Two employees wait for visitors at the newly opened 'Line Village' theme park in Bangkok on June 8, 2018. It already draws the digital devotion of over 40 million Thais, but now Line - Asia's ubiquitous social media messaging app - is breaking into the real world with a Bangkok theme park. (AFP/Jewel Samad)
It already boasts the digital loyalty of more than 40 million Thais, but now Asia's ubiquitous social-media messaging app Line is breaking into the real world with a Bangkok theme park.
By turns colourful, creative and ever-so-slightly creepy, the 1,500 square metre (16,000 square foot) "Line Village" in Bangkok's commercial heart immerses visitors in the internal world of the app with cut-outs, projections and life-size models of its cutesie 'sticker' characters.
Bears "Brown" and "Choco" sit in rooms painstakingly adorned with details of the siblings' 'lives' and passions -- sport for the former and social media and fashion for the latter.
Mirrors and interactive screens add to the sensory blast of bright colours as each character gets a full treatment, gifting selfie backdrops for superfans of the Japan-made app.
"The concept of Line Village is to actually bring Line characters into reality," Rupop Shinawatra, the theme park's executive advisor told AFP, adding the concept is a Thai "first".
"Like... Brown, you go to into his bedroom, there's the forest area, there's a lot of activities, both digital and physical experiences."
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The target market is Thai -- nearly two thirds of Thailand's 68 million people use Line, as well as Asian tourists to Bangkok and curious westerners to whom the app may be less familiar.
"Thai people are very social media savvy... Line connects groups, it's constant communication. We are hoping people will bring that here," Rupop added.