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Article: The Care Bears

Les Bisounours

The Care Bears

The Care Bears are cute teddy bears whose only vocation is to give love. With a total of four generations and many cousins, their troop has grown over the years but they are still cute !
While My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake and troll dolls are toys that invite collectability and pretend play, Care Bears have always had the chance to become beloved objects like other teddy bears. They are for some doomed to sleep on a child's pillow and to receive cuddles indefinitely.
With the expression "we don't live in the world of care bears" which is now part of everyday language, we realize that these stuffed animals have really marked history. Through this article, we will retrace their path and go back almost 40 years.
It all started in 1981 when illustrator Elena Kucharik imagined the "Care Bears" for the greeting card company she worked for, called "American Greetings". Specializing in children's illustrations, she teamed up with a colleague to pitch her designs to investors and toy producer Kenner. After approval of the concept, another artist by the name of Muriel Fahrion who is behind Strawberry Shortcake embarked on the creation of new bears.
After two years, hundreds of color illustrations for maps, books and various licensed products, and millions of development dollars, Care Bears was privately introduced to investors in 1982 and then to the world at the fair. from New York City in 1983, where a Broadway-style play was planned to celebrate the launch. We find in parallel the release of 6 books starring the cubs.
At the time, Kenner was known for his Star Wars action figures and wanted to get into the plush business with a line of teddy bears.

The first appearance on the big screen will be in stride, with an episode called The Care Bears in the Land Without Feelings, produced by the Kenner company.
Faced with a huge success, it is now the cousins of the Care Bears who are appearing.

They are therefore added to the 10 original characters which consist of Bedtime Bear, Birthday Bear, Cheer Bear, Friend Bear, Funshine Bear, Good Luck Bear, Grumpy Bear, Love-a-Lot Bear, Tenderheart Bear and Wish Bear.
At Artoyz, we have the adaptation of our dear Cheer Bear signed Medicom Toy ! In a version 400% or 1000% softer than ever, it is faithfully reproduced and will bring you back directly to childhood.


We then witness the release of various programs, specially designed to present the new arrivals. This is the case with The Care Bears Battle the Freeze Machine which unveiled Grams Bear, Hugs and Tugs in 1984. Produced by Atkinson Film-Arts studios, this special series honors its primary purpose as a promotional film and boosts sales of the headlining models !
With the new wave of characters we discover Secret Bear, who as his name suggests knows how to keep secrets, which will make him a perfect confidant ! You can also find it in Bearbrick format in a 400% and 1000% version.
In parallel, the first film is in preparation with a production signed Canadian Nevada Limited. The Care Bears are then present alongside their cousins in this animated musical film. With an early 1985 release, it became the highest-grossing animated film made in its day outside of the Disney market. And the numbers speak for themselves because if the budget was only 2 million dollars, it achieves more than 34 million dollars in box office receipts. The film's success, which saved his studio from closing, helped revive children's films in America.
In The Care Bears Movie, we discover the cubs coming to the rescue of young children who have lost their parents in an accident. The latter then do everything possible to comfort them and in turn introduce the famous cousins living in the mysterious forest of feelings.
But the productions do not stop at the films since the year 1985 also marks the beginning of the first comic strips in their effigy. Between November 1985 and January 1989, the Care Bears appeared in a 20-issue comic book series published by Marvel's Star Comics. The books were drawn by DC Comics artist, Howard Post, just that yes !
During the same period, in Britain, the Care Bears also appeared in a series of comic books published by Marvel UK with illustrations by Mario Capaldi.

The films then followed, with a second part in 1986 called Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation. Produced by Columbia Pictures, the film featured a new villain, Dark Heart, and featured other Care Bears and Care Bears Cousins: Harmony Bear, True Heart Bear, and Noble Heart Horse.
The third film named The Care Bears Adventures in Wonderland was released in 1987. Here we find the care bears who must save the princess of Wonderland from the evil wizard and his assistants, Dim and Dumb.

Over 40 million Care Bears were sold between 1983 and 1987, and American Greetings printed over 70 million of their cards during the decade. In total, sales of their merchandise reached over $2 billion during the 1980s.
The year 1991 marked a turning point in the history of Care Bears. After almost 10 years of existence, the relaunch was made to raise awareness of how the environment was being tarnished, with a new role for the bear cubs. They were then given a brand new look for this purpose with brand new symbols on the belly.
A new addition to the Proud Heart Bear line was also introduced, representing what makes America so great. The lineup only lasted a year and was heavily criticized.

The relaunch therefore failed, and a second wave scheduled for 1992 was cancelled, leaving the Care Bears franchise on hiatus until 1999 when it was bought out by Jay Foreman.

The 20th anniversary celebration in 2003 began with nine of the original ten bears, but replacing Birthday Bear with Share Bear. The bear artwork and design has been changed for the relaunch. This new look and a new "widespread" distribution (Walmart, Toy R Us or Kmart) have restored the license to the luster it had before, with more than 70 million 33 cm teddy bears sold !

In 2007, we find the film Oopsy do it and Care Bears : Adventures in Care-a-lot, new series from which comes our next product ! With its 2 seasons and 26 episodes, we discover the Care Bears with new belly symbols.

Best Friend is a very flirtatious and always available Care Bear, ready to become your new traveling companion !

400% Bearbrick Best friend


1000% Bearbrick Best friend

 We finally find a new movie in 2010, called Care Bears - to the Rescue, as well as the announcement concerning the main rights on the toys Care Bears which are from now on Hasbro.


In early January 2015, Netflix ordered a new television series called Care Bears & Cousins. This series was essentially a continuation of Welcome to Care-a-Lot which was canceled a year prior. We find the addition of four of the Care Bear Cousins - Brave Heart Lion, Lotsa Heart Elephant, Cozy Heart Penguin and Bright Heart Raccoon.


  On the side of the Boomerang platform, we discover Care Bears : Unlock the Magic. For the first time in a Care Bears series, the setting is set outside of Care-a-Lot in a mysterious world known as the Silver Lining, populated by creatures known as Whiffles.

In 2020, Basic Fun! launched a new line of Care Bears toys in the US, UK and Canada. With vibrant colors and an up-to-date design, there is no doubt that we have taken over from the stuffed animals of the 80s.

The Care Bears are also available in the form of small figurines, ready to be collected !

This article is coming to an end, we hope that you will like our Care Bears selection and that you will find what you are looking for !
Care Bears

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