On July 29, Pusheen fans from all over the Twin Cities gathered at the Mall of America Tomodachi store to celebrate their favorite cat friend. Pusheen, if you’re not familiar, is the star of an animated web-comic series, as well as a sticker set on Facebook. Fans were treated to a cosplay competition, a DJ, a coloring contest, and prize drawings—as well as sneak previews of prototype Pusheens coming to stores in the fall.
Elated fans got a look at a prototype of the upcoming Super Pusheenicorn plushie, manufactured by GUND. This Pusheen has lights in her horn and up and down her mane, touch-sensor functionality, and three magical sound and light sequences. It will likely be available to Pusheen lovers in October or November.
The event was packed and somewhat claustrophobic—with 2,200 people proclaiming their interest on the Facebook event page, that wasn’t too surprising. The line to get in was long and brutal, and the wait was too much for some fans to handle. (Even I was burnt out and left before the costume contest.) The huge turnout was undoubtedly good business for Tomodachi, but the store might want to see if it can get the rotunda next year.
Tomodachi definitely pulled out all of the stops, though. The walls were lined with Pusheens, and there was a special Pusheen photo area. For the costume contest, they brought in some local fashion talent: season 6 Project Runway contestant Christopher Straub, fashion designer and cosplayer Samantha Rei (who herself will be on the next season of Project Runway), and l’étoile founder Beth Hammarlund. Straub also created a dress out of Pusheen plushies for Tomodachi’s window display—which, after the party, was disassembled and the plushies donated to Children’s Hospitals of Minnesota.
Despite the crowds, it was a wondrous occasion for Minnesota Pusheen fans.