•        



 


FLCL has proven to be a major international hit, but its short length meant that not a huge amount of merchandise was released for it in Japan.  However, the usual soundtracks and artbooks are joined by an ever increasing number of gashapon figures and posters because of Gainax's habit of releasing collectibles based on their entire catalogue.
__________________________________________________


___________________


Figures & Dolls:
  Surprisingly for an anime series most of the FLCL figures were made for the American market.  US releases include poseable Canti figures in red and blue, plus some slightly disturbing Haruka and Mamimi Barbie-style dolls.  In Japan FLCL figures have been included in Gainax gashapon ranges, most notably Haruka in the 'Gainax Girl' range.
_______________________________


Plushes:
  Like seemingly every anime series, there are stuffed toys available based on FLCL.  However, unlike most of these collectibles, these ones were manufactured in America rather than Japan, which goes to show how popular FLCL is across the pond.  Characters available include Haruka, Naota, Canti and Mamimi's cat Takkun.
_______________________________


___________________



___________________


Apparel:  FLCL is quite a stylish show, with many characters sporting designer labels.  It's therefore not surprising to see some clothing and accessories based on the series!  Various t-shirts and messenger bags are available, along with a beanie hat, baseball cap and Takkun cosplay cap.  Most of these items are American as well, so will actually fit Western fans!
_______________________________

Yukari Tanizaki



_________________________


Soundtrack:  The music in FLCL is probably as memorable as the stunning visuals and plays a large part in the incredibly cool feel of the series.  The music is provided by Japanese indie rock act the pillows, and the series has given them a lot of exposure around the word.  It's therefore not surprising that several FLCL soundtracks are available, despite the fact that the series is only six episodes long!  No less that three soundtrack CDs have been released in Japan, the first featuring the songs used in the series, the second the background music and the third the full length songs.  A five-track music DVD has also been released in Japan.  In America two soundtrack CD have been released, featuring the same music as the first two Japanese soundtracks.
________________________________________________________



___________________



___________________


Obligatory Odd Merchandise!

FLCL Desktop Theme:
  Many people will use anime-inspired skins for their media programs on their computer, but in Japan Gainax went one better and released a full FLCL theme for your entire PC or Mac!  The theme updated everything from backgrounds and screensavers to icons, it even included a package of FLCL inspired mini-games ranging from Pairs to picture puzzles.  It also appeared to contain image archives and unlockable content to keep itself interesting.  Despite being released in 2002, the desktop theme package is still very much available in Japan, which means that it was either very popular or no-one bought it, we're not quite sure which...
________________________________________________________


Availability & Prices:

Soundtracks:  The Japanese FLCL soundtracks are quite easy to get on import, and can be picked up from the usual places including CD Japan, PlayAsia and YesAsia.  Expect to pay around 20 per CD though as importing Japanese CDs remains an expensive pastime.  However, the CDs that were released in America are far easier to get hold of and also a lot cheaper.  You should be able to pick up the soundtracks for around a tenner each from online retailers such as Amazon, Otaku UK and Anime On Line.  The music DVD (Region 2, NTSC) is available from some online retailers such as PlayAsia and YesAsia, expect to pay around 20.

Artbooks:  There aren't too many FLCL artbooks available, but you can pick up the Groundwork of FLCL, FLCL Storyboards and FLCL Character Design books on occasion.  The Groundwork of FLCL is by far the easiest to get hold of, and will set you back around 25 from import retailers such as YesAsia and Anime On Line.  The other books are harder to come by, but pop up from time to time on Auction sites like eBay* and specialist retailers such as Otaku UK.

Apparel:  FLCL apparel and accessories is quite easy to get hold of as a lot of it was released in America or specifically made for the American market.  This means that the t-shirts are in Western sizes rather than Japanese, so might actually fit!  There are several t-shirt designs available, and expect to pay around 15-20 for t-shirts from specialist retailers such as Forbidden Planet or Anime On Line.  Messenger bags are widely available online and from specialist retailers such as Tokyotoys and Anime On Line, expect to pay around 20-30, depending on the size and design.  Hats, such as the beanie and cosplay cap, are not as easy to come by, retailers like Tokyotoys may stock them from time-to-time, otherwise your best bet is looking in local comic shops like Forbidden Planet or Auction sites*.

Figures & Dolls:  Unusually most of the figures and dolls made for FLCL were made in America for the American market.  This means that on the one hand they're generally cheaper than imported Japanese goods on Auction sites and through specialist retailers such as Forbidden Planet, but on the other they lack the Japanese-ness you might be hoping for.  The dolls in particular are much like Barbie dolls and don't have anime style facial features.  Most figures were released a while ago so aren't as easy to come by as they once were, expect to pay around 15-20 for them if you do.  Some recent Gashapon (capsule toy) collections in Japan have featured characters from FLCL as Gainax have recently been releasing merchandise based on their back catalogue.  Gashapon are rarely stocked by online retailers, so your best bets are Gensen Figure, Neon Martian and Auction sites*.  Expect to pay around 3-5 per figure.

Plushes:  Eternally popular, stuffed toys are by far the easiest FLCL merchandise to get hold of.  Retailers such as Tokyotoys, Anime On Line and Neon Martian are good bets to find them, expect to pay about 10-15 depending on design.

Others:  There are quite a few other merchandise items available for FLCL.  Amongst the ones we have seen have been mugs, posters and wall scrolls.  Wall scrolls are the easiest to find and retailers such as Tokyotoys usually stock FLCL ones, expect to pay around 20.  Mugs and posters can be a little harder to come by, so keep your eyes on auction sites and in local comic stores.  Prices vary depending on what you're after.  More unusual things such as the FLCL Desktop theme and Gainax CG Artwork CD-ROMs are more awkward to get outside of Japan, so Auction sites* would be your best bet.  As always with these things, prices vary depending on demand.

*Auction sites can be rife with unscrupulous individuals who will knowingly sell you pirated goods.  Although the risk is mainly with DVD and CD purchasing, there is a notable amount of pirated toys and apparel cropping up too.  To minimise the risk of being ripped off make sure you check Digital Anime's excellent Piracy FAQ.
___________________________________________________________________________