Could BT21 be the next Hello Kitty? (Giveaway at the end!)
By now you would have heard of BT21 who travel around the world in the bid to become the ‘UNIVERSTAR’ using the love and friendship to boost them towards fame from their humble beginnings. If you haven’t heard of them yet, you might be relieved to know that they are NOT another new boy band whose names you have to match with their vibrant hair colours.
The BT21 line of characters is the first output from LINE FRIENDS’s new ‘FRIENDS CREATORS’ project, which focuses on creating new Intellectual Property (IP) with global artists. ‘FRIENDS CREATORS’ is LINE FRIENDS’s long-term creative strategy to create a new kind of character IP business based on the creativity of global artists from different fields. Together, this project has become a first in the character industry where all members of an idol group have had a hand in the entire creative process of characters.
The 8 loving characters were inspired by drawings created by the seven members of BTS, one correlating to each member – RJ (Jin), Koya (RM), Shooky (Suga), Mang (J-Hope), Chimmy (Jimin), Tata (V) & Cooky (Jungkook) – as well as one (Van, their space robot) created to represent the fandom, ARMY.
Like LINE FRIENDS’ other characters, BT21 render a branding for goods produced by the company (and their collaborations) with a emphasis on street-style fashion. And while the characters are innately associated with BTS, LINE FRIENDS’ goal is to make products and apparel that anybody (not just fans) can appreciate.
In an early interview, Sehoon Chang, the CEO of Line Friends America once told Billboard: “The whole idea was not necessarily to make fan goods,” mentioning that there’s already been plenty of BTS fans on social media that have come up with fan art inspired by the already-released BT21 imagery. “But we wanted to come up with something that we can sell to even just ordinary people who don’t really know about BTS. But later on, they can find out, ‘Oh, you know what? There is BTS behind these characters.’ That’s something we wanted to bring to the market. Of course, the fans would immediately recognize what we are bringing, but on the other hand it’s not just fans [who we] want to appeal, it’s the whole audience.”
You can watch BTS’ create the characters here:
A total of 10 episodes of BTS crafting BT21’s backstories have also been uploaded in the beginning of this year, as BT21 rolled into a new phase for the brand to include characters from their past:
The characters have been so cleverly created and marketed that it’s not difficult to see at least one person on the street donning one product from the BT21 line.
Whether you’re an ARMY or not, the BT21 characters have already taken the world by storm as they have collaborated with various popular brands to bring you enough products to make you go crazy. Brands such as Anti Social Social Club (ASSC) x Hello Kitty, Converse, Reebok, and LEICA have all collaborated with BT21 and produced diverse products that were sold out within minutes of their release.
Just 3 months ago, UNIQLO saw multiple queues at various outlets across Singapore right before opening hours, as people waited with bated breaths to get their hands on the UNIQLO x BT21 graphic T-Shirts which immediately flew off the shelf in some outlets.
Even in Korea, collaborations with local brands such as SPAO see their products being sold out as quickly as they are placed on the shelf.
If you’re looking to join the party, here are some products to can match any style and any age:
*Note: Prices provided are estimates of the original prices
BACK TO SCHOOL
Get the Look:
Spao x BT21 Candy Backpack ($30)
UNIQLO x BT21 UT (Short-sleeved graphic T-Shirt) ($14.90)
Cooky Laptop Pouch ($44)
Cooky Gel Pen Seaso 3 ($4)
Chimmy Charging Cable ($24.20)
Shooky Handle Thermos ($28.80)
Monopoly x BT21 Shooky C-Pattern Pencil Case (15.50)
Nara Home Deco x BT21 RJ Mesh Bedroom Slippers ($10.50)
Koya 42cm Plush Cushion ($44)
RJ Comic Pop Pajama Set ($45.90)
Nara Home Deco x BT21 Tata Pillow ($17.25)
MANG Cereal Bowl and Spoon Set ($14.90)
KOYA Ribbon Face Washing Hair Band ($11.50)
TRAVEL WITH STYLE
Get the Look:
Shooky Sleeping Eyemask ($12.65)
Cooky Mini Handheld Portable Fan ($22.90)
Royche x BT21 Cooky Airpod Figure Case ($22.90)
VT Cosmetics x BT21 Lippie Stick ($18)
VT Cosmetics x BT21 Tinted Foundation ($32)
Monopoly x BT21 Pouch Mirror ($6.35)
Monopoly x BT21 Luggage Cover ($24.15)
Monopoly x BT21 Luggage (Coming Soon)
Mang Hoodie Neck Cushion ($27.60)
There are so many products that it would be impossible to list them all down; but if you’re interested to find out more about the latest products, you can follow the BT21 official account here.
2 lucky winners stand a chance to get their hands on the new BT21 Ez-link cards (worth $10)!
To win the BT21 Ez-link Card, follow these simple steps:
1. Follow our Instagram @newgravite
2. Leave a comment in this article on what type of BT21 collaboration you would want to see next
3. Include your Instagram user handle with your comment for us to contact you
Contest is open to those residing in Singapore and ends on 11th November, 11am (SGT). The winners will be announced on 12th November, good luck!