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In the wake of BTS members’ recently-launched Artist-Made collections selling out in seconds, here are other times the K-pop superstars caused unintentional buying frenzies

If you’re unaware of the power of BTS and its army of fans, we’ll get you up to speed now.

Jin’s Good Day and Bad Day pyjamas, which were released as part of the new Artist-Made collections conceptualised and designed by each BTS member? Sold out in minutes, despite concerns about it being too expensive (at US$110 per set, even Jin himself was surprised at the high price). The Boston bag designed by V? Gone in one second. Similarly, RM’s windchimes and Suga’s guitar pick necklace were sold out even before Armys (what BTS fans are called) could add to cart. We’re sure that when Jimin, J-Hope and Jung-kook’s collections launch in the next few days and weeks, the bloodbath to own a small piece of the Bangtan boys will be as real.

Of course, the sale (and selling out) of these items are intentional, as are products from brands endorsed by BTS, such as Samsung, Hyundai and Louis Vuitton (remember when RM caused that US$1,330 Louis Vuitton carrot pouch to sell out after posting a selfie with it in the background?). But there have also been plenty of times when BTS members have caused items to fly off the shelves without meaning to, such as when they’re spotted wearing or using certain products in their livestream videos or Run BTS variety show. Basically, a mere association with BTS, no matter how tenuous, is enough to cause products to be completely wiped out by fans, as Armys are willing to buy anything to feel closer to their idols. Now that’s power.

BTS members have unintentionally caused everything from kombucha tea and sandwiches to earrings, bags and sunglasses to sell out. Here are just some of the products that have sold like hot cakes thanks to the world’s most popular band.

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1. When Jung-kook created a fabric softener shortage

In 2019, BTS’s “golden maknae” (or youngest member) demonstrated his golden touch when he mentioned in a fan chat that his fabric softener of choice was a particular one from Downy. Almost immediately, Armys bought up Downy fabric softener by the truckloads, causing a shortage in South Korea. Hilariously, even JK himself couldn’t buy his favourite laundry product. Thanks to this, BTS ended up collaborating with Downy to launch the Downy x BT21 fabric softener, which, of course, quickly sold out.

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2. When Jimin caused a checked robe to sell out

Last year, Jimin wore a striking striped robe on an episode of Run BTS, and hours later, the Check Tower Robe from Korean clothing label 1993 Studio was sold out in all sizes. Kudos to the BTS boys for often favouring items that are unisex—this long shirt/robe looks great on anyone.

Read more: 5 Times BTS’ Jimin Broke Gender Norms

3. When V gave this handmade bracelet brand a new lease of life

While he loves his designer gear (every Louis Vuitton item he sports sells out), V also supports smaller independent brands, and when he was spotted wearing hand-braided bracelets in various styles, the brand, Ccnmade, quickly received more orders than it could handle. The best thing is that this Korean accessories company donates part of its proceeds to those in need, supporting animal charities and helping children with heart disease.

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4. When Jin caused a surge in the popularity of dog toys shaped like sea creatures

This one is weird but true. Remember when Jin dropped a surprise song and video on his birthday in December last year called Super Tuna, which quickly went viral for its fishing dance moves and hilarious lyrics? Well, eagle-eyed fans identified the cute sea creature sewn onto the outfits of Jin and his fellow dancers as dog toys, from a brand called Bark available at American department store chain Target. We’re guessing his costume people made a quick stop at Target, grabbed the three nautical toys—a whale, a squid and a stingray—and stuck it on Jin and gang. And Armys, whether they have pups or not, are lapping up the toys. A marketing dream comes true.

5. When Suga wearing a pink hoodie made everyone want a pink hoodie

In 2020, BTS appeared in a video to offer words of comfort and to cheer people on during the pandemic, and Suga in particular stood out for his brightly-coloured hoodie from Korean clothing label I Am Not A Human Being. The hoodie was actually a gift from a fan, and thanks to Suga’s unofficial endorsement, the hoodie sold out immediately on the brand’s website.

6. When this Obey tee worn by J-Hope suddenly flew off the virtual shelves.

When the teaser pics of BTS’s Dynamite dropped in 2020, J-Hope wore a striking black tee from streetwear brand Obey. Fans flocked to cart out the clothing item, called Big Shot T-shirt, and it was soon sold out. There are apparently knockoffs available online, as the shirt is still in demand today.

7. When RM resurrected an out-of-print book

What’s even more powerful than selling out merch, whether you’re paid to endorse it or not? Bringing a product back from the dead. Last year, avid reader RM was seen eating noodles in a video with a book next to him. The book, Early Death, is about Korean artists who died at a young age, and has been out-of-print for more than a decade. But within days of the video, Armys turned the book into a bestseller, as they petitioned the book’s publisher to reinstate the tome, so they could get their hands on what BTS leader RM was reading, and sneak a peek into his brain. As a result, Early Death was reprinted for the first time in 18 years, and made the bestseller list. Amazing. 

Read more: 7 Korean Celebrities Who are Really Brainy, Including BTS’ RM and Song Joong-Ki

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