Nov 21, 2013

My Lists: 11 Hallyu-related merchandise in my growing collection

I probably own more Hallyu-related merchandise than I'd care to admit, and I've probably spent way more on these things than I should have... It is an addiction that is hard to quit, but I comfort myself in the fact that at least it's not, you know, drugs and alcohol. Ha.

Just walking around Seoul - or almost any Asian city, for that matter - will bring you face to face with a whole lot of merchandise being endorsed by Hallyu stars. Even in my own city, 4 hours away from the K-Pop capital, you will see local and Korean brands alike being endorsed by these celebrities almost everywhere. In almost every mall, there will be an Etude House and a Face Shop outlet. Nature Republic and Tony Moly are everywhere as well. We have Caffe Bene and Hollys Coffee and Tous Les Jours. You'll find Shin Min-ah and So Ji-sub on huge billboard advertisements for Giordano along almost every major highway. 2PM's Nichkhun can be found on Bench billboards. Super Junior's Donghae and Siwon, alongside Lee Min-ho, are also endorsers of Bench. They're everywhere.

So, is it any surprise that my own bedroom is filled with stuff that bare the faces of these celebrities? Or, perhaps, that I own things because of its connection to a certain popstar? Well, let me count the ways... of my growing insanity.

1. JYJ/DBSK Posters - I have a friend who gives me these things, I swear. She was nice enough to let me have her DBSK Mirotic poster and to gift me with the NII JYJ poster she got from her last trip to Seoul.

2. SHINee Mouse Pad - This was free too! I got this from Etude House as a free gift for spending so much in their store. I still haven't found use for it but, you know, it's kinda nice opening my closet to find the boys of SHINee smiling brightly at me.

3. Super Show 5 Bag Tag - Again, this was free. I swear it! The tag came for free along with my concert ticket to see Super Junior's Super Show 5.

4. Random Big Bang Memorabilia - I'm starting to feel real good about myself, because again, most of these were free. The Big Bang collection cards and the Big Bang photo was given to me by the same friend who gave me the posters above. The G-Dragon bookmark I got for free off a shelf of free merchandise at Lotte Cinema in Vietnam. The only thing here I actually paid for was the Big Bang concert ticket. Ha.

5. Jang Geun-suk Notepad - I probably should be embarrassed to admit that this was one of the very first things I bought in Seoul on my first visit there about 2 years ago. It was our first day in the city and I found a store in one of the subway stations selling K-Pop stuff and I bought this and a CNBLUE one (that I brought home for my sister).

6. Miniature Pig-Rabbit - I was addicted to the drama You're Beautiful. So when I found out that an actual-sized Pig-Rabbit was ridiculously expensive for a stuffed doll, I found this miniature one (the kind you hang from your cellphone or bag) and bought it for a very small fraction of the real doll's price.

7. Baby Radish Doll - I don't even know what to do with this doll but I was in love with the drama Rooftop Prince and wanted my own Yi Gak. While it is beyond impossible to have your own Yoochun, the Radish Doll was quite easy to buy. Ha.

8. Fake Elstinko Cap - Many K-Pop stars wear Elstinko snapbacks but the person who stands out in my mind whenever I remember these caps is actress Song Ji-hyo from variety show Running Man. Both she and Haha wear these caps all the time. I can't afford actual Elstinko, but this was a very cheap knock off I got from a market in Vietnam.

9. Beauty Products  - Whether it's Jang Geun-suk for Nature Republic, SHINee for Etude House, Kim Hyun-joong for The Face Shop, JYJ for Tony Moly... I'm there. I love Korean-branded beauty products and I'm thankful that they're really affordable. I once dropped ₩100,000 (roughly $100) at an Etude House branch in Myeong-dong and came out with a ginormous shopping bag. That was last year, and I still have unopened products in my closet.

10. Big Bang's Alive EP - I actually had my friend buy this for me in Seoul last year because they didn't have it here at that time and I had to have it ASAP. Sure, the metal casing is now rusted.... But it's still kinda awesome. The album itself is awesome.

11. G-Dragon's One Of A Kind EP - I was in Seoul towards the end of last year and found this awesome store in Myeong-dong that sold all these K-Pop stuff. My sister ended up buying a CNBLUE album and some Big Bang socks (T.O.P and Daesung). I bought this G-Dragon mini-album, as well as some Big Bang socks (T.O.P and G-Dragon). We ended up getting some free cellphone charms because of our purchases.

I've been a K-Drama fan much longer than I've been a K-Pop fan, but look at all these crap I've managed to amass in the past 2 years. Good lord, can you imagine me 5 years from now? Aigoo.


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