Squid Game candy sold out in Montreal - Why fans love the Korean series
Netflix's 'Squid Game' quickly rose to becoming most-watched show ever on the platform, which is hardly surprising, as it seems people are captivated by the series across the globe. One clever corner store owner in Montreal is cashing in on the popularity of the television show.
According to CBC News, the owner of Depanneur Chez et Claudette in Montreal, Robert Kim, recently began making a typically Korean treat featured on 'Squid Game.' Mr. Kim and his wife began making dalgona, a traditional Korean sweet that Mr. Kim had fond memories of eating as a child.
Mr. Kim told CBC News that after few disastrous batches, in the beginning, the couple soon got over their learning curve and perfected the recipe for the tasty candy, which is made with sugar and baking soda.
Mr. Kim then shared a post on social media that he had dalgona, the candy from 'Squid Game' for sale in his shop.
The same day he posted about having dalgona, Mr. Kim was sold out within an hour. The demand hasn't stopped since, Mr. Kim told Montreal Blog that he is now making batches of up to five dozen a day.
The candy is sold at just $1.99 apiece, and Mr. Kim is shocked by how popular the dalgona are. Per Montreal Blog, Robert Kim said, "Some people come to the store, and they knew exactly [that] we had it. They come to buy these things."
Mr. Kim also said that while some customers know that dalgona is sold at the shop, others are surprised. "But [some] didn't expect that. They didn't know anything about it. When they saw this [they said], 'Wow, that's the game! From the game.'"
Photo: screenshot Global News
If you are a fan of 'Squid Game,' perhaps you wonder if Korean children really play the dalgona game depicted in the series. According to Mr. Kim's interview with Montreal Blog, the dalgona game is a real game enjoyed by school children.
Photo: By 동운맘
Robert Kim told Montreal Blog that there was a shop in front of his school, and he and his friends would try to cut out the shape in the dalgona with their hands or a needle. If they did so successfully, they would get a free dalgona from the shopkeeper as a prize, and if they lost, there was "no death, obviously."
Pictured: Mr. Kim's convenience store in Montreal. Photo from Depanneur Chez et Claudette's Facebook page.
Mr. Kim is enjoying his moment in the limelight and is happy that Canadians and people around the world are learning a bit about Korean culture. Per Blog Montreal, he said, "We have enjoyed this game and we were sharing it. It's very happy [...] that people start knowing these cookies. I'm not BTS or anything, but I'm very proud to show people Korean culture and foods and so on."
Just a few weeks after its release, the Korean survival thriller 'Squid Game' became the most-watched Netflix series ever. It effortlessly breezed past blockbusters like 'The Witcher' and 'Stranger Things'. Click on to read all about the series and why it has become so popular.
Apart from the unprecedented number of viewers on Netflix, there are also viral clips and challenges on social media about 'Squid Game'. Here, we explain why the show is so incredibly successful.
And for those who never watched it, we'll give you an idea of what all those memes of Korean people in training suits are about!
According to Ted Sarandos, the CEO of Netflix, 'Squid Game' is "on a fast track" to become the most-watched series on the platform ever, in any language. He said so on the Vox Media Code conference on October 4. It's important to note, according to Insider, that 95% of the series' audience is watching from outside Korea.
The Daily Mail reports that on Sunday October 3, fights broke out among hundreds of 'Squid Game' fans who were standing in line to see the Netflix series' new pop-up store in the French capital. It was unknown how the brawl started, but fans had been waiting in a 700ft line for hours and may have gotten impatient. And al of a sudden, Paris streets witnessed scenes reminiscent of the Squid Game itself.
'Squid Game' shows how a selected group of ordinary Korean people, who have in common that they are in dept and have no way to get out of their miserable situations, are invited to play a mysterious game and get the chance to win a great sum of money.
Each of the six steps in the Squid Game consists of a simple children's playground game. They are games that Korean kids play in the streets, but many will recognize 'Red Light, Green Light', tug of war, and the other games as popular pastimes in their own countries.
The catch of the games is that each person who makes a misstep or loses a game will die - immediately! This dark side of the Squid Game is shown in all its gory details, and a lot of people are taken aback by the bloody violence the series portrays.
Yet, they keep watching.
With all of its violence and suspense, the series is a clear example of Korean filmmakers' critique of capitalist society. Why some people are extremely rich and others not even able to survive is a great injustice that 'Squid Game' addresses through its storyline and dialogues.
Several aspects of the series have become iconic. They have their own memes circulating around the world and in all languages. For example, the green-and-blue training suits the players of the Squid Game have to wear: they are very popular!
The plain white shoes that go with the players' uniforms are a big hit too. Variety reports that Vans sales have risen 7,800% on one of its white slip-on sneakers because it closely resembles the trainers the Squid Gamers are wearing. They call it "The ‘Squid Game’ Costume Effect", because people are probably buying the shoes to wear on Halloween.
Millions of viewers were curious about the value of the grand prize, 45.6 billion Korean wons. As a result, one of the top searches on Google became "won to usd".
Just so you know, the value of the game's grand prize is about 39 million dollars.
In the series, each player received an invitation in the form of a mysterious business card with a phone number on it. Contestants had to call the number to enter the game. The phone number is clearly displayed in the series.
As it turns out, this Korean phone number really exists! The owner of the eight-digit number, Kim Gil-young, says she gets about 4,000 calls per day. A South Korean presidential candidate has offered to buy the number from her, and Netflix is going to edit the scenes in order to make the number invisible, the Washington Post reports.
In one of the challenges, players have to cut a shape out of a typical Korean sweet. It's a traditional game in the Asian country, but after Squid Game the whole world wants to give it a try!
Called dalgona candy, the sweets are a type of honeycomb toffee. They are simply made of sugar and baking soda. Often they have a shape marked on top of them, like this umbrella.
For the children's game with the dalgona, "the true challenge is eating around the image imprinted in the treat without breaking it," Insider explains. The series is so popular that there is now a craze among TikTokers to play the game as well. And of course there are a lot of memes making fun of those who fail!
When Facebook and Instagram had their major breakdown in the first week of October, memes were immediately connecting the social meda disaster to iconic images from 'Squid Game'.
The brave Indian player in Squid Game became the social network Twitter on the day that WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook faltered. It was Twitter, the only remaining social media, that saved the day and kept people talking.
Actor Heo Sung Tae was only known in his own country before 'Squid Game' premiered. Then suddenly, within days, he had a million followers from all over the world on his Instagram account. His comment: "Thanks for making me a millionaire" - referring to the millions in prize money on the Squid Game.
One of the players in Squid Game, Cho Sang-Woo, is a businessman with a degree from the prestigious Seoul University. His old friend, Seong Gi Hun, continuously jokes about this, because despite having the prestigious business school degree, he is still in the same state of desperation as all the others in the Squid Game.
The doll playing 'Red Light, Green Light' in the first episode really exists! They had her moved from the entrance of a horse-carrage museum in Jincheon County, Koreaboo reports, to use her as a prop in the series. Since then, the girl has returned to the museum, where you can visit her for a really freaky experience...
The maker of the series, Hwang Dong-hyuk, had a lot of trouble getting anyone to finance it. 'Squid Game' is so violent that few producers dared to make it. It took Hwang more than a decade (he started writing in 2008) to finally get his project on the screen. Netflix's original title for 'Squid Game' was 'Round Six', Insider reports.
Even though the end of the series hints at new adventures, the author of 'Squid Game' is not planning to make a second season. He has other film productions to do first. "I don't have well developed plans for 'Squid Game 2,'" he told Variety. "It is quite tiring just thinking about it."
According to Forbes, shows with similar themes and stories are now more popular than ever. 'Squid Game' has convinced a global audience of the value and relevance of series in another language than English. "Since the show's release, both the Japanese thriller series 'Alice in Borderland' (image) and Korean drama 'Sweet Home' have been trending on Netflix," Forbes reports.
(Image: Haro Aso / Shogakukan / ROBOT / Netflix)