What Is Bearbrick?

A black Pacman Bearbrick is standing Louis Vuitton suitcases.

In the realm of luxury collectibles, few items hold as much charm and exclusivity as the Bearbrick brand. These iconic figurines have captured the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts worldwide. Their journey from humble beginnings to coveted status is a fascinating tale of art, design, and cultural significance.

In this Max Pawn article, we’ll discuss the origins of these Bearbrick collectible toys, how they have changed over the years, what makes them exclusive, and finally round it off with some of the most popular Bearbricks ever created! Let’s go! 


The Origins of Bearbrick

A black Pacman Bearbrick is looking at a wall of Hermes luxury bags.

Bearbrick, created by the Japanese company MediCom Toy Incorporated, made its debut in 20011. The founder of Bearbrick, Tatsuhiko Akashi, was inspired by the shape of a teddy bear and the practicality of a building block. The name "Bearbrick" is a made-up word of "bear" and "brick," reflecting the fusion of these two elements in its design 2. One of Tatsuhiko Akashi’s original products was Kubrick, a Lego-like humanoid character representing the world-famous director and filmmaker, Stanley Kubrick.


In 2001 however, Tatsuhiko Akashi was approached by the organizers of the World Character Convention in Tokyo to create a toy for the event's attendees. Faced with the challenge of producing hundreds of toys within a short timeframe, Akashi found inspiration in the 100th anniversary of the teddy bear's soft toy, a beloved plaything for children over the decades.

Drawing from this, he conceived the idea of combining a bear's head with the body of a Kubrick. This innovative fusion gave birth to Bearbrick figures, which was officially launched by Medicom Toy on May 27, 20011. Over time, Bearbrick has transcended its origins as a simple toy, evolving into a highly sought-after artifact prized by collectors and Bearbrick enthusiasts around the world.


Evolution and Popularity

A collection of small and large Bearbricks are on display at Max Pawn.

What started as a simple, yet striking bear-like icon has evolved into a global phenomenon. Bearbricks are now available in various sizes, ranging from 1000% to a miniature 100%, and have become a canvas for collaborations with renowned artists, fashion brands, fashion designers, and pop culture icons.

The first collaboration was with Tokyo’s HMV record shop to create and produce a distinctive Bearbrick, signifying the brand’s intention to partner and or collaborate with other leading brands. Since then, Bearbrick has created standard sized Bearbricks for the holidays. Some of these themed Bearbricks include Halloween and Christmas as well as notable cartoon characters like the Avengers, Winnie the Pooh, and Star Wars.

In addition to these themed releases, Medicom Toy has forged partnerships with a diverse collection of leading fashion and streetwear brands for special Bearbrick launches. Notable collaborators include Chanel, Nike, X-Large, Hermès, Comme Des Garçons, Bape, CLOT, Levis, Stüssy, and Undercover.

Furthermore, renowned designers such as Yue Minjun, Takashi Murakami, KAWS, and Hebru Brantley, as well as music groups like Daft Punk and Sandaime J Soul Brothers, have all contributed to the rich tapestry of Bearbrick releases with their own unique and captivating designs3. In addition to these notorious designers, many YouTube channels are now picking up on the trends and doing “blind box” reveals. This is where YouTubers purchase a Bearbrick without knowing what’s inside the box and then reveal it on camera. It’s very exciting to see the final reveal. This phenomenon has vastly increased brand awareness of Bearbrick, not to mention the price, and propelled Bearbrick into the realm of high-end collectibles, attracting a dedicated following of enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.


Exclusivity and Appeal

A collection of small and large Bearbricks are on display at Max Pawn.

The allure of Bearbrick lies in its exclusivity. Limited production runs, unique designs, and collaborations with influential artists and brands have elevated Bearbrick to luxury status. The scarcity of certain editions and the intricacy of their designs contribute to their appeal. This makes Bearbricks prized possessions for collectors who value rarity and artistry.


Most Popular Bearbricks

A Bearbrick is waving at the entrance of a Max Pawn store.

Several Bearbrick editions have achieved iconic status within the collector community. Notable examples include the Medicom Toy 1000% Bearbrick, which serves as a blank canvas for artists to showcase their creativity; the Andy Warhol Bearbrick, paying homage to the legendary artist; and the collaboration with streetwear giant BAPE, which features the brand's signature camo pattern3. These are just a few examples of the diverse and captivating range of Bearbricks that have captured the imagination of collectors worldwide.


Shop Bearbrick at Max Pawn

A wall of Hermes handbags and a collection of Bearbricks sit on top of the Max Pawn display.

At Max Pawn, we understand the attraction of exclusive and exceptional items, which is why we are proud to offer a curated selection of Bearbricks for discerning collectors. Each Bearbrick in our collection is a testament to artistry, innovation, and cultural significance, making it a valuable addition to any collection.

Whether you are an avid collector or someone discovering the world of Bearbrick for the first time, we invite you to explore our selection and experience the magic of these captivating figurines. Embrace the attraction of exclusivity and elevate your collection with a timeless piece of art - discover Bearbrick at Max Pawn today!



1 - https://2b.rocks/bearbrick-history-the-story-behind-iconic-collectibles/

2 - https://www.sothebys.com/en/articles/all-about-bearbricks-the-ultimate-collectible#:~:text=We%20can%20thank%20Medicom's%20founder,pop%2Dcultural%20tie%2Dins.
3 - https://blog.fromjapan.co.jp/en/hobby/top-10-bearbrick-collabs.html