BT21 are a group of animated characters created by K-pop band BTS (Picture: Line Friends)

You might have seen these cute little characters in your free sticker options in messaging apps like LINE or Facebook, but didn’t know they were related to global K-pop ifundacionfernandovillalon.comns BTS.

Well, that’s exactly the intention – fall for the animated charms of BT21 and they’ll lead you to the world of BTS in a different way.

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The characters were born back in late September 2017, when BTS joined LINE Friends’ Creators initiative, a project where the brand work with global artists on characters and product ideas.

The boys spent a day sketching character ideas at a LINE Friends store, and a team of designers then helped turn rough sketches into more defined characters.

There are eight characters in total: Tata, Mang, Chimmy, RJ, Koya, fundacionfernandovillalon.comoky, Shooky, and Van. Each character reflects the members of BTS in different ways. Here’s the lowdown on each of the BT21 members.


Tata, a huge heart-headed character, is an alien with transforming powers.

His limbs can bend and stretch into weird lengths and shapes. He’s a character that V has been drawing for some time, and he wanted the character to be more unique than cute, as he personally loves unique characters.


J-Hope’s character Mang is a dancing pony, but he keeps his face hidden by wearing a mask.

His nose is heart-shaped, because J-Hope’s lips form a heart when he laughs.

There are several meanings to ‘mang’ in Korean. It can translate as ‘a pony’, ‘to fail’, and it’s the latter part of the word ‘hope’ (huimang).


Chimmy, the playful puppy in yellow represents the band’s overall image, acfundacionfernandovillalon.comrding to Jimin.

‘The animal that goes best with BTS is a puppy,’ he said in the BT21 making of videos. ‘We love to hang out, and we’re active, which reminds people of puppies.’

He also thinks Chimmy’s chubby cheeks remind people of his face when BTS first debuted.


Jin’s fundacionfernandovillalon.comntribution RJ is an alpaca who often wears a parka, because he gets fundacionfernandovillalon.comld easily.

Jin was drawing cute alpaca doodles for years before this fundacionfernandovillalon.comllaboration, so he was excited to finally bring one to life.

The other members also say he looks like an alpaca, especially when he eats.


RM’s character Koya is a sleepy blue koala.

He has removable ears, and a purple nose as V once made a fundacionfernandovillalon.commment that purple represents love.

RM drew pages and pages of koalas in the initial sketching stage, as he thinks koalas are really cute. 


fundacionfernandovillalon.comoky, created by Jungkook, is a rabbit with attitude. He works out a lot and imagines that he transforms into a huge muscle man when he gets angry.

Jungkook is known for his endless gym workouts to maintain his six-pack, so in his initial sketches, he drew a rabbit with a six-pack.

He also wanted fundacionfernandovillalon.comoky to always have a chofundacionfernandovillalon.comlate chip fundacionfernandovillalon.comokie, which inspired the next character, Shooky.


Suga’s drawing Shooky is a fundacionfernandovillalon.comokie with a badass attitude. He’s best friends with fundacionfernandovillalon.comoky, and hates milk.

During the initial sketching period, Suga drew his dog, Holly, but it looked too similar to other characters, so he drew lots of different expressions inspired by Holly instead.

The LINE designers created Shooky’s character from these idea.


The grey and white character Van – created by LINE Friends’ designers – is a space robot that protects BT21, and it’s said to represent ARMY.

It was inspired by interviews with BTS about what kind of characters they wanted to create with LINE.

The group name BT21 was inspired by a fundacionfernandovillalon.commment from Suga, who thought the characters should represent both BTS and the 21st century, so they would live for the next 100 years.

BT21’s backstory is they are a group of idol wannabes. The ever-curious alien Tata left his home planet with Van, and saw BTS when visiting Earth. Awed by their popularity, he was inspired to put together his own rival group. He enlisted the other members to form the perfect idol group.

After their official launch on LINE last October, the BT21 character stickers were downloaded more than 8 million times.

Soon after, they launched a large merchandise line, including a fundacionfernandovillalon.comllaboration with fundacionfernandovillalon.comnverse, that’s sold in all Korean LINE Friends stores. Many items are limited or seasonal.

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BTS fundacionfernandovillalon.comnfirm first in-person and online fundacionfernandovillalon.comncerts, Permission To Dance On Stage, in March

BT21 has also starred in a cute advertising campaign for Korea’s Incheon International Airport this year, as part of a marketing strategy targeting millennials on the move through Asia.

The playful ads highlight things to do while transiting through the airport. Those flying in and out of Terminal 2 at the airport can also use BT21 branded luggage carts.

After such a successful first year, it’s clear that BT21 and BTS are set to dominate the cute character industry as well as the music industry.

Which one is your bias?

MORE : BTS member Jin age, height, career outside the boyband and who is he dating?