Bearbrick and its many iterations have been collectable icons since its creation 21 years ago. Intelligently created and super cute, the design effortlessly combines the simplicity of a toy with modern art, pop culture, and luxury fashion. As a result, the bear is less of a toy and is regarded as a prized collector’s item. The bear itself is a unique toy, but its reach has stretched to some of the world’s biggest fashion houses and designers have adopted it to showcase their latest designs and projects. Collaborators include Chanel, Nike, Levis, Stüssy, and Undercover, to name a few. Others that have chosen to adorn the bear include Winnie the Pooh, Avengers, Star Wars, and musical artists including Daft Punk and Pharell Williams.
Bearbrick is the creation of Tatsuhiko Akashi, founder of the toy company Medicom. In 1996 one of Medicom Toy’s creations was Kubrick, a Lego-inspired humanoid figure named after Stanley Kubrick, the acclaimed filmmaker. After several fortunate events, Akashi replaced the head with that of a teddy soft toy as the teddy bear was celebrating its 100th anniversary. It launched to success in 2001, and the rest is collectable history.
Bearbrick comes in several distinct sizes. The standard one is 70mm tall and is known as 100%. Bearbricks of 35mm - referred to as the 50% - are sold as keychain accessories. There are larger sizes, too, including 280 mm, called the 400%, and 700 mm - the largest Bearbrick, known as the 1000%.