squid-game-bape-collab-collection-release-date (2)

Brand: Squid Game x BAPE

Release Date: January 21

Price: ¥8,800-¥9,900 (about $77-$86)

Buy: Pre-orders begin on January 21 via BAPE's website and end on January 31 when they'll also be available on Netflix's web store.

Editor's Notes: Remember Squid Game? Maybe a better question is: have you been able to forget Squid Game?

From Hoyeon Jung's Calvin Klein takeover to the inevitable confirmation of season 2, the uber-popular Netflix shows has STILL been inescapable, even four months after it began trending in September (has it really been that long already?).

And, yet, BAPE's here to prolong Squid Game's presence at the front of your mind.

In partnership with Netflix, BAPE is issuing a trio of thematic T-shirts that draw from some strong Squid Game iconography.

Two tees take on the prisoner number of protagonist Seung Ji-Hoon, combining the 456 printed on his jumpsuit with BAPE's signature camouflage and APE HEAD motifs afflicted by bits of Hangul borrowed from the South Korean show's branding.

The other puts brand mascot Baby Milo amidst a squad of Squid Game's menacing masked staff. Get outta there, Milo!

We've talked before about how Netflix dropped the ball with its first attempts at Squid Game merch — in general, Netflix's in-house and collaborative apparel is pretty weak, though there are some occasional bright spots.

The BAPE stuff is at least as good as Emotionally Unavailable's collaboration, which yielded the first collection of officially-branded Squid Game stuff.

Does it have legs beyond either property's fans? Probably not but that's presumably why BAPE is launching it as a pre-order rather than a normal drop.

It's more interesting that it took this long to get a BAPE collab out of Squid Game but maybe there was some hold-up with licensing.

Actually, it's just as likely that BAPE's simply been too busy to focus on any one drop: the past few weeks have seen the streetwear label team with (*deep breath*) Tommy Jeans, Reebok, Union, Mitchell & Ness, Minecraft, and — while I was writing this — Stüssy.

Phew. That's to say nothing of BAPE's Spring/Summer 2022 collections and rumored Supreme partnership, either. "Busy Works," indeed.

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