StockX Buyer's Guide

October 17, 2022

The Buyer's Guide: Bearbrick

Ian Semivan

Ian is a content creator at StockX with a focus on trading cards and collectibles.

Everything you need to know to build your Bearbrick collection with confidence.

Everything you need to know to build your Bearbrick collection with confidence.

This article is part 38 of 27 in the series: StockX Buyer's Guides

In the last two decades, Bearbrick has grown from a lineup of niche figurines into one of the most recognizable collectible toy brands globally. The CEO of the Tokyo-based Medicom Toy, Tatsuhiko Akashi, conceived the idea for the ursine-shaped silhouettes in 2001. His mission was simple, create a unique and readily identifiable canvas for the world’s most celebrated brands, artists, characters, and pop culture icons to leave their mark. Today, the Bearbrick has become one of the defining collectibles for a generation of sneakerheads, fashion junkies, and cultural connoisseurs as the figures have managed to blend the nostalgic joy of childhood collecting with the sophistication of the high art and fashion industries.

What makes Bearbrick so expensive?

There are no secret ingredients when it comes to determining the value of a Bearbrick. The recipe that dictates the price of a Bearbrick is very straightforward and is determined by the foremost foundational principle of economics – supply and demand. The factors that play the greatest role in this are the partner that Medicom Toy decides to collaborate with when creating a Bearbrick, and how many of that particular Bearbrick they end up producing. While most Bearbrick models sell somewhere between $100 and $1,000 on StockX with dozens of models selling for below retail such as the Bearbrick ANDY WARHOL “Brillo” 1000% figure, some very limited edition Bearbricks have demanded five, six, or even seven-figure price tags. While the most expensive Bearbrick to sell on StockX was a Readymade x BAPE 1000% that sold for $20,799, the most expensive Bearbrick to sell publicly was from the Chinese contemporary artist Yue MinJun whose one-of-a-kind “Qui Tu” Bearbrick fetched $6 Million at auction.

How big are Bearbricks?

A Bearbrick size chart.

Bearbricks come in four standard sizes. The smallest editions of Bearbricks are called 100% figures and these measure approximately 2.75 inches. 200% figures are the next size up standing at approximately 6 inches tall. The 400% Bearbrick is the most traded size of the figures on StockX measuring 11 inches tall. Finally 1000% Bearbrick is the largest version of the collectible standing 27.5 inches high. As the sizes get larger, the prices typically go up as well.

Why is Bearbrick so famous?

While it is nearly impossible to point to the exact elements that have made the Bearbrick brand such a cultural cornerstone, one contributing component that is obvious has been Medicom Toy’s ability to collaborate with some of the biggest names across art, fashion, design, music, and film giving it exposure to a wide array of audiences and creating a Bearbrick for virtually anyone. In July of 2022, Bearbrick released its Series 44 collection which includes figures that celebrate artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jackson Pollock, a slew of characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, globally recognized film franchises from Disney, titans of the music industry like The Rolling Stones, in addition to the fashion industries finest such as Fragment Design, BAPE, Kith, plus more.  

Are KAWS and Bearbrick the same thing?

While KAWS has collaborated with Bearbrick several times over the last 20 years, the two parties are their own entities. KAWS is the professional name of Brooklyn-based artist Brian Donnelly who is best known for his cast of figurative characters including Companion, BFF, and Chum, which he explores through a variety of mediums including sculpture, acrylic paint, screen printing, and even collectible toys that are manufactured by Medicom Toy.

In 2021 KAWS came together with Medicom Toy to create the artist’s first Bearbrick since his Chomper release over 15 years ago. The final product came out in the form of the KAWS Tension Bearbrick which featured an all-over print of the artist’s screenprint of the same name and is available in 100%, 400%, and 1000% sizes.