bts funko figures
From cute figurines to an anthology album, browse official BTS merchandise on every fan's wish list. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Throw these three letters into the air, and a good number of heads will turn in instant recognition.

The septet South Korean boy band BTS (also known as Bangtan Sonyeondan) has captured hearts around the world for years, with hits like 'Dynamite' and 'Butter' colouring our local radio stations. There's no denying that catchy tunes and profound personalities have made the K-pop group a household name, which is probably why you're here.

Whether you're embarking on a path to become an Army (as BTS fans are called) or have a Bangtan-obsessed sibling or friend, we've gathered the best merchandise to shop, below. A Dubai-based Army helps us break down the do's and don'ts of picking up fan collectibles.

Which BTS merchandise should I look for?

bts bt21 plushie
Most fans are avid collectors of the BT21 character goods, available in pencil pouches, plushies, thermal bottles, phone cases and more. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Rachel Anne Granada, a student at the Canadian University Dubai and member of K-pop dance crew Prism, is a proud owner of Suga's sold-out guitar pick necklace, among other merch. To Granada, goods designed by the artists themselves hold a special place in her heart and on her desk.

"I've been an Army since 2016. I like collecting merch, besides watching videos online, because I get to keep things in my hands that relate to BTS - it helps me feel closer to them. It also shows that I support them," she said.

Gifts for veteran fans

If you're shopping for a 'veteran' fan, they might enjoy a nostalgic trip down memory lane. One of Granada's recent purchases takes a deep dive into the band's journey since debut, commemorating their 10th anniversary. "The book 'Beyond the Story' reveals hidden thoughts of the members and struggles that even old Armys didn't know about," she said.

Gifts for new fans

Those who have just started to curate their BTS playlist, will eye the only two pieces of official merchandise as their ticket to the fandom: lightstick and albums.

"I think the number-one must-have for a new Army is the latest lightstick. If there's ever a concert, a lightstick is a necessity since it brings the experience to the next level. You can even use it for online concerts, birthday events and such," explained Granada.

Given BTS' extensive Korean and Japanese discography, including solo releases, purchasing every physical album can be a costly affair. The best practice would be to cherry-pick and shop for your favourite titles, instead, says Granada.

Gifts for fellow friends

The BTS fan has an endless variety of miscellaneous collectibles to choose from - name anything, and it probably features a purple-themed BTS edition somewhere in the range. From facial sheet masks to even a McDonald's meal, the boy group's list of brand collaborations is a long one.

"For an Army friend, I'd pick something functional that they can bring with them anywhere. I'd gift them cute stationery, plushies and make-up from the BT21 project. These are cartoon characters that the BTS members designed in collaboration with Line Friends," she added.

K-pop goods, especially official stock, come with a hefty shipping fee for the international fan. Getting a hand on albums, photobooks and tour merch involves a lot of planning by the local community, who liaise group orders directly from Korea.

Thankfully, several stores on Amazon offer fans a decent collection, many of which can be bought via Prime with no delivery fee.

1. Best Overall: Dreamus BTS Official Lightstick Map of The Soul Special Edition

Not all lightsticks are built the same - some are rare and absolutely display-worthy. Check out a special edition of the official Army Bomb lightstick, released to commemorate BTS' 'Map of the Soul' album series and tour. It connects to an app via Bluetooth, letting fans pick the colour of light they want, while a dedicated concert mode syncs with the venue's lighting console. Other freebies inside include seven photocards, as well as a dust bag and a strap to keep the lightstick safe. Dreamus, the seller, also promises a transparent BTS photocard selected at random.

Bonus: Get an extra 10 per cent off with Citibank cards, when you enter code 'CB10SEP' at checkout.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh29 and two years for Dh41.

2. Best Latest Album: BTS Proof Anthology Album (Standard Edition)

Your choice of album will ultimately depend on personal taste, but if you're looking to stock the shelf with the latest BTS volume, pick up their first-ever anthology 'Proof' (2022). It's a three-disc mammoth featuring previously released singles, the members' favourites, exclusive demos and new tracks. Granada owns the anthology and loves that the included photobook pays homage to past album concepts. "The best part is that you get a set of photocards of all seven members, when you usually get one in albums," she added. Our pick is the standard edition, complete with the lyrics book, postcard and poster. BTS fans in the reviews say the album arrived in pristine condition, and comes at a great value, compared to store prices. Your purchase will count towards the Hanteo and Gaon album charts in Korea.

Bonus: Get an extra 10 per cent off with Citibank cards, when you enter code 'CB10SEP' at checkout.

3. Best Book: Beyond the Story: 10-Year Record of BTS (Hardcover)

Penned by K-pop critic Myeongseok Kang, the 'Beyond the Story: 10-Year Record of BTS' (2023) marks the band's first official book. Kang's in-depth coverage of three years gives fans an exciting glimpse into BTS' one-on-one interviews and major milestones over the past decade. It's an encyclopedia of the group's career, with pages listing tracklists of all previous albums and unreleased photos, as well as 330 QR codes that take the readers to music videos, trailers and more. The volume spans seven chronological chapters, starting from the band's pre-debut era. Reviewers say the book is a must-have for all Armys, while those who are super-fans find the hidden stories exceptionally invaluable.

Bonus: Get an extra 10 per cent off with Citibank cards, when you enter code 'CB10SEP' at checkout.

4. Best Stationery: BT21 Pencil Case, Cooky Pink

Surprise a student with a BT21 pencil pouch, this back-to-school season. Modelled after the band's individual mascots, the plush pencil case has a single zip closure, tagged with the official BT21 logo. It's spacious enough to store make-up supplies as well, note reviews. Others say the compartment easily holds a lot of pens for school. Since it's sold by a licensed manufacturer, all is clear on the quality front. Pick from seven different designs.

5. Best Make-Up: The Crème Shop x BT21: Universtar Pop Eyeshadow Palette

Granada points out The Creme Shop x BT21 collaboration for all your BTS beauty needs. Here's the Universtar Pop eyeshadow palette with nine velvety shades, consisting of matte, shimmer and glitter finishes. The colours range from pale beige to glittery purple, so it's the perfect palette for day-to-night glam. Better yet, the formula is cruelty- and sulfate-free. Reviewers find the shadows highly pigmented and comment on the travel-friendly size. Check out other trending Korean make-up and skincare items.

6. Best Figurines: Funko BTS Vinyl Figure, 7 Pack

Get mini versions of the band members in their 'Butter' ensemble, ready to belt out their hit track on your bookshelf. Funko Pop! vinyl figurines of the septet are 9.5cm tall, made to withstand daily wear for prolonged displays. Fans will love the attention to detail in the design, from accessories to hairstyles, which aptly mark the musical era. If you'd like to carry them with you on bags or keys, shop for the Funko keychains, instead.

Bonus: Get an extra 10 per cent off with Citibank cards, when you enter code 'CB10SEP' at checkout.

7. Best Case: BT21 Airpods 3rd Generation Case Cover, TATA

When you jam along to your BTS playlist, let the world know, with this BT21 Apple AirPods case cover. Designed to fit the latest third generation of AirPods, the cover is made from hard polycarbonate material that flattens out at the bottom for standing. If you charge your device wirelessly, then there's no need to remove the cover before refueling your pair, as it works with most Qi-compatible chargers. It even includes a keychain to keep the device on you at all times. Reviewers praise the quality of the hard case, adding that it's anti-shock for extra protection. Take your pick from the seven characters.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.