A BE@RBRICK may look basic at first glance. Introduced by Medicom Toy in Japan, it is simply just a plastic bear-shaped figure that comes in various colors and sizes. Despite this, the toy has been featured in art galleries and MTV Cribs, and is adored by celebrities such as Ben Baller, Grace Boddington, and Pharrell Williams. It is not a leap to suggest that these novelty toys have evolved into canvases for modern expression, playing an important role at the crossroads of art, fashion, and style.
BE@RBRICKS are a type of collectable toy that looks like a crossover between bears and LEGOs. The teddy bear heads styles on these block figures have become a staple in any collector toy market. In fact, it is not so far-fetched either to claim that it virtually and single-handedly started the modern-day craze of toy collecting, straddling the narrow line between art and toys. BE@RBRICKS have now become one of the most well-known and sough-after collectible items in the world since its introduction.
The design and idea of the BE@RBRICK was inspired by another series of Medicom Toys – the Kubrick – which paid homage to renowned director Stanley Kubrick. The Kubrick series was also symbolized by a logo that employed the same typeface as the official poster of “A Clockwork Orange,” and, since the name contained the Japanese world for nine (“ku”). BE@RBRICKS and Kubricks are made up of nine parts: its head, torso, arms, hips, hands, and legs, all of which have movable joints. While the Kubrick toys had a more human-like appearance, the BE@RBRICK, as previously stated, anthropomorphized a bear.
Majority of BE@RBRICKS are made of hard plastic, although over lines have included new and improved materials over time, such as metal and wood. Regardless, BE@RBRICKS are most commonly constructed of plastic; though, Medicom Toy has experimented with other forms of polymer in recent years.
The first BE@RBRICK was introduced on May 27, 2001, as a free present to World Character Convention participants in Tokyo, Japan. The BE@RBRICK logo – a shape of a blue bear with a red “@” wrapped within It – was featured on one version, which was a basic white bear. The standard BE@RBRICK size is 70mm in diameter for the 100 percent.
BE@RBRICKS has achieved the near-impossible feat of establishing itself at the nexus of art, culture, fashion, and fun. Its basic and familiar appearance has appealed to people of all ages and genders. Medicom Toy has ushered in a new era of collectibles by pioneering a new approach to promote and sell toys based on excitement. While the limited-edition technique assures long-term interest, BE@RBRICKS’ varied partnerships are what genuinely distinguish these works of art.
Its joints efforts also allow artists, corporations, singers, and others to provide a token to their respective fanbases, which they can buy or compete for. Not only does this work to raise brand awareness, but it also helps to spread BE@RBRICKS to a wide range of demographics and interest groups, ensuring its long-term success.