gifts they might actually want

The Best Gifts for K-Pop Superfans, According to K-Pop Superfans

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Aside from occasionally mobilizing against political figures, K-pop fans are perhaps best known for their extreme devotion to their group of choice. While you might think that would make it simple to pick out a gift for a superfan, finding the right one, especially if you are not familiar with the ins and outs of their favorite group, can prove trickier than it seems. To find out what sorts of things K-pop fans might really want to unwrap, we asked a bunch of them about the types of gifts they think will delight people like themselves. You’ll find some picks here that cater to obsessive followers of specific groups like BTS and Blackpink. But there are also safer bets if you don’t know what your K-pop fan’s niche allegiances are. From official merch to DIY craft ideas to CD players made for listening to K-pop albums, any of the recommendations below are sure to be a hit with the superfan in your life.

A note: With the pandemic’s ongoing stress on shipping and delivery systems, know that the items from smaller, overseas retailers on this list will take longer to arrive than usual. If you’re pressed for time, bigger-box retailers — which have been keeping up with rising demand for K-pop merchandise — may be the way to go. On the other hand, if anyone’s used to waiting a long time for merch to ship, it’s stateside K-pop fans. So even if you can just provide them with a tracking number for their gift, it will likely be much appreciated.

The best Christmas gift for K-pop fans is an appropriately named Season’s Greetings kit. Korean cultural researcher Dr. Areum Jeong explains that these are released by individual K-pop stars every December, and usually contain “a calendar, a monthly or weekly journal, and some products that help you get ready for the new year.” The calendar and journal will include photos of a particular artist and reminders about when their birthday is. “It’s a great way to look forward to the new year with your favorite idol,” Jeong explains. While these kits regularly sell out immediately, we found some that have a second drop of products shipping in late December.

BTS Uno
$9
$9

For a cheap and cheerful K-pop Christmas gift that will ship immediately, Emily Mallon and Charity Worrell, the hosts of weekly podcast New York City K-pop Queens, love this BTS UNO deck. “We both own it, and it’s the perfect stocking stuffer,” they tell us.