Malaysian salon paints Squid Game manicures of tiny coffins, green tracksuits

The Maniqure Nail Salon, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, has designed a set of nails for each of the show's nine episodes.
The Maniqure Nail Salon, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, has designed a set of nails for each of the show's nine episodes.PHOTO: REUTERS
Demand for the press-on version of the themed nails has also come from international buyers.
Demand for the press-on version of the themed nails has also come from international buyers.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - A manicure salon in Malaysia is selling painted and press-on nail designs based on the television show Squid Game, the latest small business to cash in on the soaring popularity of the South Korean series.

The Maniqure Nail Salon, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, has designed a set of nails for each of the show's nine episodes.

"Red Light, Green Light" features the killer giant animatronic doll from the first episode, while "Hell" includes a picture of the red-suited game officials and a pink-ribboned coffin.

"Is it difficult to draw? Yes, a little bit because... it's all 100 per cent hand painting, not printing," said salon co-owner Lim Pei Xin.

With every fine line, "we have to stop breathing", she added.

Squid Game earlier this week became Netflix's biggest debut hit, notching up 111 million viewers in less than a month.

The dystopian drama, in which cash-strapped contestants play childhood games with deadly consequences in a bid to win 45.6 billion won (S$52 million), has inspired countless memes, Halloween costumes and real-world recreations.

It has also sparked a debate within South Korea about toxic competitive societies and prompted new interest in the country's culture and language around the world.

Mr Chin Kwan How, co-owner of the Maniqure Nail Salon, said demand for the press-on version of the themed nails had come from international buyers via the business' website, as well as from locals.