KQ Entertainment Is Accused Of Plagiarizing Stray Kids’ Merch, Leading To Debate

Some have reacted completely opposite.

KQ Entertainment is being accused of plagiarizing one of Stray Kids‘ most identifiable merchandise items.

Stray Kids | JYP Entertainment

After “God’s Menu” was released in 2021, JYP Entertainment released a music video featuring cartoon characters. These characters, called SKZOO, were designated to each member based on their characteristics.

Since then, SKZOO have become the official mascots of the group, with multiple merchandise items featuring the characters being released, including different-sized plushies. JYP Entertainment even created clothing specifically designed for these plush figures. 

| JYP Enrtertainment
Stray Kids’ Bang Chan with his SKZOO character, Wolf Chan.

 

Now, KQ Entertainment has been accused of plagiarizing SKZOOs by introducing ATEEZ‘s own animal-based characters.

On January 29, ATEEZ’s official X account posted a mysterious teaser featuring eight blacked-out figures, revealing profile photos of ANITEEZ, ATEEZ’s animal characters, around two hours later.

| KQ Entertainment

Fans reacted with a lot of excitement over the cute characters, thinking about all of the possibilities for future content and merch.

However, some netizens felt ANITEEZ too closely resembled SKZOO and their concept.

On the other hand, some have stated that having animal-representative characters is not a new concept and has existed for more than a decade, citing other characters, including those made by JYP Entertainment for other groups. Fan-made dolls of idols appearing as their assigned animal counterparts have also existed for many years.

2PM’s representative animals | JYP Entertainment 

Fans of both groups also fought against fan wars, expressing excitement over the two sets of characters and sharing fan art featuring them.