or character?

Are you a fellow collector of pins?
Or not, do you collect anything else? 

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