Usually when a K-Pop artist releases new merch, fans get excited to see what kind of fun designs and products will be available for them to purchase to show support for their faves. However, the most recent sneak peek of aespa‘s alleged new merch has been met with disappointment by many.
Given the group’s complex lore that involves their AI counterparts and other sci-fi/futuristic aesthetics, one would probably expect their merch to be designed similarly. However, they seem to be going for more of a Y2K route with their new character designs, and while that genre is popular right now, it’s not what aespa is known for.
These are the four characters for the group’s new merch, named Jjiminyong, Dduddaenyong, Winiring, and Mingmingie for Karina, Giselle, Winter, and NingNing respectively.
There were a few people on social media who seem to like the designs and find them cute and whimsical, which seems to be what the label was going for.
— audi’s (@aeloveyu_) August 20, 2023
aespa’s doll characters name:
Ningning🦋: Mingmingie pic.twitter.com/aD3pPpKaMp
— karina’s wife (@ujiminphoria) August 20, 2023
omg what are these will these be the official aespa dolls SO CUTE pic.twitter.com/PMyDyf2nhM
— Sunshine (@sunshine_080507) August 21, 2023
However, a post was made on an online forum that called the designs “tacky”, claiming that they look like they came from the 1990’s and are “freaking outdated”. They questioned why SM Entertainment didn’t collaborate with Sanrio or something instead to make more modern designs that better suit aespa’s style.
Comments on the post are, for the most part, in agreement with the author, though there are still some who do like the designs. Others compared them to the highly popular BT21 designs that BTS are known for.
There haven’t been any concrete examples of what the new merch will look like yet or what form they’ll take, so maybe the designs will become more appealing to fans once more information is released!