Even if your bank balance is feeling the burn from all the BTS albums and merch you’ve bought recently, your spend is likely nowhere near the level of this ARMY who spent a staggering $50,000 USD on merch and more. In a new feature for MTV, she revealed her astounding collection and explained just what BTS means to her.
18-year-old Thuy from California has been a fan of BTS since their rookie days. She began following and supporting the group in 2014 at the age of just 11, and since then, she’s been an avid ARMY.
Alongside listening to BTS for “at least five hours a day,” Thuy has also spent more on BTS merch than many people spend on their college tuition. On a recent episode of MTV’s Lifestyles of the Biggest Standoms, the Californian teen confessed she’s spent “at least $50,000” on the group to date.
That includes $30,000 USD solely on her merchandise collection along with a further $20,000 on concert tickets, clothes the BTS members have worn, and more.
There’s a lot that I’ve poured into it.
Thuy explained that she collects all kinds of official merchandise, including items from BTS’s tours, their albums and DVDs, cup sleeves from fan events, and fanmade pins and keychains.
I just love having physical things.
She even went as far as buying a copy of School Luv Affair signed by all seven members—even though it was signed to a girl named Yoobin, not Thuy herself.
I’m not sure whose handwriting it is, but I did some research. I think it could be [Suga’s] handwriting… Obviously [Yoobin] is not me, but I really wanted to get myself a signed album, even if it didn’t have my name on it.
Another signed item she owns is a photobook page with an autograph from maknae Jungkook—one of Thuy’s biases. She went on to theme a whole section of her room around it personalized with his BT21 character, Cooky, and Jungkook polaroids.
Speaking of BT21, Thuy’s BTS collection also includes more character plushies than you can count, including multiple Cooky toys in every size imaginable.
And Thuy doesn’t just collect items produced by Big Hit Music; she also has the products from BTS’s brand deals, from Cold Brew to Lemona.
On top of that, she also buys clothing that the members have worn in photoshoots or in public, despite the high designer price tags. Some of her pieces include a shirt Jimin wore for Weverse Magazine, a shirt Jungkook wore in a live broadcast, and Balenciaga sneakers worn by Jungkook and J-Hope. Many of the items cost her upwards of $2,000 USD.
I do like to wear a lot of what they wear, even if it’s more expensive.
Some of the other amounts she’s spent include $500 USD on BTS books…
$600 USD on BTS-themed pins…
$170 USD on BTS microphones…
$5,000 USD on BTS albums…
and $20,000 on concert tickets, plane tickets, and hotels.
Definitely lied to my parents, maybe once or twice, about how much I’ve spent… Just for my dad’s mental stability, I have not told him how much I’ve spent. He is probably better off not knowing.
As vast as Thuy’s collection is now, it didn’t start out that way. The teen says it’s gradually evolved in size and began with her displaying little BTS-themed items in her room. Then, over time, “just one more,” quickly turned into a whole room full of merchandise.
Now it’s like, if you walk into my room, every corner, every wall that you look, you’ll probably see them.
Naturally, as a true collector, she doesn’t use most of the items she buys in order to keep them in pristine condition. Despite the recent pandemic, for example, she hasn’t ever opened her BTS face masks.
While some may say that owning so many merch items must make them feel less valuable, Thuy has many purchases that are meaningful to her. Her ARMY Bomb lightstick, for example, “means the most” to her because she’s taken it to so many BTS concerts. She even decided to customize it for BTS’s sadly canceled 2020 world tour, spending 20 hours hand-applying 7,000 rhinestones.
It’s just like that thing is what you bring to every single concert to let BTS know that you’re there… Even if you took away everything else in my collection, I would still find a way to go see BTS in concert and I would have to bring that light stick.
Of course, even many ARMYs reading this may think Thuy’s collection is over the top—and they wouldn’t be the first to have a somewhat negative view of it. The teen says those around her who don’t get the hype “definitely think I’m a little crazy.” That said, she added that loved ones also just happy to see her feeling happy. And ultimately, all that money spent comes from the genuine love Thuy has for BTS.
“I think they’ve always helped me through those really, really low points,” she revealed, explaining that often surrounds herself with merch to unwind and even cried to BTS’s music when she’s down. “I think the fact that there’s kind of that outlet and that it feels that someone is listening there,” she says, “that always is so reassuring.” She went on to say that BTS’s album title, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, sums up just how special the members are to her.
BTS means so much to me because they’re involved in every aspect of my life. Most of my life is dedicated towards them. Every day I’m doing something for them. There’s truly no one like them. They’re special inside and out. They’re such kind boys. They do so much for their fans. They’re just, to me, my favorite people in the whole world, aside from my family.— Thuy