Bandai Namco Toys' Studio Ghibli Merch Makes It Easier Than Ever to Proudly Display Your Fandom

As Studio Ghibli fans, there are few things more exciting than getting to see the classics on the big screen, and we love the fact that Ghibli Fest is making this possible.

The Cat Returns is returning to theaters for its 20th anniversary on June 26 and 27, before Kiki's Delivery ServiceOnly YesterdayHowl's Moving Castle and Spirited Away get showings later this year—and that's not even to mention everything coming in 2023! But we're not just celebrating at the movies, because Bandai Namco Toys & Collectibles America Inc. have the cutest pieces of official merch to keep the party going at home, too.

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For The Cat Returns, the brand is offering stunning statue music boxes featuring the Baron and his long-lost love Louise, first featured in Whisper of the Heart. Both 9.5-inch statues bring their animated counterparts to life as they stand on gorgeous platforms with hidden imagery in their stained glass patterns. They also wind up to play "Take Me Home, Country Roads," a song that plays a major role in the sweet story of Whisper of the Heart

We loved these incredible statues from first sight, so we just had to learn more—and we got the chance to chat with Yoshi Mecklenberg of Bandai Namco Toys & Collectibles America Inc. all about Studio Ghibli and what it means to show off your fandom.

Sweety High: Studio Ghibli is an animation studio that fans hold very close to their hearts. In terms of merch, what has been the approach to create products that don't just nail that beloved aesthetic, but that also represent their films as a whole?

Yoshi Mecklenberg: Studio Ghibli approves merchandise with a very mindful and attentive approach for each item as they represent the films. Furthermore, we select the very best Studio Ghibli products to import from Japan by taking into consideration what will fit with the North American lifestyle well and still hold the same sentiments from each film so anyone and everyone can have a piece of their favorite Studio Ghibli film in their everyday lives.

bandai namco official studio ghibli howl's moving castle calcifer pan and spirited away no face sauce dish

(via Bandai Namco Toys & Collectibles America Inc.)


Also read about: These Are the Best Anime Series You Can Stream Online


SH: Can you tell us more about these statue music boxes for The Cat Returns? What do they represent in terms of that film, as well as Whisper of the Heart?

YM: These music boxes of Baron and Louise represent two iconic characters from Whisper of the Heart, and The Cat Returns.

Whisper of the Heart baron and louise

(Whisper of the Heart via Buena Vista Home Entertainment)

These beautiful character statues feature stained glass-like pedestals with hidden icons in the glass that are stunning to look at. The song that they both play is a nostalgic nod to the first film and will fill fans with joy. Decorate your room with both the Baron and Louise Statue Music Boxes side by side.

bandai namco official studio ghibli whipser of the heart/the cat returns the baron and louise figures

(via Bandai Namco Toys & Collectibles America Inc.)


SH: Studio Ghibli has a very powerful fandom culture across the world. How has that translated to the American market?

YM: The Studio Ghibli collection was added to HBO Max in 2020, making the films much more accessible for people stateside to watch. Furthermore, with the products, people can bring a piece of that into their homes and beyond to fit all lifestyles in North America. There's now an official Studio Ghibli store on Amazon and Bandai's Studio Ghibli Shop, so you don't have to live in Japan to have easy access.


Also read about: 13 Adorable Gifts for the Studio Ghibli Lover in Your Life


SH: How has proudly putting merch on display become a great way to express one's personality and pop culture fandom?

YM: One of the greatest regrets in life is be who others want you to be instead of being your true self. Never let yourself be a product of your surroundings, and instead encourage your surroundings to be a product of your personality. There's a story behind each piece of merch when a person chooses to proudly display it, and there's such a joy in choosing what you display. It helps create connections, not just with others, but with your true and authentic self.

bandai namco official studio ghibli howl's moving castle heen duster and totoro stacking dolls

(via Bandai Namco Toys & Collectibles America Inc.)


New to the Studio Ghibli fandom? Click HERE to discover which Ghibli flick you should watch next, based on your zodiac sign.