Owner of Kanye West’s Bear Costume From ‘College Dropout’ Era Willing to Sell It for $1 Million

In a new interview, the long and arduous journey of this iteration of the mascot costume is detailed, including the years it has spent tucked away in a closet.

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Thanks to Andrew Barber of Fake Shore Drive’s recent deep-dive with designer Sam Hansen about the origins of Kanye West’s The College Dropout bear, another relic from the era has been uncovered.

Tuesday, Barber shared a new interview with Eric Arginsky, who worked with Ye and others as part of an effort to bring a plush bear line to fruition. While that line ultimately never made the leap to reality, the creative back-and-forth did result in Arginsky being in possession of a Dropout Bear costume.

Around the 16:43 mark in the interview, Arginsky explained this costume is not the one seen on the College Dropout cover due to the fact that—from what he knows—Ye’s team wasn’t able to successfully purchase that specific costume because the school declined the deal.

“I think they tried to buy or purchase that from the high school,” he said. “They were turned down. … Obviously, it was going to be the basis for everything going forward [so] they went out and bought this suit which was then what they used on the DVD cover and for future promotions.”

A complication during the process behind the scrapped plush line, Arginsky explained, was that he was basing renderings off of two-dimensional images instead of the actual suit. This eventually led to him receiving the suit (i.e. the aforementioned iteration of the suit used in promos, at award shows, and on tour) and a number of swatches.

Per Arginsky, who also shared a sample of a medium-sized plush Dropout Bear featuring velcro paws to ensure the toy’s ability to throw up the Roc sign, the costume has spent the bulk of the ensuing years sitting in a closet. “My mom wants it out of her house soon,” he said.

As for whether he’s interested in letting the costume go, Arginsky confirmed he is indeed open to the idea of selling it. 

“I love business and opportunity so the best thing that could ever happen is someone from Ye’s camp sees this video and reaches out to you to bring this opportunity back and then you and I are producing bears tomorrow,” he said around the 20-minute mark. “That’s what I’m really hoping for. I know that the percentages are very slim on that one. But yeah, I would say at this point I’m really open to anything.”

When asked if $1 million would be acceptable, Arginsky seemed supportive of that figure as a potential starting point. He also expressed support for more museum or charity-minded approaches.

“Personally, I would say yes,” he said when asked about a hypothetical million-dollar scenario.

See the full discussion up top.

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