Wednesday, February 21, 2007

what is a be@rbrick?

Be@rbrick is a collectible toy designed and produced by MediCom Toy Incorporated. The name is derived from the fact that the figure is a cartoon-style representation of a bear, and that it is a variation of MediCom's Kubrick design. The at sign in the place of the letter a is a visual device that is a part of the Be@rbrick brand, and as such, a trademark of MediCom Toy.

The Be@rbrick figure is an anthropo-morphized bear with an extremely simplified form and a pot belly. Each plastic figure features nine parts (widely referred to as tools in the toy industry): head, torso, hips, arms, hands, and legs; These nine tools allow eight points of articulation: swivel head, swivel waist, ball joint arms, swivel wrists, and ball joint legs.

The standard size is six centimeters high, although there are also 24-centimeter figures called 400% Be@rbricks, and 60-centimeter figures called 1000% Be@rbricks.

Be@rbricks differ from their predecessor Kubricks, in that each series includes 18 figures in 10 different themes, which are constant from series to series:

Basic, a solid-color figure with a letter in a second color on its chest; when all nine figures are placed in a row, they spell the word Be@rbrick.

Jelly Bean, a solid-color figure molded in translucent plastic.

Pattern, a figure with a patterned deco that may range from polka dots to patterns designed by artists and designers such as Charles Eames.

Flag, a figure painted as a nation's flag.

Horror, a figure with a theme based upon a well-known horror film, or other source in the horror genre.

SF (an abbreviation of science fiction), a figure with a theme based upon a science fiction source, often a film.

Cute, a figure which visually represents the concept of cuteness.

Animal, a figure which depicts an actual animal.

Artist: two figures, each designed by a visual artist.

Be@rbricks are most often sold individually in "blind box" assortments, in which figures are packed in small boxes, and the only way to know which particular figure is inside a particular box is to purchase and open the box. The box states the frequency of each figure in percentages: Basic, 14.58 percent; Jelly Bean, 11.45 percent; Pattern, 11.45 percent; Flag 9.37 percent; Horror, 9.37 percent; SF, 10.41 percent; Cute, 13.54 percent; Animal, 8.33 percent; first Artist, 4.16 percent; and second Artist, 1.04 percent. While many retailers sell Be@rbricks in blind boxes, each for the same price, other retailers calculate the frequency of the figures, and sell them at prices that vary accordingly; in this instance, the Basic figure would be the least expensive, as it occurs most often in a case, and the second of the two Artist figures would be the most expensive, as it occurs least often in a case. The figures most valued by collectors are "chase" figures, which are unannounced and not shown in advertisements or on the box alongside other figures in the series.

Within these pre-determined ratios, Be@rbricks are produced in limited numbers, and not re-released. They are highly collectible, and predominantly collected by adults. Their packaging states that the figures are adult collectibles, not toys, and recommends them to collectors 15 years or older.

Many contemporary artists and designers from Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America have designed figures. Designing a Be@rbrick figure means creating a design scheme, or deco, for the standard mold. Contributors range from visual artists such as H. R. Giger to illustrators such as Pushead, graffiti artists such as Stash, and fashion designers including Karl Lagerfeld and Vivienne Westwood. As a result of their limited production, and the participation of artists, Be@rbricks are generally considered designer toys.

MediCom also produces Be@rbricks outside the regular release schedule of the basic figures. For example, a Kill Bill Be@rbrick was created in 2003 as a promotional piece for customers who purchased pre-sale tickets to see the film Kill Bill Volume 2 in Japan. Another Kill Bill Be@rbrick, called Murder Bride, was included in the packaging for the Japanese DVD release of Kill Bill Volume 1, released in April 2004. Exclusive pieces such as these are highly-sought after and difficult to obtain for collectors outside of Japan; they are often purchased on the secondary market, especially online auctions.

(From Wikipedia)


bidarlah said...

wow... really WOW!!!

stumbled into ur site and i must say, wow! how many one of these bears or be@rbricks u own (so far)?

wat an insight man! i kinda now secretly liking a few haha! said...

Thanks for the compliment! I now have more than 300 Bearbricks. :-)

Anonymous said...

This is such a cool blog! It's really really original and you've got such a fantastic collection. Where do you buy your be@rbricks? Which ones are your favorites? I imagine it must be difficult to narrow it down.

I like the be@rbricks by Missoni and Chanel. They're adorable! said...

Thanks, Carrie, what a compliment! I bought my Be@rbricks from Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Bangkok. Also from online stores like eBay, Kidrobot, and Ninyoushi. I have lots of favorites – tho I like the Mark Parker (Nike CEO) Be@rbrick the most. I also love the Missoni bear! :-)

Unknown said...

Hello !
Very nice blog ! colorful & interesting, and a course the main subject is brilliant :)

I read that you got some of yours be@rbrick in Bangkok, is it possible to have an address ? ( I'll be there a few days )

thanks said...

Hi, Olivier,

You can buy Be@rbricks at the new hip store called 'Manga' at the CentralWorld Mall in
Bangkok. It very near Siam Paragon, and Gaysorn Shopping Center.

Happy Bearbrick hunting!

Unknown said...

Hi !

Thx a lot for this information.

maureen said...

Can you tell me where to buy bearbrick in Singapore and Hong Kong? Thanks said...

Maureen, there's Action Toys in Singapore and Superman Toys in Mongkok, Hong Kong. You may get the addresses on the Net. Happy hunting! :-)

bromike666 said...

Awesome sight, just found it. A few years ago I was out of control w/ Be@rbricks and Kaws toys so I had to take a break. I have series 1-9 and am only missing the Hazure from series #1. In addition I've got a lot 0f 400% and 1000%'s in my collection. I'm probably going to start collecting again and get caught up all the way to series 15.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

hey do you know where to buy bearbricks in the states, like georgia.

Anonymous said...

To be correct, its Action City in Singapore not Action Toys. said...

Yes, that's correct – Action City! :-)

Michael said...

hey great blog!! whats the name of the last one in the second set of bearbricks? its the white one with the big scary face, its super cool! thanks.