COVID is continuing to take its toll on the world, forcing people to cut out their social lives and stay indoors. It’s isolating, it’s depressing, and unfortunately, it’s not ending anytime soon. A disturbing factoid to take from this is how mental health is on a worldwide decline. Thankfully, a new Pikachu cushion has come jolting onto the scene to combat things.
This plushy toy, while obviously appropriate for children (it’s Pikachu after all), is actually aimed at adults, and part of Bandai’s PC cushion series. Pictures show a work-from-home parent working at her laptop with Pikachu comfortably sandwiched in between. The Pikachu plush also comes with two unique armrests: one with a keyboard design featuring other popular ‘mon like Meowth and Psyduck, and another featuring five different designs of Pikachu.
Bandai’s PC cushion line spawned a few years back as just another cozy toy, but has since taken on new meaning. These cushions are now made to help relieve the anxieties that come with the crushing ennui of working alone. An ad released back in March features grown adults hugging their plushies while working under the idea that this it’s okay to think like a child in these trying times.
Bandai is not alone in their efforts In America, everybody from coffee shop owners to concerned mothers have been using stuffed dolls as an effective coping mechanism. Japan’s own Izu Shaboten Zoo put up stuffed capybara dolls to ease visitors’ stress while promoting social distancing measures. It’s about time we started seeing cushy dolls occupy our own homes to alleviate ourselves.
I know that this Pikachu plush or any of its PC cushion kin are not exactly the panaceas to our COVID-induced existential crisis. But as a sucker for all things cute and moe myself, it’s nice to see Bandai turn their cushy corporate product into something with a bit more purpose. They ought to know what it is like considering how many of their employees are working from home too. I’d personally like to see more. A Jirachi plush to squeeze away the tension while simultaneously wishing the pandemic away? Yes please.
The Pikachu cushion is available for pre-order on Premium Bandai’s site.