By Nadine Kam
I was having breakfast with friends when one started talking about some cute character items she found that happened to be from Line Friend’s BT21 collection. She had no idea that the line was connected to BTS, and I thought that might be true of any non-K-popper who discovers the collection at random.
The collection of seven characters created by each BTS member—plus Van, created by Line Friends based on input by BTS to represent their fandom, Army—debuted Sept. 26, 2017 and became an instant hit.
The launch marked the first time in the character industry that all members of a group actively participated in the entire process of creating unique characters. It was a detail brought up in the group’s initial meeting with Line Friends, when the group members were tasked with drawing the sketches that were eventually turned into the characters. Suga, who had difficulty drawing, mentioned that usually they are given shortcut templates or items to review.
This time, BTS drew sketches and also came up with the distinct personalities, preferences and values of their characters. It’s the reason they think of their characters as their children and are very attached and protective of them.
The characters now grace all manner of merchandise, but when shown the various item ideas, BTS members were most excited about having pajamas imprinted with their characters!
Here are the characters and their characteristics:
Tata: From BT Planet, this heart-headed alien is very curious about everything. Created by V (Kim Tae-hyung).
Chimmy: Is the passionate puppy who tries hard at everything. Created by Park Ji-min.
Mang: Is the masked dancing pony with a heart-shaped nose, who brings hope into the BT21 universe. Created by J-Hope (Jung Ho-seok).
Van: The space robot, representative of the BTS Army, is the protector of BT21.
Koya: The smart, sleepy koala who is always thinking when awake. Created by Rapmon (Kim Nam-Soon).
Shooky: A mischievous cookie who is a close companion to Cooky, and scared of milk. Face by Suga (Min Yoon-gi).
Cooky: A cuddly pink bunny who dreams of being strong. Created by Jungkook (Jeon Jung-kook).
RJ: A kind and polite alpaca who wears a thick parka because he gets cold easily.