February 21, 2023
The BTS band members are working on a new and untested collaboration these days. A deal with Danish toymaker LEGO A/S—announced on Thursday, February 16—will put the K-Pop sensations’ historically strong influence and marketability to the test, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Indeed, LEGO is joining forces with the South Korean band on a so-called BTS Dynamite set. It features blocks that replicate some scenes from the group’s music video for the hit song “Dynamite,” including a doughnut shop, record store, basketball court, and stage. Geared toward adults—at an adult price of nearly US$140—the set includes miniature figures of the seven members and has a mechanism that allows them to move in sync when they’re positioned on the stage.
The LEGO deal marks one of BTS’s first major collaborations since it announced last year that its members would be taking time away from each other to release solo music. It also comes as band member Jin in December became the first of the group to start serving a mandatory 18 months in the South Korean Army. The enlistment of the other six members looms and the band isn’t expected to reunite until 2025.
Some BTS fans, commonly referred to as the BTS Army, can’t seem to get enough of the new collaboration. “When I heard about the news, I could not stop smiling,” said Rebecca Takacs, a 22-year-old fan from Seattle. She said she plans to go to her local mall’s LEGO Store on March 1, the day the set comes out. “I have the release date written down in my planner,” she said.
Last year, BTS accounted for about two-thirds of the revenue of its management agency, Hybe. When BTS announced its break in June, shares in the company dropped nearly 25%.
Hybe has made efforts to diversify its revenue sources by growing its artist roster, most notably through its acquisition of Ithaca Holdings the management company behind Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. The agency also has launched a tender offer to buy one-quarter of one of its biggest rivals, SM Entertainment.
But BTS remains crucial to Hybe’s success. The LEGO collaboration will test if BTS’s brand-licensing deals can prove fruitful for Hybe, even without BTS around to promote them as a group.
Hybe didn’t respond to a request for comment Friday. A LEGO representative didn’t immediately comment.
Research contact: @WSJ