Now Bob Will Always Be My Neighbor

If you’ve never played any of the Animal Crossing games before, I’ll attempt to explain them for you:

They’re made by Nintendo and have become an integral part of the company’s image. Not quite on the same level as Mario, but close.

You start out with an adorable character that represents you and looks something like this:

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Your character then moves into a town, which looks something like this:

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…but of course bigger and full of houses, shops, a river, a beach, bugs and fish you can catch, trees you can shake that will sometimes reward you with money or punish you by sending a swarm of bees after you, random holes you can fall into if you’re not careful, etc. You can name both your character and your town whatever you want. My character is always my real-life nickname, Lys, and my town is always Mirage.

You also have fellow villagers, which are all adorable animals that speak gibberish and ask you to do random tasks for them because they are so adorable why would you refuse?

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Your goal is, simply, to make your town awesome. You can participate in events, find fossils and treasures, decorate your house and your neighbors’ houses, cover your town with flowers if you want, design your own clothes, and more. It’s one of those games that doesn’t really have a point. You can play it forever, and it’s based on a reward system, so the more you play and the more stuff you do, the more and better stuff you get.

There’s also a raccoon who you’re indebted to for life. He’s basically a capitalist nightmare.

I’m completely addicted.

There’s a new Animal Crossing game coming out on June 9, called New Leaf, and it’s going to be better than all of its predecessors dating back to the Nintendo GameCube. Why? Because you can be mayor this time! Mayor of your own adorable animal village!

Now that you’re up to speed, let me introduce you to Bob:

Bob has been a resident of my town in every Animal Crossing game I’ve played. Not only that, but he has never left my town, ever. Animals come and go, but Bob stays through it all, thick and thin. And he’s always, always happy. There have been days in the past when I came home feeling like crap, but when I loaded up Animal Crossing and saw Bob’s big yellow cat eyes and lazy grin, suddenly everything was alright with the world.

One of the many cute quirks of Animal Crossing is that every animal has their own catchphrase. Bob’s is, “Pthhhpth.” He literally blows a raspberry at you every time he talks to you, and the first time he did it I burst out laughing and then realized there was no way he wasn’t going to be my favorite villager from then on. He’s also a kid at heart. This is what his house looks like in every game:

Basically, Bob is the best. He’s my favorite, an ever loyal and steadfast companion.

A little while ago, I was browsing Etsy like I often do, and I came across a shop called Matcha Nest. I had already fallen in love with its geeky handmade merchandise when I saw a listing for a custom Animal Crossing character of your choice to be made into a keychain, earrings, or necklace. Right then, I knew I had to have a Bob keychain. I just had to.

Fast-forward a few weeks later, and I can now carry Bob with me everywhere I go. He’ll never move out of my town or my purse.

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I highly recommend Matcha Nest. The quality of my keychain is even better than I expected, and the pictures really don’t do it justice. Antuanette, the shop’s owner and creator, is incredibly lovely. She informed me that Bob has wire supports throughout his body, so his arms, legs, and neck won’t snap. I can tell he’s well-made and that lots of care went into his creation. I love him so much!

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