Care Bears

Care Bears
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In 1983 the Care Bears danced their way into our hearts and arms through television and cuddly toys still being made and re-envisioned today. The bears were introduced by artist Elena Kucharik in 1981 for a greeting card line for the “Those Characters from Cleveland” division of American Greetings (which also produced Strawberry Shortcake, the Get-Along Gang, Herself the Elf, Lady Lovely Locks, Madballs, My Pet Monster, Holly Hobby, and the Popples). They sprang to life on TV first under DiC and later Nelvana and were manufactured as toys by Kenner, books by Parker Brothers and comics by Marvel Star. Amongst various sizes of plush toys and a plethora of other merchandise there were also poseable and collectible figures released as well as Butterick patterns to make your own pillow- type bears, which were popular with children’s cartoon characters at the time. The Care Bears kept on going through movies and recordings through Kid Stuff Records. Kenner re-launched the bears in 1991 with Random House issuing companion books then sold to Play Along Toys in 2002 for another relaunch. American Greetings followed suit in 2005 with 20th anniversary toys and movies. During these years there were several changes to the characters and in 2007 for the 25th anniversary relaunch new bears were added to the lineup and a new tv series followed. The new tv series was changed significantly from the 80s incarnation and shortly thereafter in 2008 American Greetings tried selling the rights to the Bears but pulled out when a legal battle with the proposed buyer ensued. The toy rights changed hands from Play Along to Hasbro  in 2009 with new toys following in 2013. Hasbro lost toy rights in 2014 to Just Play who currently manufacture the Care Bears toys. The latest show, Care Bears and Cousins aired on Netflix in 2015.  Care Bear Cubs commercial courtesy tracy80sgirl The idea around the Care Bears goes like this: a tribe of rainbow-hued bears live in the clouds in a kingdom called Care-a-Lot (they have animal cousins who live on earth in the Forest of Feelings). The job of these bears is to make sure the world cares and they monitor the caring around the globe on their Caring Meter in Care-A-Lot’s town square. When the Meter dips it alerts them that people are letting darkness creep into their hearts as they give themselves over to selfishness, greed and unkindness. To help fight this, each bear is able to enact the “care bear stare” which is concentrating the power of their unique tummy symbol into a powerful ray of light that can infuse its target with  love and caring. Just like the Care Bears are always trying to bring love and caring into the world, their enemies are tirelessly working to bring the opposite about. Their Cousins on earth also have tummy symbols but enact the “Cousins call” which is combining their respective animal voices into one big sound rather than using the stare because the when the Care Bears discovered they had cousins, they gave the animals their tummy symbols. A characters powerhouse for American Greetings, Care Bears are still considered one of the greatest merchandising lines to come out of the 80s with an estimated $2 billion in sales during that decade. On this page we are only going to focus on plush and playset/ figures as the list is nearly endless! For a great source of other merchandising photos you may want to check out Jan Lindenberger’s Care Bears Collectibles, 2007.    Care Bears full character list click here. For TV episodes and movie click here. For Books and other media click here. Kenner Plush Bears – all have a forelock, tummy symbol and a heart “tush tag” 36″ Tenderheart Bear Cheer Bear Wish Bear 18″ Bedtime Bear Birthday Bear Cheer Bear Good Luck Bear Love-A-Lot Bear Tenderheart Bear Wish Bear 13″ “Standard Sized”- this was the most common size of bear Bedtime Bear Birthday Bear Cheer Bear – also was issued in a satin version which resembled a Fisher Price Puffalump doll Friend Bear Funshine Bear Good Luck Bear w/ winking eye Grumpy Bear Love-A-Lot Bear Tenderheart Bear Wish Bear (and star friend Twinkers) Grams Bear (14″) w/ pink shawl Baby Hugs Bear w/ cloth diaper Baby Tugs Bear w/ cloth diaper Champ Bear Share Bear Secret Bear** (UK) I Love You Bear (UK) Harmony Bear (w/ musical note tummy symbol) (UK) True Heart Bear (UK) Daydream Bear (UK) Sea Friend Bear (UK) Forest Friend Bear (UK) Surprise Bear
My first Love-A-Lot Bear, 13″
**Secret Bear said the following phrases when his string was pulled: “I’m Secret Bear.” “I promise I won’t tell.” “Who’s your favourite Care Bear?” “Do you have a secret?” “You can tell me anything.” “You’re my secret friend.” Care Bear Cousins Lotsa Heart Elephant Swift Heart Rabbit Bright Heart Raccoon Brave Heart Lion Gentle Heart Lamb Cozy Heart Penguin (UK) Loyal Heart Dog (UK) Playful Heart Monkey (UK) Proud Heart Cat (UK) Treat Heart Pig *extremely rare (UK) Noble Heart Horse 11″ Care Bear Cubs (had molded, velour-covered faces and plush bodies with forelocks, came with a flower-shaped bottle, and cloth bonnet, sweater or booties) Bedtime Bear Cub Cheer Bear Cub Funshine Bear Cub Share Bear Cub L’il Proud Heart Cat Cub L’il Swift Heart Rabbit Cub L’il Bright Heart Raccoon Cub My First Care Bear (Kenner Nursery plush crib attachment) Pink Bear w/ heart tummy symbol Blue Bear w/ heart tummy symbol 6″ Mini Care Bears Grumpy Bear Good Luck Bear Funshine Bear Champ Bear Share Bear Cheer Bear Friend Bear Birthday Bear Love-A-Lot Bear Bedtime bear Wish Bear Tenderheart Bear (UK) Daydream Bear (UK) Forest Friend Bear (UK) Harmony Bear (music notes symbol) (UK) Sea Friend Bear (UK) Surprise Bear (UK) Trueheart Bear
I love them all!
1991 New Issues(Bears had brighter fur, smaller, more rounded faces with large tufts of hair and bigger eyes, coloured paw hearts and redesigned tummy symbols) Bedtime Bear Tenderheart Bear Tree Planting Bear 4th of July Bear / Proud Heart Bear Love-a-Lot Bear Cheer Bear Share Bear Precious Heart Bear 1992 Kenner Toy Fair catalogue. Had a star key attached to the paw that opened her tummy symbol to reveal a space inside to keep treasures and a mirror that reflected the most important person to Precious Heart- you! Special Issues Prize Bear – Runner up prize to a contest in 1985 with Women’s Day Magazine for children to write an essay on “How you show that you care.” Tummy symbol featured Tenderheart and Brave Heart lion holding a shield. There were prize bears made with either Cheer Bear, Tenderheart or Bedtime Bear’s bodies, 7 known to exist. 20th Anniversary Collector’s Editions (Play-Along Toys, Carlton Cards, Nanco 8″ beanies, 10″, 12″, 13″, 14″, 20″, 28″) A ton of these bears were released in multiple size and special editions from multple nmanufacturers! Funshine Bear (8″, 8″ talking edition, “Hugger” bear, 19″ Easter Bunny edition, 13″ Santa edition) Tenderheart Bear (8″, 13″ Santa edition, 28″) Daydream Bear Bedtime Bear (10″, 12″, 13″, I Can Talk edition) Grams Bear Cheer Bear (10″, 12″, 13″, 20″ Easter edition) Champ Bear (10″, 12″) Good Luck Bear (8″, 10″, 13″) Birthday Bear (5″ keychain, 10″, 13″) Share Bear (Milkshake tummy symbol, 8″, 14″, 16″) True Heart Bar (9″, 12″, hat and mittens) Friend Bear (8″, 15″) Wish Be
Cozy Heart Penguin
ar (8″, 8″ talking edition, 12″) Secret Bear (12″, 13″) America Cares Bear (8″, 10″, 12″, 16″) Grumpy (10″, 13″) Bedtime/ Wish (Cuddle Pairs edition) Love-A-Lot (8″, 10″, 12″, Sing-Along edition 12″) Harmony Bear (13″ 3-hearts tummy symbol) Proud Heart Cat (8″) Lotsa Heart Elephant (8″, 8″ Easter Edition) Cozy Heart Penguin (8″) Gentle Heart Lamb (8″) Brave Heart Lion (12″) Bright Heart Raccoon (12″) Loyal Heart Dog (8″, 12″) Swift Heart Rabbit (8″) Playful Heart Monkey (8″) Baby Tugs (10″) 25th Anniversary (“Silver anniversary” editions featured Swarovski crystals in eyes, silver noses, silver paw hearts and silver detailing around the tummy symbols with coloured fur) Tenderheart Bear (all-white/ silver edition, came boxed with or without a DVD of the first CB movie) Tenderheart Bear (All white/ silver edition w/ red tummy symbol, came boxed with 4 DVD set) Tenderheart Bear (Heart of Gold Bear, coloured fur, gold tummy symbol, boxed w/ DVD) Tenderheart Bear (Heart of Gold Bear, white fur, gold tummy symbol, boxed w/ CB Battle the Freeze Machine) Funshine Bear Grumpy Bear Cheer Bear Love-A-Lot Bear (with or without DVD of The Land with No Feelings) Bedtime Bear Share Bear 7″ Bear set (Cheer Bear, White fur Tenderheart Bear, Bedtime Bear boxed w/ CB Battle the Freeze Machine DVD) 35th Anniversary
25th Anniversary DVD
Rainbow Heart Bear (13″, boxed w/ commemorative certificate of authenticity. Ran concurrent with the Create My Care Bear contest for kids to design a new bear) Pink Power Bear (Pink ribbon for Breast Cancer tummy symbol) Prototype Toys  Prototypes are early physical mockups of what will become the finished toy manufactured. These are often similar in design and size to what makes it to the shelf but can have differing colours, textures, etc to the final product and are very valuable to collectors because of their uniqueness. Listed below are known Kenner prototypes from private collections.  Plush Treat Heart Pig – pink, no symbol on tummy Treat Heart Pig – blue, no symbol on tummy Poseable 1st shots  3″ , many of these wonderful rare items are owned by PoseablesParadise.com where you can view detailed photos of them. 1st shots are toys made to test out the molds to be used on finished toys.  Grumpy Bear  fully coloured, 1 piece, no arms/ legs/ copyright info Love-A-Lot Bear fully coloured, 1 piece, no arms/legs/copyright info Grams Bear’s basket unpainted Funshine Bear’s net unpainted Unamed Bear pink blank body, yellow arms Unnamed Cub Bear light brown blank body w/ pink limbs, possibly Wish Bear’s head mold w/ 2 rights arms and 2 left legs Hardcopy Prototype for Wish? Bear dark brown blank body, slightly larger than 3″ finished product. White poseable boxes initial mock up boxes w/ feed back cards containing final product notes. Proud Heart Cat w/ True Blue Ribbon 1986, fully coloured, unreleased Treat Heart Pig w/ Sweet Surprise 1986, fully coloured, unreleased Playful Heart Monkey w/ Merry Music Maker 1986, fully coloured, unreleased Loyal Heart ZDog w/ Waggin’ Flag 1986, fully coloured, unreleased Lotsa Heart 1st shot no markings, no heart tush tag Gentle Heart Lamb lighter shade of green, slightly rounder in belly, larger eyes Brave Heart Lion 3″ not confirmed if this is a true prototype Brave Heart Lion miniature resin, hand-painted Brave Heart holding candy box Share Bear miniature resin, hand-painted Share Bear holding candy heart, missing left arm. Cheer Bear miniature resin, hand painted Cheer Bear holding megaphone Champ Bear miniature resin, hand painted Champ Bear with foot on a ball, missing right arm. Cozy Heart Penguin miniature resin, hand painted Cozy Heart with ice skates Baby Tugs Bear miniature resin, hand painted Baby Tugs kneeling with baby blocks Lotsa Heart Elephant miniature resin, hand painted Lotsa holding hand weights Baby Hugs miniature resin, hand painted Baby Tugs holding green paper dolls Bright Heart Raccoon miniature resin, handpainted Bright Heart kneeling on book, holding unpainted candle Other International Issues Angelorso“Angel Bears” produced by Vir in Spain and Italy. They are boxed plush bears with a similar “A” on the tummy as the Argentina angel bears. Their bodies and ears are coloured with a white head and all have half-lidded eyes that gives them a “sleepy” look. They also have wings attached to the back and rainbow striped tails. Yellos Bear Blue Bear Pink Bear Orange Bear Green Bear Red Bear Baby Angelorso Had the word Baby written underneath the tummy symbol. Pink Baby Red Baby Blue Baby Angelorso Counsins : Los Superamigos de Angeloso Like Care Bears, these bears also had winged animal cousins with “A” tummy symbols issued in plush who came boxed with a cassette tape and accessory. These alsohad rainbow striped tails. Yellow Dog w/ Magnifying glass Green Rabbit w/ Shoulder bag Red Cat w/ Hobo stick Orange Cat Blue Lamb(?) Rainbow Dog (tan body w/ red ears and rainbow blanket, stands on all fours unlike other cousins) Brown Mouse (?) Angelorso Friends: Epoca de Angeloso Simple animal dolls with rainbow striped bodies, no tummy symbols. Green Elephant Blue Dog Orange Rabbit   Figures and playsets 1st series poseable figures (bears had curl of hair on forehead, no accessories, 3″ high) Tenderheart Bear Cheer Bear Grumpy Bear Friend Bear Love-A-Lot Bear Wish Bear Funshine Bear Good Luck Bear Baby Hugs Baby Tugs Grams Bear Professor Cold Heart with hat Cloudkeeper with pushbroom 2nd series poseable figures (3″ bears had curl of hair on forehead, were carded with accessories)
Lotsa Heart lephant
Good Luck Bear w/ clover leaf shovel Friend Bear with watering can Baby Hugs bear with Sweet Lickity Lollipop Baby Tugs Bear w/ Big Diggity Bucket Grumpy Bear with folded umbrella Bedtime Bear w/ Snooze Alarm Birthday Bear w/ Happy Birthday banner Cheer Bear w/ Merry Megaphone Friend Bear w/ Friendly Sparkler Funshine Bear w/ Suncatcher Love-A-Lot Bear w/ bouquet of hearts Tenderheart Bear w/ Caring heart mirror Cousins Bright Heart Raccoon w/ Clever Candle Brave Heart Lion w/ Trusty Shield Cozy Heart Penguin w/ N’ice Skates Gentle Heart Lamb w/ Peek-a-Boo Bell Lotsa Heart Elephant w/ Mighty Trunk Swift Heart Rabbit w/ Speedy Skateboard Miniature Care Bears figures 2″ 48 figures International Poseables Spain/ Italy Tantemosse Angelorso Bears by Luca and Vir, 4″ tall w/ accessory Yellow bear w/ trumpet Orange bear w/ ice cream Pink bear w/ pillow Blue Bear w/ candle Angelorso PVC Miniatures. Multiple colours of bears were made in the same poses. Bear w/ bow and heart with arrow Bear w/ egg basket Bear w/ butterfly Bear w/ violin Bear w/ honeypot Argentina Angel Oso (Angel Bears) These were produced by Fun City in 1991 using Kenner molds and boxes may have both Fun City and the previous maker of Angelorso Bears Vir on them. Deportistas (Sporty Bear/0 Goloso (Sweet Tooth Bear) Dormilon (Sleepyhead Bear) Bromista (Prankster Bear) France Pampers Diaper mail order poseables which had the Pampers logo either on their diaper or back of the head. Baby Hugs Bear Baby Tugs Bear Grams Bear Other figures PVC plastic figures by ASC, Bears and Cousins 1 3/4″ – 2 2/3″ 1983 Ceramic 3-4″ figures, Bears and Cousins 1980s Porcelain 2.5″ – up figures 1980s Playsets Care-a-Lot playset, Kenner 1983 w/tummy symbol dial Cloud Mobile vehicle with umbrella, basket and blanket Kenner Care Bears Rainbow Roller Kenner Other Merchandise  Included lines of clothing, household items, clothing for bears, roller skates, furntiture and collectible displays to name a tiny few of the items produced during the original Care Bear craze.      Sources: Care Bears Collectibles by Jan Lindenberger Toonseum Poseable Paradise

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