Sometimes, you just have to do what you know. And apparently, what I know is spending way too much time thinking about BTS merchandise. With the launch of the pop-up store House of BTS in Seoul, Mattel created another line of dolls inspired by those precocious Bangtan Boys. Instead of dumpster fires … I mean, Barbie-esque fashion dolls, the new bunch are chibi versions. And boy, are these an improvement over the last batch.
Like the fashion dolls, the mini dolls are sporting looks inspired by the “Idol” music video. Unlike the fashion dolls, these are just supposed to be cute, and they deliver. Mattel calls them “adorable and portable,” which is great. I’m always looking for 3-inch plastic figures I can carry with me wherever I go. But which one is the cutest? It’s a question that must be answered!
If you’ve been keeping up with The Great British Baking Show, then you’ve been blessed with the phrase “sophisticated toddler.” (I miss you Henry!) The tie, the blazer, the arm held awkwardly akimbo—Jin is the epitome of toddler sophistication. Is it cute? You bet it is. Is it the cutest? Obviously not, it’s ranked seventh. It’s just a little boring and not super recognizably Jin. I get that these aren’t meant to be accurate likenesses of the guys, but there should be something of their personalities in here. Why isn’t this little dude blowing a kiss? A wasted opportunity if you ask me.
Kookie seems to be saying, “Back off, I had the best fashion doll, and the top spot is mine for the chibi version, too!” Well, he’s wrong. There is a lot that works about this doll. (Side note: Does anyone else feel weird calling them dolls? They just seem to be plastic figures to me. But then again, what exactly is the definition of a doll anyway?) The pink hair, the cute stance, the fact that the shirt says “JK.” It’s all, *chef’s kiss.* But there’s just something about the face that isn’t working for me. The eyes are a little crazy, and I get the feeling that the doll is a little jerk.
It’s cute, but what exactly is going on here? With legs shoulder-width apart and arms held slightly away from his body, Suga looks like he’s about to take part in the most adorable, Old West gunfight ever. Maybe there is some super obvious explanation for this stance that I’m just not aware of, but it strikes me as odd. Like with Jin, it also feels disconnected from Suga’s personality. Precious but plain.
This will probably be my most contentious ranking. This thing is super cute. I mean look at that way it’s sitting with the little legs all splayed. And oh my God, it’s winking. Plus, that boxy smile is recognizably V. It’s a slam dunk, right? Well, not quite. This doll is just trying too hard to be just the most precious thing ever. There’s just too much cute going on for it to work in an organic way.
RM succeeds where the V doll trips up. There is nothing too over-the-top cutesy happening. The doll just has a sweet smile and simple pose. Highly effective and just so gosh darn cute.
Jimin looks like he’s accusing me of a crime but with really low energy. It’s like the doll is saying, “She’s right over there officers. Boy, do I need a nap.” But sleepy things are often cute things, so it works. Plus, look at the little, puffy sleeves. So precious! Jimin is objectively the cutest member of BTS, so there was no way a chibi version of him could totally fail. He’s basically a little cartoon of an idol in reality. But why is it the only doll not smiling? And what is it pointing at? Such a mysterious little guy.
Look at this thing. Whenever I see it, I reflexively go “awwww.” I don’t even have words for how adorable it is. Hands down, J-Hope’s the cutest.