Bearbrick (rendered Be@rbrick) is a collectible toy designed and produced by the Japanese company MediCom Toy Incorporated. The name is derived from the fact that the figure is a cartoon-style representation of a bear and that it is a variation of MediCom's Kubrick design.
"Kubrick" was chosen in honor of filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. In further homage to the filmmaker, the Kubrick logo is designed in the style of the logo created for his movie A Clockwork Orange. By linguistic coincidence, the name Kubrick may also be seen as a hybrid word of the Japanese word kyu, meaning the number nine, and the English word brick. Nine is the number of bodyparts used in a standard Kubrick figure: head, torso, hips, two arms, two hands, and two legs; the English word brick is collector’s jargon for LEGO elements, and refers to the similarity of Kubricks to Lego Minifigures.
Kubricks have been produced in myriad themes. Many figures are licensed representations of film, comic book, or video game characters. Among this diverse range of sources is an even more diverse range of subjects: MediCom has produced Kubricks based on the films The Great Escape, Star Wars, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Usual Suspects, and Amélie among many others. Comic book characters may be of Japanese origin, such as the Berserk series, or American, such as figures based on Marvel Comics and DC Comics characters. In the instance of the Blythe series, MediCom has created a figural toy with another figural toy as its subject. However, not every Kubrick draws on popular culture for inspiration; in addition to creating likenesses of breakfast cereal mascots, MediCom has released a likeness of Andy Warhol, as well as Kubricks in Eames patterns and Pantone colors. They also offer Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas sets.
Tatsuhiko Akashi, founder and president of MediCom, developed the basic Kubrick with a former employee of LEGO. The first Kubrick figures were representations of characters from the manga and anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, released in 2000. Since then, hundreds of Kubricks have been produced.