Photos - Totoro and Cat Bus
I bought these about a year ago from a Japanese gift shop in the Rosedale Mall in the Twin Cities. I have a set of Totoros and a Cat Bus, which can be found roaming around the apartment. These little guys are fuzzy, but not too soft. They are a big hit with the smaller kids in the family, as you'd expect, including any number of relatives' children who have yet to hear of Totoro.
If you're thinking of a good way to break the ice and introduce Miyazaki to your families, then I suggest collecting some of these. Buy a Totoro, and a Cat Bus, and then follow up with the My Neighbor Totoro DVD. You be instantly popular with children of all ages.