BTS Dolls: Mattel's New Miniatures Based on 'Idol' Song Have Divided ARMY on Twitter
Many among the fandom found the dolls to be less than accurate. They complained that the dolls looked fine and did resemble the popular band members except for one thing - the hair.
The dolls resemble the Korean-Pop sensation BTS, the wildly popular boy-band whose members have become posters-boys for teenagers and young adults not just in South Korea but across the world. While K-Pop itself is the pop-music phenomenon to unravel in the last decade, bands like BTS have spawned extensive and committed fandoms.
And now, the American toy-maker and creator of 'Barbie' dolls seems to be looking East for inspiration. Mattel recently released the first look of the BTS fashion dolls. Each of the miniature figurines resembles a member of the band which includes SUGA, Jimin, V, Jin, RM, Jung Kook, and j-hope.
The announcement did not come out of the blue. In fact, Mattel had been publicising the new release for quite some time to create an anticipatory buzz among the BTS ARMY, the name adopted by the band's prolific online fandom.
MIC Drop, ARMY! For the first time ever, we're thrilled to show you the line of #BTSxMattel fashion dolls! Take a look at V, SUGA, Jin, Jung Kook, RM, Jimin and j-hope as dolls inspired by the Idol music video! #BTSDollsOfficial @BigHitEnt pic.twitter.com/0fd1XpLVFF— Mattel (@Mattel) March 26, 2019
The publicity seemed to work as within hours of its release, the image of the BTS dolls went viral and the dedicated BTS ARMY ensured that the dolls became a global trend on Twitter.
The dolls' look and feel and feel is designed keeping in mind the popular BTS song 'IDOL', which was released in august 2018 as part of the band's third compilation album "Love Yourself: Answers". The song debuted at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and was ranked first in sales in the first week.
The dolls have been designed with 11 points of articulation so that they can be bent to resemble certain choreographed moves from the song's music video.
However, while fan frenzy was an an anticipated high, the reactions to the dolls themselves were probably not entirely what Mattel had been expecting. Many in fact complained that the dolls looked fine and did resemble the popular band members except for one thing - the hair.
BTS is famous for the eclectic hairstyles and crazy hair-colours. Be in Jungkook's cherry red bangs, RM's short blue and mint undercuts, SUGA's braids or J's sparkling green highlights, BTS members have become a fixture in every millenial hairstylist's look book.
As soon as the photo was released, the a thrilled ARMY went overboard with comments and compliments. But with the dolls, many of the fans missed the signature pink, red and green mops and the crazy styles.
They actually look alike. Mattel did a very good job on the faces in my opinion. The facer are very detailed im impressed.— Yani (@Bklaht_Yani) March 26, 2019
But, honestly the HAIR...
They reuined it with the hair. pic.twitter.com/zvfT2PuYCE
On fan even posted photos of the dolls witg more "accurate" hair that resembled the boys.
bts mattel dolls with accurate hair pic.twitter.com/LVQO6YakRk— christina (@smol309) March 26, 2019
yoonie already looks like a pretty pouty doll so i didn’t need to change his face uwu pic.twitter.com/Z4nbc3ht37— christina (@smol309) March 26, 2019
It’s just tge hair honestly, the dolls are good. Just put a hat on em lol.— jay (@jayw3438) March 26, 2019
Others said that the dolls failed to capture the true feel of the band.
These dolls don't look like their owner. Only the clothes are okay. I think they put an effort but not enough. Also, we feels very much they are Caucasian appearance. Their identity isn't here. Putting a colored hair isn't enough. The fact. They missed up. A bit.— Dreamy (@CutyTaehyung) March 26, 2019
No. Not only hair. They looks like Caucasians. White people. But they are Korean! Asian people! Eyes isn't good. If you change of clothes, will you recognize they are asian? And it's an example. I can continue but well. I'm not here to describe all they could do with few ways.— Dreamy (@CutyTaehyung) March 26, 2019
Yet others were disappointing with the set expressed the same with memes and jokes.
That's it. That's the tweet. pic.twitter.com/dxvHyFyNCt— 안지 & 윤기솝 (@MeikoYamaguchi_) March 26, 2019
However, many in the BTS Army were of the opinion that even if the dolls were notthe best, the fans still needed to show love and support for the band. Many worried that the negative reactions may harm the brand's international appeal and prevent it from getting further endorsements and deals with international multinational corporations and labels.
Delete this please. they tried hard to make affordable dolls that resembles the boys the nicest. At least don’t do it under their post and keep it to yourself. The comeback is too close and we’re always being watched by the media— sammy 5/4 (@sillystrawbaby) March 26, 2019
Send positive comments under Mattel's tweet. We need to support these endorsements so that BTS get more. We don't want ppl deterred from buying the dolls or future investors put off from a possible collaboration. #BTSxMattel #BTS #BTSDollsOfficial— DrunkGia™️ (@FENTYCHIM) March 26, 2019
same. the media’s eyes are on us and bts because of their upcoming comeback. some of us armys are just making the whole fandom look bad ♀️— mari’s going to metlife ✈️ x2 (@magnificentminy) March 26, 2019
In all honesty, the memes are funny but the army is clowning so much that it reflects badly on the fandom and it is not the behavior the members promote.— Bridget (@Bridgetfbishop) March 26, 2019
However, it seems that fandom's worries of BTS losing out on the American market are baseless. Valued at over 3 billion, it is, in fact, BTS that is in a position to dictate terms and chooose the US companies that it wants to deal with.
The K-Pop dolls could help Mattel break into a new, fast-growing market of K-Pop merchandise that is popular with children and teenagers across the world, irrespective of gender. In a statement, Mattel said that the dolls will allow a much wider audience to engage with BTS.
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