LINE FRIENDS opened their first USA store in New York City’s most popular tourist trap, Times Square! The massive store opened in July 2017 and sells gift items like stuffed dolls, phone cases, housewares, clothing and other useless (but cute) items printed with lovable LINE characters like Brown, Cony, Sally, Choco, Moon, James, Boss and newer characters like Jessica (a cat who’s Cony’s BFF), Leonard (Sally’s new frog buddy) and Pangyo (a panda who has the hots for Choco). LINE is the messaging app that originated in Japan and uses hilarious stickers featuring characters that depict my everyday emotions and behaviors like disgust, narcissism and gluttony (with some love sprinkled in). The LINE characters became so popular that they have their own offline animated series called LINE OFFLINE where they are in an office setting of “Line Corporation” — how meta. I took some 360 photos and an insane amount of regular photos with an unBEARable amount of original LINE stickers, click on to view!
1515 Broadway (b/t 44th St & 45th St.), New York, NY 10036
Hours: Mon – Sun 9AM – 1AM
Click on the links below to get taken directly to the section:
The location is right on 7th avenue where you can clearly see the North and South ends of Times Square (the area where the New Year’s Eve ball will drop). Even though the address is on Broadway, these two avenues intersect each other at 45th street so you can just find 45th and 7th avenue as well. There is a huge animated store banner that will have Brown and Sally in rotation with other advertisements. Just look for Mega Brown, the giant stuffed brown bear at the entrance of the store. Inside, you can immediately line up for a photo opportunity on the left hand side. I went on a weekday where I had to find someone to help me take a picture but I imagine there’s weekend coverage to help with such important photo-taking tasks from an employee. Employees dressed as Brown and Cony costumes will actually come out during select times on the weekend for more picture taking opportunities so maybe you’ll get lucky if you didn’t get swallowed up by the hoards of tourists. It can get REALLY crowded in there so I opted to go on a boring Wednesday evening.
Click the play button for the 360 Photo to load. You can it around and see a 360 view of the store!
Angela from Beauty and the Cat told me about the opening when she came to visit NYC in July. The Brown Room (I swear it isn’t a nickname for the toilet) is directly to your right hand side after entering the store, it has another photo opp with life-size Beats Brown figurines. The front of the store has collegiate style clothing and New York City specific merchandise like cups, mouse pads, key chains, tumblers, and plushies. Plenty of plushies. SO. MANY. PLUSHIES.
You’ll find plenty of merch with Brown dressed up in other animal costumes and there’s an adorable baby line with Dino Brown. My favorite is the Dino Kid’s Back Pack ($68.95). There are so many phone cases with “Jungle Brown” but they can be a bit impractical because they’re not made to be sleek or slimming. In fact, your phone is the accessory here.
Choco House is the room dedicated specifically to Brown’s fashionable and social-media savvy little sister. She loves selfies, OOTD posts and brunching – sounds like she fits right in NYC! Choco merch is perfect for little girls/tweens because there is a ton of pink, hearts and selfie-inspiring fashion.
Merch will vary at different times and will sell out. I wanted to get a particular headband but when I went in September, it had sold out and I’m not sure if it was going to be restocked. I opted for a different headband with a 3D Cony doll on top of a hard band. Other things I wished they had stocked were slippers, robes with character hoodies and well, more practical items other than a plushie.
Merch was really pricey. I would never spend $70 on my kid’s backpack and the same backpack is around 5,400 Yen if you buy it in Japan. The Cony headband I bought was $14.95 and the sleeping mask was $12.95 which were more reasonable. There’s a bit of markup so don’t expect it to be cheap. If you’re planning on going to Japan soon, I’d buy souvenirs there since they might offer more variety and you’ll save some money. There’s an online LINE FRIENDS Japanese store you can browse and use Google Translate to see what you’re clicking on. After seeing this, I think the USA store is kind of limited in selection. Back in July when it first opened, there were Brown and Cony married duo plushies but they were sold out when I went. I was disappointed at first but I later found out that it was priced about $120! That’s outrageous but what’s great about visiting is that you don’t have to buy anything if you don’t want to. It’s perfect just going for some great photos with your favorite characters!
Can’t Go to New York (or Asia)? Buy Through Amazon!
You can buy almost anything on Amazon these days if it’s popular enough, bless the Internet. Here are some of my top picks if you just want to order these cuties and get it shipped free with Amazon Prime! I was looking for face washing headbands specifically at the store and it seems that they sold out in the 3 months they were open. It’s the same price at $12.95 and free Prime shipping so I’m going to order this for myself! See below for other recommendations under $25, shipped free with Prime.
- Choco Headband: $12.95 Amazon Prime
- Brown Headband: $12.95 Amazon Prime
- Sally Headband: $12.95 Amazon Prime
- Cony Passport Cover: $21.95 Amazon Prime
- Dino Brown Silicone Hand Mirror: $11.50 Amazon Prime
- Pengo Brown Silicone Luggage Tag: $12.95 Amazon Prime
- Piggy Brown Silicone Luggage Tag: $12.95 Amazon Prime
- Brown Zipped Makeup Pouch: $12.95 Amazon Prime
- Sally Multi-Functional Pouch: $16.95 Amazon Prime
- Cony Sleeping Mask: $23.99 Amazon
Have you visited the LINE FRIENDS store yet? Let me know what you loved about it and what you might’ve bought! Been to the Japan location? How was your experience there? As always, thank you for spending time on my blog!