Are you a fan of Ryan? or Brown? Or do you have any idea who they are?
Until very recently the most popular Korean souvenirs were traditional Korean masks, tea, folding fans or porcelain jars. However, things have been changed. Korea has seen a boom in the character market in recent years. This trend has been led by two mobile app companies: Line and Kakao.
Line, a mobile messenger developed by a Japanese subsidiary of Korea’s internet search company Naver, started character merchandising business in 2011. Then, a year later Kakao followed the competitor. The characters created by these two mobile messenger apps have attracted countless fans around the world, particularly, teenagers and young adults who are heavy messenger users.
Both Line and Kakao operate merchandising shops across Korea and around the globe. Kakao has two flagship stores and Line has four flagship stores in Seoul. These shops have now become a must-visit for tourist.
LINE friends or the characters are more attached to the daily lives. The most representative ones such as Brown (the bear), Cony (the rabbit) and Moon (the white guy) are known for their expressions of trivial situation that could happen in any one’s daily life and that’s why LINE gained its presence in Japan.
Kakao Friends or characters present more emotions than the LINE characters. There are six main characters (seven including the little ‘con’) and some of them are in couple catering to the love birds as well.KAKAO FRIENDS Jordy Sandwich Maker