What Is a Bearbrick?
Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Bearbricks! If you're a fan of collectibles and unique toys, then you're in for a treat. Bearbricks are a popular and highly sought-after collectible item that has captured the hearts of both toy enthusiasts and art collectors alike. In this guide, we will take an in-depth look at what Bearbricks are, their history, the different types and sizes available, collecting and displaying tips, authentication methods, accessories, investing opportunities, the Bearbrick community, and even tips on selling your Bearbricks. So, let's dive right in and unravel the world of Bearbricks!
What is a Bearbrick?
A Bearbrick is a small, plastic figurine that stands about 2.8 inches (7 cm) tall. It is known for its distinctive, bear-like shape with square features and a bear head. The design is intentionally simplified to give it a minimalistic and iconic look. These figurines are made of durable plastic and have movable joints.
The Bearbrick has become a canvas for artists from around the world to express their creativity. It is often used as a platform for collaborations with fashion brands, artists, and even other toy companies. Each Bearbrick is a work of art in its own right, making it a highly desirable collectible.
The origins of Bearbricks can be traced back to 2001 when the Japanese brand Medicom Toy introduced this unique collectible to the world. Since then, Bearbricks have gained a cult following and have become a staple in the world of designer toys.
Types and Series of Bearbricks
There are several different types and series of Bearbricks available, each with its own unique characteristics:
The Standard Bearbricks feature the iconic bear shape and are produced in various colors and designs. These are the most common type of Bearbricks and are perfect for starting your collection.
Artist Series Bearbricks:
The Artist Series Bearbricks are designed by renowned artists from around the world. These limited-edition Bearbricks often feature intricate artwork and unique designs, making them highly sought after by collectors.
Collaborative Series Bearbricks:
The Collaborative Series Bearbricks are the result of collaborations between Medicom Toy and various brands, fashion designers, and even other toy companies. These Bearbricks combine the unique styles of both parties involved, creating truly one-of-a-kind collectibles.
Sizes of Bearbricks
Bearbricks come in different sizes, allowing collectors to choose their preferred scale:
The 100% Bearbricks are the smallest size available, measuring approximately 2.8 inches (7 cm) in height. These are the standard size for Bearbricks and are perfect for displaying on shelves or desks.
The 400% Bearbricks are four times the size of the standard 100% Bearbricks, measuring approximately 11 inches (28 cm) in height. These larger Bearbricks make a bold statement and are often the centerpiece of a collector's display.
The 1000% Bearbricks are the biggest size available, standing at an impressive 27.6 inches (70 cm) tall. These giant Bearbricks are true statement pieces and are often displayed in galleries or as part of larger installations.
Selecting Bearbricks for your Collection
When it comes to collecting Bearbricks, the possibilities are truly endless. Whether you're a fan of a specific artist, a particular series, or simply love the overall aesthetic of Bearbricks, there is something out there for everyone. Here are a few tips for selecting Bearbricks for your collection:
Researching and identifying desired Bearbricks:
Take the time to research and familiarize yourself with the different series, collaborations, and artists involved in the Bearbrick world. This will help you identify the Bearbricks that truly resonate with you and align with your collecting goals.
Considerations for rarity and value:
Bearbricks can vary in rarity and value. Limited editions, exclusive releases, and Bearbricks from popular artists or collaborations are often highly sought after and tend to hold their value over time. Keep an eye out for these gems to add to your collection.
Once you have started collecting Bearbricks, displaying them proudly is the next step. Here are a few options for displaying your collection:
Using display cases or shelves:
Investing in display cases or shelves specifically designed for Bearbrick collectors is a great way to showcase your collection while keeping it protected from dust and damage. These displays come in various sizes and styles, allowing you to curate a visually appealing presentation.
Creating custom displays:
If you're feeling crafty, you can also create custom displays for your Bearbricks. Get creative with materials like acrylic, wood, or even repurposed items to design a unique display that reflects your personal style.
With the growing popularity of Bearbricks, it's important to be able to authenticate your collectibles to ensure their value and legitimacy. Here are a few tips on authenticating Bearbricks:
Signs of authentic Bearbricks:
Authentic Bearbricks will have clear and precise molding, with no visible defects or paint drips. The joints should be sturdy and provide smooth movement. Look for the official Medicom Toy logo on the bottom of the Bearbrick.
Identifying counterfeit Bearbricks:
Counterfeit Bearbricks can sometimes be difficult to spot, so it's essential to pay attention to the details. Look for inconsistencies in the mold, paint, or packaging. Fake Bearbricks may also have a lower quality feel or exhibit poor craftsmanship.
In addition to the regular Bearbrick figurines, there is also a wide range of Bearbrick keychains available. These miniaturized Bearbricks can be attached to your keys, backpack, or even used as a stylish accessory for your bag. With various styles and designs, Bearbrick keychains are a great way to express your love for Bearbricks while on the go.
Bearbrick Apparel and Apparel Collaborations:
Bearbrick merchandise extends beyond just the figurines. You can find a variety of Bearbrick-inspired clothing items, including t-shirts, hoodies, and hats. Additionally, Medicom Toy frequently collaborates with renowned fashion brands to create limited-edition apparel collections that combine the world of streetwear with the iconic Bearbrick design.
Investing in Bearbricks
Recognizing Valuable Bearbricks:
As with any collectible, certain Bearbricks have higher value and investment potential. Here are a few factors to consider when looking for valuable Bearbricks:
Limited editions and exclusivity:
Bearbricks that are produced in limited quantities or are exclusive to a specific event or store tend to be more sought after by collectors. These Bearbricks often appreciate in value over time.
Popularity and demand:
Bearbricks associated with popular artists, collaborations, or brands tend to have a higher demand among collectors. Investing in Bearbricks that are highly sought after can lead to potential returns in the future.
Managing and Protecting your Bearbrick Collection:
When building a valuable collection, it's crucial to take proper care of your Bearbricks. Here are a few tips to help you manage and protect your investment:
Proper storage and handling:
Store your Bearbricks in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent any damage or discoloration. Handle them with clean hands to avoid leaving fingerprints or smudges on the surfaces.
If your collection includes high-value Bearbricks, it's worth considering insurance coverage to protect against loss, theft, or damage. Contact your insurance provider to discuss adding your collectibles to your policy.
Joining Bearbrick Collecting Groups and Forums:
Being part of a community of fellow Bearbrick collectors can be a rewarding and educational experience. Join online forums or social media groups dedicated to Bearbrick collecting to connect with other enthusiasts, share your knowledge and experiences, and stay up to date with the latest trends in the Bearbrick world.
Attending Bearbrick Events and Conventions:
In-person events and conventions offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of Bearbricks. Attend expos, exhibitions, or trade shows dedicated to Bearbricks to see exclusive releases, meet artists, and expand your network of fellow collectors.
Online Marketplaces for Bearbrick Sales:
If you ever decide to sell some of your Bearbricks, online marketplaces like eBay, Grailed, and specialized Bearbrick selling platforms are great places to start. Be sure to set a fair price based on the condition, rarity, and desirability of the Bearbrick. It can also be helpful to research similar sold listings to gauge market value.
For highly valuable or rare Bearbricks, auction houses or online auction platforms can provide an avenue to reach serious collectors. Anticipate and plan your bidding strategy accordingly to maximize your chances of selling at a favorable price.
Congratulations! You are now equipped with the knowledge and insights to navigate the world of Bearbricks. From understanding what Bearbricks are and their history to collecting, displaying, authenticating, and even selling, you are ready to embark on your Bearbrick journey. Remember, collecting Bearbricks is not just about the physical items; it's about the passion, the community, and the joy they bring. So go forth, start your collection, and have fun exploring all the amazing Bearbricks that await!