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Stray Kids X SLBS: Wearable technology goes K-pop

It only takes one tap to change the screen cover of Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 into a picture of the Stray Kids member of your choice. Every call, text or notification will show the video of the member on the screen. Personalization has become an accessory that one can wear.

This is the main selling point of the collaboration of the K-pop group Stray Kids, SLBS Studio and Samsung. The partnership began in June last year, amidst the promotion of the group’s album, “5-Star.” Thus, the campaign “Star to Galaxy’’ resonates with Stays (the Stray Kids fandom) for this reason.

Galaxy, of course, is also the name of the flagship android phone of Samsung. When they launched the items in Seoul last year, they sold out immediately. Hot items include the SKZ Compass case cover for Galaxy Buds2 Pro, Theme Toks and keyrings. The collab was taken to different cities including Tokyo, Los Angeles and Jakarta. The pop-up store finally landed in Manila.

All the items, including the second edition ones that they launched last month, are available at the Samsung Experience Store on the fourth level of SM Megamall. Stocks are limited.

The collaboration makes use of near-field communication (NFC) tags. The products and your phone will communicate wirelessly. Each item will trigger changes in the phone, personalizing it quickly and with no fuss.

Show off your bias

The images for the screen cover of Flip5 will depend on the flat case chosen. Member-specific cases mean that only the image of the chosen member will be projected on the cover. This mimics fans’ habit of placing their favorites’ photo cards in clear cases of their phones.

But with the NFC flat case, they get to show off their bias on the back and front. For OT8 or followers of all members, they have the Stay Flat Case which will project all eight members on the screen.

So yes, you can choose if you want Bang Chan, Lee Know, Changbin, Hyunjin, Han, Felix, Seungmin or I.N on your screen.

Nonflip phone owners can opt to get the SKZoo NFC Theme Cards which can be used in any Samsung flagship phone like S23 Ultra.

SKZoo is the animal cartoon character of each member. They are Wolfchan, Leebit, Dwaekki, Jiniret, Hanquokka, BbokAri, PuppyM and FoxyI.NY.

All NFC phone case decorations can be interchanged and used by different devices. However, it needs to be placed at the back of the phone at all times for it to work. In contrast, they have items that can only be connected to one device.

The key rings and Theme Toks are such products. Once your phone has downloaded the corresponding theme, no other devices can download it again. The NFC Pouch can connect to up to three devices. The themes allow changes in the phone interface, including the wallpaper, lock screen and widgets.

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Is it worth it? These are official merch by Stray Kids. The prices are very competitive if one compares them to other official merch of the group.

Phones being an indispensable part of everybody’s lives means that the cases and Theme Toks will go with the user everywhere. It’s meant to be used and showed off. There’s exclusivity in it, too. The collection will only work with compatible products, mostly the flagship devices. Otherwise, the items will just be regular merch.

It’s not unheard of for fans who don’t have compatible phones to still buy the merch and use them as such. The SKZoo key ring is cute as it is. The NFCs, which can only be used once, also prevent sharing of the themes to other devices for free. The themes make the phone unique.

Show who you are

Sure, fans will freely create wallpapers for fellow fans, but SLBS made sure that there are elements in their design so you can tell it’s the official ones. For example, the theme that goes with the NFC pouch will show a road sign with the letters SKZ when you unlock your device. The SKZ compass case and the SKZoo case that come with Galaxy Buds2 Pro show pride in being part of the fandom.

It’s meant to show who you are and who you listen to. Even when nobody else could tell that you’re a Stay, a fellow fan could. That’s the point. It’s a conversation starter.

The Manila Pop-up also carries the Galaxy Z Flip 5 Stray Kids Edition (P80,990). It comes with charms and cases of the members, NFC-themed keyring, Theme Tok and metal photocards of all eight members. It’s a collector’s item. Overall, if one has the means, it is a fun addition to their merch collection. Is it worth it? Stays will say it is.

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