Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Visit to the Toy Shop

My current interest with collectible figurines have resulted in several online purchases, the latest being the full set of Animal Crossing figures (USD 1.99 each X 8 = USD 15.92). Yesterday's purchase of a Be@rbrick marked the first time I've bought a collectible figurine from a physical shop.

The shop in question is, located next to Gamers Hideout at Cineleisure, Mutiara Damansara. The shop has a website of the same name as well and like most collectible toy shops, rather cool as well.

Produced by Medicom Toy Corporation, Be@rbricks are collectible figurines in the shape of bears. According to its Wikipedia article, Be@rbricks are release in series with each series consisting of 18 figures in 10 different themes with the themes not differing from series to series. The Be@rbrick that I purchased is from Series 13 and has the flag theme, with the England flag on it. For comparison, the Be@rbrick from Series 11 with the flag theme has the the German flag on it.

The design of a Be@rbrick allows for quite a bit of articulation, even the hips have joints that allow you not only to move the legs front and back but also left and right.

In terms of rarity, each theme has a certain percentage of occuring in a Series and because Be@rbricks are not reprinted, they are pretty much bonafide collectible items. If you were to ask me why would I purchase them, I would say that I've a soft spot for small toys.

Here's a picture of my Be@rbrick standing next to a pirated Be@rbrick (on the right) which I bought at the Chatuchak weekend market while I was on holiday in Bangkok last year.

Aside from the height and flag, the difference is pretty clear between the two. The pirated Be@rbrick is not as articulate in movement as the original one and for the price of only RM 8 (versus RM 14.80 for the smaller, original one), you get what you pay for.