WHAT EXACTLY IS A BEARBRICK
The Bearbrick may look like an ordinary toy at first glance. However, you’d be surprised to how much of importance this “plastic bear-shaped figurine” will unfold to many collectors. This is simply not for child’s play.
Designed and produced by Medicom Toy Inc, BE@RBRICKS are a series of teddy bear-shaped designer toys that comes in various sizes, colors and design. (We’ll get more into that later).
BE@RBRICKS features a well-articulated potbelly, comprising of nine different parts such as the head, torso, hips, arms, hands, and legs with joints all able to swivel.
Medicom Toys was founded in 1996 by Tatsuhiko Akashi, a company that is best known for its plastic figurines, releasing many limited edition figures and licensed products since its inception.
Back in the 2000s, Medicom Toys had an extremely popular plastic figurine toy — known as the Kubrick, which bore a huge resemblance to human form. Its popularity grew so much so that the organizers from the World Character Convention in Tokyo approached Akashi to come up with a toy as a gift for the attendees.
Akashi popped a bear head on top of the Kubrick figure and just like that, BE@RBRICK was formed.
The end result? Streetwear nirvana.
The Bearbrick—half-bear, half-pot-belled-Kubrick, one of the most confounding creations ever— was released May 27, 2001 and given out as a free gift to attendees of the World Character Convention in Tokyo, Japan.
Today, these vinyl toys have become canvases for modern expression, playing a crucial role in the intersection of style, art and fashion. In fact, it wouldn’t be so far-fetched to say that it almost single-handedly carved out the fad of toy collecting in modern times, treading the very fine line between toy and art. Since its inception, BE@RBRICKs have become one of the most recognizable characters in the world, and some of the most sought after.
“I loved how each Bearbrick can be a free platform, a white canvas for creativity: same shape, but always different depending on the art on it.” —Sarah Andelman
- 50% – These BE@RBRICKS are normally released in the form of keychains.
- 70% – Many have adopted this format as a form of lucky charm.
- 100% – The standard format. All BE@RBRICK series are released in this size and are available in blind boxes.
- 400% – The most common format, most collectors buy BE@RBRICKS in 400% form to display on shelves.
- 1000% – The largest BE@RBRICK size, 1000% is normally reserved as collectible statue pieces.
All BE@RBRICKS releases can be categorized into “TYPES.”
- Basic — Nine different designs with each figure bearing a letter that all come together and spell “BE@RBRICK”
- Standard — All BE@RBRICKS in this series consist of the different recurring “THEMES” (see below).
While there are some outliers from this model, most Bearbricks fall under the following themes, with the blind box stating the rarity of each theme.
Jellybean: Solid-color clear Bearbricks molded from translucent plastic.
Pattern: These Bearbricks feature all-over patterns and designs ranging from polka-dots to more unique offerings from collaborating artists.
Flag: Bearbricks painted with a nation’s flag
Animal: Bearbricks based on animals
Cute: Adorable Bearbricks that encapsulate the Japanese concept of “kawaii”.
Horror: These Bearbrick designs are based on well-loved horror film franchises or other sources from the horror genre.
SF (Science Fiction): Bearbricks based on characters and themes from popular Sci-Fi franchises.
Hero: The newest addition of the Bearbrick family, Hero Theme Bearbricks depict superheroes from DC Comics
- Artist — Normally consists of designs created in collaboration with an artist.
- Secret — Unannounced designs that are usually rarer, may also consist of collaborative designs.
Each BE@RBRICK TYPES has its own level of rarity, with the most common being the Standard themed figures.
Basic BE@RBRICKS — 14.58 percent
Standard BE@RBRICKS —80.74 percent
Artist BE@RBRICKS — 4.16 percent
Secret BE@RBRICKS — 0.52 percent (1/192)
Because BE@RBRICKS are so limited in nature and difficult to collect, this creates a lot of hype around different releases. While the more common collectibles are not hard to obtain, the rarer figures are often resold for multiples of its original price.
Some of the rarest BE@RBRICKS include collaborations with some of the most famous faces in the art, music and fashion world. Some of the highest-profile collaborations have included Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, H. R. Giger, Casio, BTS, BAPE, and the Sex Pistols.
BE@RBRICK’s role in streetwear cannot be denied. With its limited edition and rare items, it has paved the way for other brands to introduce their own limited-edition products and toys. Figurines have become an undeniable staple in streetwear circles, and it’s surely not going anywhere.
HOW TO COP YOUR VERY OWN BEARBRICK?
Go to Bearbrick’s Rakuten Store.
Purchase from your local resellers
Simply purchase online without the hassle, here at the Penthouse Theory.
CLICK HERE TO BEGIN YOUR BEARBRICK JOURNEY TODAY
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