From Stage to Merch: Kpop Artist-Made Characters Craze

K-Pop idols are no longer just singers and dancers; they’re becoming creative powerhouses. In recent years, many groups have launched their own original Kpop Artist-Made Characters, going beyond mascots to create successful merchandise lines and cultural icons.

Let’s explore some of the frontrunners in this trend:

BTS & BT21

This global phenomenon hardly needs introduction. In 2017, BTS launched BT21, a collection of eight adorable characters co-created with members. Each character embodies a specific personality trait, resonating with fans and non-fans alike. BT21 boasts a vast array of merchandise, from plush toys and apparel to stationery and household items. Their success even led to a collaboration line with clothing lines, food and various brands globally.


Following suit, TREASURE debuted their character line TRUZ in 2020. Each member designed a unique animal character reflecting their individuality. TRUZ has garnered a loyal fanbase with its playful designs and engaging storylines. (Read: TRUZ Pop-UP Store in Metro Manila)

Monsta X & Monsta X: The Animation:

This boy group took the character concept a step further, developing a full-fledged animated web series featuring their personas, “Monsta X.” The series dives into the group’s backstory and personality, offering fans a deeper connection.


Joining the character craze, the girl group IVE launched their adorable line “MINIVE” in November 2023. MINIVE features chibi-style plush dolls representing each member as a different animal. Fans can cuddle their favorite member’s character, like Gaeul’s squirrel “DAL-E” or Yujin’s dog “GANGANYI.”

The success of these artist-made characters highlights the strong bond between K-Pop groups and their fans. These characters act as a bridge, allowing fans to connect with their favorite idols on a more personal level. As the trend continues, it will be interesting to see how other groups develop their own unique character universes.


  • oppaislifeofficial

    Oppa is Life is a fan page created in 2019 when I felt the need for another virtual space to pour out my feels, musings and fangirl experiences. It started as a Facebook fanpage but I later on decided to open other social media accounts because a single Facebook page just doesn’t feel enough.

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