This article needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (October 2023)

Kakao Friends
First appearanceNovember 2012
Created byKakao
Designed byHozo (Kwon Soon-ho)
In-universe information
Full nameRyan (Lion)
Choonsik (Cat)
Apeach (Peach)
Tube (Duck)
Con (Crocodile)
Muzi (Radish)
Frodo (Dog)
Neo (Cat)
Jay-G (Mole)

Kakao Friends (stylized as KAKAO FRIENDS; Korean카카오프렌즈) are featured characters based on KakaoTalk emoticons released in November 2012 by Kakao. The copyrights of the characters are currently owned and managed by Kakao's subsidiary Kakao IX, which was formerly named Kakao Friends prior to an inter-subsidiary acquisition in 2018.[1]

The character illustrator is Kwon Soon-ho, also known by his pen name Hozo.[2][3] Kakao Friends has been used in various products and commercials, and has gained popularity and have become beloved characters in South Korea.[4]


Kakao Friends characters were developed in about two months after the idea meeting in July 2012 began.[5]

Muzi series

Frodo series

Ryan series

Niniz series

Products and shop

Many Kakao Friends products have been produced, ranging from foods, games, household supplies, finance, and more.[22][23][24][25][26]

Beginning in Sinchon in April 2014, the company opened a store in the form of a pop-up store in major department stores in major cities such as Daegu and Busan, and several stores were established as regular stores. In addition to the character products sold in stores, KaKao Friends characters are used in collaboration with other companies in other fields.[27]

In May 2021, Kakao VX has started a premium golf driving range business using Kakao Friends characters.[28]

In 2018, Kakao has released Kakao Little Friends Phone, a smartphone dedicated to elementary school students that has enhanced protection for their children.[29] Kakao Little Friends Phone was released up to version 4 by 2021.[30]


Kakao series

After seeing the structure in which Daum Kakao owns all the copyrights of Kakao Friends, the character illustrators do not receive profits from the sale of Kakao Friends character products, some criticized whether it was the second Cloud Bread incident. However, the Daum Kakao official said that Daum Kakao had all the copyrights at the time of the first contract with the HOZO writer. Although the Kakao Talk emoticon revenue is shared, the Kakao Friends business does not pay a separate fee to the artist. The author also stated that he is in a position to avoid controversy about this issue.[31]

Niniz series

It has been embroiled in controversy that it promotes violence and cruelty on social media.[32] The fact that the character description of 'Panda', whose last name is 'only one', contains the phrase, "The goal is to dry out all the polar bears," and Cobb & Panya, introduced as a detective duo, "has a stalker temperament and likes to follow. ", etc. has been raised. People criticized it, pointing out that the main users of the character were minors.[33]

See also


  1. ^ "Kakao Friends gets new name Kakao IX after takeover". The Korea Herald. July 18, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Pictures speak louder than words". The Korea Herald News. May 27, 2016. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  3. ^ "카카오톡 캐릭터 디자이너를 만나다" (in Korean). Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  4. ^ "Kakao Friends become most beloved characters in Korea". The Korea Herald News. April 19, 2017. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  5. ^ "카톡 이모티콘 '노란 토끼'가 단무지라고?…카카오 프렌즈 뒷이야기" (in Korean). Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  6. ^ "Which Kakao friend are you?". The Manila Times. September 27, 2014. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  7. ^ 수정: 2013.10.24 16:40, 입력: 2013 10 24 14:32 (October 24, 2013). "카톡 이모티콘 '노란 토끼'가 단무지라고?…카카오 프렌즈 뒷이야기". (in Korean). Retrieved April 4, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "카카오프렌즈 캐릭터, 어피치가 주인공인 숏폼 애니매이션 나와". (in Korean). April 2, 2021. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  9. ^ "카카오, 캐릭터IP 활용한 숏폼 콘텐츠 '피치파이브' 공개". April 2, 2021.
  10. ^ "카카오프렌즈 '어피치', 피치파이브로 글로벌 MZ 팬심 잡았다". 팍스경제TV (in Korean). Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  11. ^ "Kakao Friends is all about simpatico characters". August 7, 2016. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  12. ^ Herald, The Korea (May 27, 2016). "[EYE] Pictures speak louder than words". Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  13. ^ "The Kakao Friends Lovable Characters with Life-Sized Personalities". KAKAO FRIENDS ONLINE STORE. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  14. ^ "카카오 '라이언' 디자이너를 만나다". brunch (in Korean). July 6, 2016. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  15. ^ "Ryan the yellow lion brings in big bucks". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  16. ^ "카카오프렌즈", 위키백과, 우리 모두의 백과사전 (in Korean), February 27, 2019, retrieved March 18, 2019
  17. ^ "카카오프렌즈, 라이언의 반려묘 '춘식이' 굿즈 첫 출시". (in Korean). December 17, 2020. Retrieved April 4, 2021.
  18. ^ "카카오페이지, 라이언 스토리 '라이언, 더 라이언' 연재". 세계일보 (in Korean). October 28, 2020. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  19. ^ "카카오프렌즈 새 캐릭터 춘식이!...라이언도 있는데 나만 없어 고양이" (in Korean). Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  20. ^ "카카오, 강남에 니니즈 '죠르디' 팝업스토어 오픈". ((cite news)): External link in |work= (help)
  21. ^ 이, 해인 기자 (November 14, 2017). "카카오, 동물 모티브 새 캐릭터 '니니즈' 출시 - 머니투데이". 머니투데이 (in Korean). Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  22. ^ 무단전재, Ⓒ 종합 경제정보 미디어 이데일리-상업적; 금지, 재배포 (May 11, 2015). "식품 프랜차이즈, 캐릭터 활용 마케팅 '봇물'". edaily. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  23. ^ "'프렌즈런'도 Top10 진입… 카카오프렌즈 연타석 홈런". (in Korean). May 31, 2016. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  24. ^ "'프렌즈타운' 애플 앱스토어 게임 인기 순위 1위". (in Korean). Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  25. ^ FNTIMES (November 30, 2014). "우리·하나 '뱅크월렛카카오' 앞선 출시". 한국금융신문. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  26. ^ "다음카카오, 카카오프렌즈 담은 '하나 체크카드' 출시". 100세시대의 동반자 브릿지경제 (in Korean). June 3, 2015. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  27. ^ "KAKAO FRIENDS". Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  28. ^ "'라이언 캐디' 떴다…카카오 골프연습장 사업 진출". 매일경제 (in Korean). May 3, 2021. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  29. ^ Han, Jinju (February 22, 2018). "카카오 자회사 핀플레이, '카카오키즈폰' 출시". 아시아경제 (in Korean). Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  30. ^ Lee, Chang-gyu (January 7, 2021). "LGU+, 자녀 보호기능 강화한 'U+카카오리틀프렌즈폰4' 출시". 뉴스1 (in Korean). Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  31. ^ Kim, Ji-sun(김지성) (June 11, 2015). "매출 대박난 '카톡캐릭터'… 원작자 몫은 얼마?" ['KakaoTalk Characters' with huge sales... How much is the original author's share?]. Digital Times.
  32. ^ Lee, Ji-min(이지민) (November 21, 2017). "[모이] 카카오톡 니니즈가 귀엽다고요?" [[Moi] KakaoTalk Niniz is cute?]. Ohmynews.
  33. ^ Park, Hong-du(박홍두) (November 19, 2017). "[지금 SNS에선]카카오 새 캐릭터 논란" [[On SNS now] Kakao's new character controversy]. Kyung-hyang News.