There comes a time in every boy band's life when they get shrunk down into dolls. The time has come for BTS.
The wildly successful South Korean pop group is just the latest band to receive the coveted toy treatment, and there's no question why. Their presence in the public eye has over the past year, and they've amassed a dedicated and vocal fanbase.
Their fans, called ARMY, couldn't get enough as they strutted their stuff at the 2019 Grammy's and released their own official line of adorable mascot characters. They're even set to perform on SNL in April. So it was only a matter of time before they would get the toy treatment.
Back in January, Mattel revealed that the kings of K-pop would be getting doll likenesses. In mid-March, Mattel tweeted a teaser photo, showing the dimmed silhouettes of the dolls. Fans were initially hyped that the outfits would be based on the music video for their hit single "Idol."
Mattel finally hit the lights and revealed images of the dolls on Tuesday, and the reaction was immediate and intense.
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
BTS ARMY wanted to love the dolls. They wanted to support their group — but some just couldn't get down with Mattel's interpretation.
That's it. That's the tweet. pic.twitter.com/dxvHyFyNCt
— 💕안지 & 윤기💜솝💕 (@MeikoYamaguchi_) March 26, 2019
— 🤢layla (@lulabones) March 26, 2019
Some felt that the dolls suffered from same face syndrome, and others felt like Mattel swung and missed big time when it came to making the dolls actually look like their idols (especially with that plastic hair).
The saddest thing is that you understand that they also worked on this dolls and maybe even worked hard, and you’re like...I’m not hating really but this just isn’t it...some facial features of 4 members actually look similar, but hair kinda ruined it
— 𝓢𝓸𝓷𝔂 💕🐾 (@sontera14) March 26, 2019
They actually look alike. Mattel did a very good job on the faces in my opinion. The facer are very detailed im impressed.
But, honestly the HAIR...
They reuined it with the hair. pic.twitter.com/zvfT2PuYCE
— Yani🍂 (@Bklaht_Yani) March 26, 2019
I'm seeing people point out the dolls' faces look like that because it's mattel's classic style... problem is that style is still inherently eurocentric and contributes to erasure of asian features in popular media😬 https://t.co/1lVsYCj59c
— [17's kyle] keyland refugee ʘ‿ʘ (@95LINE_twt) March 26, 2019
ARMY also found itself comparing Mattel's line to other higher-end doll brands. (The BTS line is actually at a relatively low price point.)
SK telecom really did a better job than Mattel. I'm disappointed pic.twitter.com/znDdSrW6CS
— yoongles (@meanyoongi0309) March 26, 2019
— BTS_is_coming (@Vante_Kimmy) March 26, 2019
Despite a general sense of disappointment, many fans acknowledged that simply choosing to make likenesses of BTS in the first place is a huge deal and really shows the impact of K-pop's popularity.
You either like them or you don't. You'll buy them or you won't. At the end of the day, I still give @Mattel major props for recognizing @BTS_twt's star power enough to make them into dolls. A+ for effort Mattel! I still appreciate it! 💜
— the psych perspective 💡 (@voixdefleur) March 26, 2019
can we give mattel props for putting eyeshadow on the dolls? i’m pretty sure this is the first time they have done that on male dolls and that’s a big step towards the end of toxic masculinity #BTSxMattel #BTSDollsOfficial pic.twitter.com/V4YfhzEZHv
— BTS AT ROSE BOWL (@velvctjeon) March 26, 2019
we should all be blessed that:
1. they actually look semi like themselves
2. they didn't give them molded hair
3. none of their clothes are printed on
— nicole // SPEAK YRSELF...OR ELSE 🔫 (@wavehavens) 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
— BTS US ARMY x 50 States (@BTSx50States) March 26, 2019
Toy companies are no strangers to recreating boy bands in miniature form, and it hasn't always gone well. Let us never forget the great Hasbro One Direction doll tragedy.
To all the ARMY who are unhappy with the @Mattel dolls. IMO they are pretty well done. These are gonna be mass produced! Cut them a little slack, they do look like the members.
If it helps, heres a pic of One Directions dolls 😂#BTSxMattel #BTS pic.twitter.com/fanTYHvrNb
— Ellie Grey (@Lady_Bismuth) March 26, 2019
Whatever you think of Mattel's efforts with the BTS dolls, it's undeniable that this is an important moment in both boy band and doll history.
Now if only we could get that Harry Styles doll to stop haunting our nightmares...