Japanese MediCom Toy has since its humble beginnings in 1996, then sharing premises with a tonkatsu-spot in Tokyo’s Ebisu district, turned into a global phenomenon. The cult-declared toy manufacturer’s insanely coveted collectables/design objects tap into anime and mainstream pop culture, and are sold in very limited quantities. Their most famous lines of toys are the Kubrick and [email protected] series, the latter a bear-shaped figure in different sizes, which has turned into a cultural icon on its own and spawned a devout following, including high-profile personalities like Pharrell Williams, Grace Coddington and DJ Khaled.
By using the technique of blind box packaging collectors are influenced to trade, buy and sell figures in order to complete their collections.
MediCom Toy (with its beloved [email protected]) counts a long list of collaborations, including KAWS, BAPE, Star Wars, Undercover, Disney, Chanel, Supreme, Fendi, Futura, fragment design and Comme des Garçons, and the list continues to grow specifically in the streetwear/fashion arenas.
Every year MediCom throws a highly-anticipated exhibition to the delight of hardcore collectors and laymen alike. The off-shoot label [email protected] is MediCom’s fabric division housing original designs by notable artists and designers.
MediCom Toy Corporation is launched in Ebisu by Tatsuhiko Akashi.
Akashi has his first hit with the Lego man-like figure called the Kubrick (named after the psycho-thriller filmmaker), which he designs together with an ex LEGO employee. Films, comics and popular culture inspire the designs, including The Nightmare Before Christmas, Amélie, Marvel and Kellogg’s cereal.
With the success of British electronica outfit UNKLE’s album (its sleeve designed by Futura featuring his most iconic Pointman motif) MediCom produces Pointman toys, in collaboration with A Bathing Ape, Nike, and Levi’s.
A new figure named [email protected], a variation of the Kubrick figure with cute bear-like features, sees the light of day. The white anthropomorphized figure is in effect a blank canvas for collaborations to come and is by far MediCom’s most popular figure.
The Stussy x Medicom Toy “Peace and Prosperity” vinyl figures are released.
MediComs dips into streetwear in the shape of the now defunct clothing line OriginalFake, founded together with Brian Donnelly, AKA KAWS.
Medicom joins forces with Supreme for a much-hyped Kermit Kubrick release, which has New Yorkers lining up at Supreme’s Soho store to cop the Supreme x Kermit T-shirts and skateboard decks.
Hiroshi Fujiwara opts for a Winnie the Pooh for the resulting, fragment design x Disney x Medicom Toy “Winnie the Pooh” collab.
A Bathing Ape and the Star Wars team up for an exclusive Medicom Toy collaboration featuring Boba Fett and a Stormtrooper.
The Supreme x UNDERCOVER x Medicom Toy GILAPPLE is released.
Brandalism and Medicom Toy releases a collectible figure inspired by Banksy’s ’Monkey Sign’ artwork. They also release the 300mm-tall Pharrell Williams replica action figure.
LA-based Rokit and MediCom Toy [email protected] team up for the ROKIT x Medicom Bag.