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

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.

Samples of Squid Game's manicure are displayed at the nail salon Maniqure in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Oct 14, 2021. REUTERS

"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 percent hand painting, not printing," said Salon co-owner Lim Pei Xin. "Every fine line we have to stop breathing."

Nail salon Maniqure owner Lim Pei Xin works on a Squid Game's manicure for a client at her shop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Oct 14, 2021. REUTERS

Squid Game earlier this week became Netflix's biggest original series launch, 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 ($38 million), has inspired countless memes, Halloween costumes and real-world recreations.

Nail salon Maniqure owner Lim Pei Xin works on a Squid Game's manicure for a client at her shop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Oct 14, 2021. REUTERS

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.

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 locals.