Bearbrick is a phenomenon that has rocked the world. They are potbellied, anthropomorphic bear figures that are adorned with different designs that can inspire awe, nostalgia and creativity.
Recently, Be@rbricks have been associated with hype culture being seen pictured in the homes of famous DJ's, musicians and displayed alongside artwork by Banksy and KAWS. This is one of the reasons for the spike in popularity which has increased the supply and demand, and with the limited-edition nature of each release, has made the buying and selling of them similar to trading in the stock market.
You might be saying to yourself, 'Be@rbricks are just plastic and made in a factory' but you could also say that diamonds are just shiny rocks that are found in the dirt. Like anything that appreciates in value over time, the value of an item was originally created by man through interest and demand.
Be@rbricks are modern-day modern art.
Pictured: Steve Aoki in his dedicated collectible toy room. Credit: Tatler Article
Where Did Bearbricks Come From?
Bearbrick was established in Tokyo, Japan in 2001; with the first Bearbrick being released in May 2001. Its founder, Tatsuhiko Akashi, is the CEO of Medicom Toy Corporation.
Bearbrick combines style, fashion and nostalgia compressed as a representation of the design in its most basic and accessible form. The bear figure is comprised of 9 sections that can move; head, torso, hips, arms, hands, and legs. This simple, block-like design is also referred to as 'kubrick', hence the term 'bearbrick'. They are also often compared to the style of lego.
Why Are Bearbricks So Expensive?
What is so special about Bearbricks? Bearbrick is a manifestation of high fashion and modern art put into a vinyl toy. Due to it's effortless form of a potbellied, anthropomorphic bear, the Bearbrick becomes a canvas for which artists, designers and brands across industries can showcase their unique styles.
For most of the designs, only a certain amount of figures have been licensed to 'wear' that design and it's very rare for Medicom Toy to re release a specific Bearbrick. With a limited number of a Bearbrick release being available, the item becomes popular for collectors to obtain.
Bearbricks are recommended for collectors 13 years and older. Tatsuhiko Akashi designed them to be specifically toys for adults to enjoy.
How Big Are Bearbricks?
Bearbricks come in various sizing that are measured in percentages. By using the percentage system to reference the size of a Bearbrick it is easy to establish a consistent unit of measurement without getting bogged down in specifics. The original size is known as 100% (also referred to as the 'standard' size) and the larger the size, the higher the percentage.
Here are the specific Bearbrick measurements:
- 100% = 7 cm tall
- 400% = 28 cm high
- 1000% = 70 cm high
These are the most popular sizes of Bearbrick and the ones we stock at UA; however, there are other sizes that exist globally including the 50% and 70%.
Pictured: Bearbrick 100% & 400% Set Betty Boop
What is a Bearbrick Blindbox?
The standard Bearbrick (100% size) is released in what's known as a 'series'. A case of Bearbrick Blindboxes holds 4 boxes and within a box there are 24 blindboxes. On the side of each blindbox casing, there is a percentage breakdown of how common (or rare) each Bearbrick design is.
Last year we opened an entire case to test out how accurate the percentages were and they were exact!
Whether you are an avid collector of Bearbrick or love a style that Bearbrick has released, the joy and beauty this collectible has brought globally is unprecedented.