Birth Place: Japan
What is BE@RBRICK?
BE@RBRICK is a collectible toy produced by the Japanese toy manufacturer, MediCom Toy. Since its start in 1996, MediCom Toy has made a number of different limited-edition toys and licensed products. The BE@RBRICK is the most successful of the characters and toys they have produced. The collectability and sheer artistry that goes into BE@RBRICKs have made them a highly sought-after commodity in the toy collecting world.
A huge part of the success of BE@RBRICK has been the ability of MediCom Toy to collaborate with international brands and artists. Some of the best urban artists in the world have lent their talents to lines of BE@RBRICK, including BAPE, KAWS, KRINK, and Pushead. BE@RBRICKs have featured the art of other urban art luminaries like Keith Haring and Basquiat and worked with brands as diverse as Nike, Swarovski, Disney. This blend of commercial and high art has helped vault BE@RBRICK into the art community in a way that few other collectible toys have done.
Who works and collaborates with BE@RBRICK?
BE@RBRICK has worked with some of the biggest names in the commercial art world. They’ve worked with brands like Chanel, Swarovski, Levi’s, and Disney as well as lesser-known (but still prestigious brands) like Karimoku -- the Japanese furniture maker. Much of the appeal of a BE@RBRICK is that it’s essentially a blank canvas on which to layer a brand message or artistic statement. This has led artists like KAWS, BAPE, and KRINK to playfully subvert commercial aesthetics while also engaging in pop culture. This ability to merge high and low is what has made BE@RBRICK so desirable to many of the collectors, and fits in with the general trend of urban art in the last decade.
When did BE@RBRICK first get released?
The first BE@RBRICK ever released was on May 27th, 2001. It was given out as a door prize to attendees of the World Character Convention in Tokyo. The first-ever BE@RBRICK measured in at 70 mm in height, which is now considered the standard BE@RBRICK size. Since that time, BE@RBRICK’s fanbase has exploded. They are collected worldwide and have a strong following thanks to the backing of such influential urban art establishments like Hypebeast. While it may have started as a Japanese phenomenon, the past twenty years have seen it grow into the worldwide sensation that it is today -- and with a healthy audience of collectors and fans, there’s no sign of it letting up any time soon.
How much are BE@RBRICKs worth?
BE@RBRICK’s have a wide range of worth, from around fifty dollars ranging all the way up to over a hundred thousand dollars. The most ever paid for a BE@RBRICK at auction is $157,000 for the piece Qiu Tu (2008) which was a one-off design by the artist Yue Minjun. It is the perfect example of what can make a BE@RBRICK valuable, a one-off piece, designed by an in-demand art personality, with an extremely limited run. If you’d like to know more, check out our guide on collecting BE@RBRICKS.
Where to buy BE@RBRICK for sale?
See works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on the artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.
How to value BE@RBRICK?
The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services Department.
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How do you know what's valuable?
Our Art Value Guide provides free information about how to value your BE@RBRICK Artwork.