If you're curious about the colorful and captivating universe of BT21 characters, you're in for a treat! In this upcoming blog series, we'll embark on an exciting journey to explore the enchanting realm of BT21. These lovable characters have taken the world by storm, capturing the hearts of fans young and old. From their origins and unique personalities to the creative minds behind their creation, we'll delve deep into everything BT21 has to offer.
So, get ready to meet characters like TATA, CHIMMY, RJ, KOYA, COOKY, MANG, and SHOOKY in this enchanting adventure. We'll uncover their backstories, their role in the entertainment world, and the merchandise they've inspired. Whether you're a die-hard BT21 enthusiast or just curious to learn more, our blog will be your ultimate guide to all things BT21.
How BT21 Were Born
BT21 were introduced to ARMYs in October 2017. This was a collaboration between BTS and LINE FRIENDS. The company had already produced the characters Brown & Friends, which included Cony, Moon, James, and Brown.
Image Credits: LINE FRIENDS via Instagram
To show LINE FRIENDS’ global popularity, a new project was formed called FRIENDS CREATORS, with BTS its first designers. They drew sketches and came up with ideas for eight characters modeled after themselves and their fans, ARMY.
Now, you’re probably wondering: what does BT21 mean? Well, it’s an amalgamation of the boy group’s name and the 21st century, reflecting the members’ hope that they'll live on in the next 100 years.
Image Credits: BT21 via Instagram
As you might expect, fans loved the charming characters. BT21 merch started selling out, and many ARMYs subscribed to BT21’s YouTube channel. (Keep on reading to learn more!)
There’s also an online puzzle game, PUZZLE STAR BT21, where people can play as BTS’ characters and learn more about their story.
Finally, we can’t forget the collabs that BT21 have done with various chains and companies. In February 2023, for example, McDonald’s in Korea released a special meal that included BT21 characters. Watch our unboxing video here!
Image Credits: Seoulbox via YouTube
BT21: Meeting the UNISTARS One on One
BT21 are superstars - no, UNISTARS - brought together by Crown Prince TATA to spread love. In between their intergalactic adventures, the members goof around, make mistakes, and showcase their endearing personalities.
Without further delays, let's look at each of the members.
Image Credits: Moody Bubbles via Pinterest
The “Gifted sleepyhead” and leader of BT21. This cute koala looks like they’re dreaming all the time, but they’re also intelligent and very thoughtful. The droopy eyes probably mean KOYA is thinking about very serious things. They open wide, and Koya’s ears fall off, when the koala is shocked!
Image Credits: mochi via Pinterest
What three words describe this alpaca? “Kind, loving, foodie.” They love to cook and eat, but they're also compassionate and gentle, warming everyone with their heart (and fur). RJ is the most sought-after BT21 character, selling out the fastest out of all eight.
Image Credits: Courtesy of Pinterest
Next up is this prankster. SHOOKY was created by baker (and gingerbread man) MUSTASHU, later coming to life and joining BT21. They like to play pranks on their fellow members. What they don’t like is milk.
Image Credits: Elena via Pinterest
BT21's "expressive faced” dancing machine. For a long time, MANG’s face was covered by a horse mask. But after J-hope enlisted in April 2023, BT21 released a video showing the character reveal their identity: an adorable chipmunk. MANG looks cheerful but hides a melancholic personality.
Image Credits: GUWOL via Pandora Saito on Pinterest
This puppy is “pure-at-heart” and very passionate. If a new activity catches CHIMMY's attention, they’ll work hard to master it. They also like playing the harmonica.
Image Credits: Simranjeet kaur via Pinterest
The Crown Prince of Planet BT and the one who brought BT21 together. A super-powered heart with a very stretchy body, TATA is also curious about everything.
Image Credits: Аня via Pinterest
We had SHOOKY, now here’s COOKY. This energetic bunny wants to be strong and works out to get muscles (or, to quote the BT21 website, “hearty rumps”). They’re also loyal, making them the perfect friend.
Image Credits: chihiro via Pinterest
Last but not least, BT21’s guardian space robot. VAN knows everything about the universe, no, the galaxy. It accompanies TATA to Earth to help achieve their mission. It represents ARMY and everyone who supports BTS.
BT21 also have alter egos or rivals called AT21. They cause trouble by spreading rumors about BT21.
Leading AT21 is MOYA, a sloppy, arrogant, and conniving koala.
Then there’s DJ, a cranky and sensitive alpaca who pops up when RJ gets dirty.
SHOOKY’s rival is SPOOKY. They blame SHOOKY for leaving them too long in the oven, half-burning them.
Next is GWANG, a unicorn who is jealous of MANG’s superior dance skills and number of fans.
CHIEF speaks bluntly, offending other characters and hurting their feelings. His tough personality hides a lonely soul yearning for friends.
TUTU is TATA’s brother. He hates TATA for leaving Planet BT and breaking their family's hearts.
The last member of the group. A bunny with terrifying powers, IAN used to be COOKY’s close friend. Unfortunately, they disappeared after a boxing match turned tragic.
VAN has no alter ego or rival in AT21.
A Deep Dive into the BT21 Channel
As we mentioned earlier, BT21 also have their own YouTube channel. And there’s so much content available for fans of these BTS characters to enjoy.
First, let’s start with the “BT21 STORY” playlist. There are currently 69 of these videos, ranging from funny clips to emotional backstories.
For their fifth anniversary, BT21 released “Would You” on December 22, 2022. The cute and colorful video showcases each member's unique personality, while the lyrics introduce each character and ask listeners if they want to be BT21’s friend.
Other videos on the channel include ASMR, livestreams, tutorials, and even fan submissions. They show that BT21 aren’t just cartoon characters pretending to be real artists. They interact with ARMYs almost to the same extent as BTS themselves.
If you want to go more in-depth behind the characters, then check out the “BT21 UNIVERSE” playlist. Here, you’ll see BTS bring BT21 to life. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to draw your very own characters!
BT21 vs. Tiny Tan
BT21 aren’t the only BTS characters. TinyTAN launched in October 2019. They were part of the exclusive merch for the BTS Pop-Up: House of BTS, but they’ve since evolved from merch items into their own group.
Unlike the anthropomorphic BT21, TinyTAN are chibi versions of the members, wearing outfits from past music videos like “IDOL, “Mic Drop,” and “Dynamite.”
Image Credits: TinyTan via Instagram
TinyTAN have appeared in their own music videos, including a clip of “Dynamite,” “Magic Door” (which includes “Mic Drop”), and “Dream ON” (which includes “00:00,” below).
Like BT21, TinyTAN can be found on different kinds of merch, from keychains to stickers to even plasters. They don’t have their own channel like BT21, but they’re just as iconic (and adorable).
Seoulbox: Merch, Snacks, and More!
We’ve included several BT21 merch items in our past Seoulboxes. For this month's Han River Picnic box, you can get one of the BT21 plushies.
Each of the snack boxes – Signature and V (Vegetarian) – are available through our website. Select the type and frequency of the box and enter your address and payment details. All you have to do now is wait for your box to arrive!
Image Credits: Seoulbox via Instagram
Whether you’re a new ARMY or have been stanning them since the beginning, BT21 is there to help make your journey brighter. Which character is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!