Japan Post has teamed up with the creators of anime folk hero Doraemon to produce a range of merchandise to celebrate his 50th birthday. Believe it or not, the first story in the manga series was published way back in 1970. Since then, 1465 Doraemon stories have been published, selling over 100 million copies as of 2015.

For readers unfamiliar with Doraemon, he is an earless robotic cat who travels back in time from the 22nd century to help a boy named Nobita Nobi. Such is Doraemon’s popularity, in March 2008, the Foreign Ministry appointed him Japan's first ‘anime ambassador.’ A spokesperson for the ministry said that they hoped Doraemon would help people in other countries “to deepen their interest in Japanese culture.”

To commemorate the 50th birthday of the much-loved robot cat, merchandising company Ensky has produced a range of post-related Doraemon goods, which went on sale on Japan Post’s online shop on September 7th. Stocks are limited, so fans are encouraged to buy now, as the range will be discontinued when it sells out.

First up is this this commemorative T-shirt, which comes with a little pocket on that front. Pull it out and it reveals itself to be an envelope. This pocket is a nod to Doraemon’s little magic pouch, in which he stores a multitude of useful gadgets from The Future Departmental Store.

Among the wonders in Doraemon’s little magic pouch are the ‘Bamboo-Copter’, a small piece of headgear that allows its user to fly; the ‘Anywhere Door’, a pink door that allows you to travel anywhere that pops in to your head; and the ‘Translator Tool’, a cuboid jelly that allows people to converse in any language in the universe.

The commemorative T-shirt comes in 4 sizes: S, M, L and XL. It costs ¥3900 (shipping and consumption tax included).

Next up in the Doraemon range is this stylish eco bag. It too features a little pouch on the front, handy for storing your smartphone and wallet. It can be stored compactly just by rolling it up and stopping the button. It comes in navy blue and red, and costs ¥1700 yen (shipping and consumption tax included).

The third item in the range of commemorative merchandise is this carry-on travel bag. It’s solid yet lightweight, and makes an ideal mother's bag or gym bag. It has a zipper pocket on the outside for carrying mobile phones and small items. It measures length 45 x width 62 x gusset 27 cm and costs ¥2300 yen (shipping and consumption tax included).

Japan Post’s online shop can be accessed here

By - George Lloyd.