The ten original Care Bears in the logo for the 1980s franchise, with Tenderheart Bear at top
|Creator||Those Characters from Cleveland|
|Original work||Greeting cards published by American Greetings (1981)|
|Books||See List of Care Bears books|
|Films and television|
|Original music||See List of Care Bears albums|
|Original artwork by||Elena Kucharik|
The Care Bears are a group of multi-colored bear characters created by American Greetings Corporation, LLC in 1981, through its Those Characters From Cleveland research and development division, for use on greeting cards. The original artwork for the cards was painted by artist Elena Kucharik. In 1983, Kenner turned the Care Bears into plush teddy bears. The Care Bears appeared in TV specials called The Care Bears in the Land Without Feelings (1983) and The Care Bears Battle the Freeze Machine (1984). They then had a television series from 1985 to 1988, and three feature films: The Care Bears Movie (1985), Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation (1986), The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland (1987).
Each Care Bear comes in a different color and has a specialized insignia on its belly that represents its duty and personality. This insignia was known as their "tummy symbol." However, the movie Care Bears: Oopsy Does It! renamed them "belly badges." Adding to the Care Bear family are the "Care Bear Cousins", which feature a lion, rabbit, penguin, raccoon, monkey, elephant, pig, dog, cat, and other such animals created in the same style as the teddy bears.
In 2002, the bears were reintroduced with new toys. Made by Play-Along Toys, the new toys offered features such as illuminated bellies upon touch, aerobic bears, and glow-in-the-dark bears. As part of this comeback, the Bears have appeared in two computer-animated movies: Care Bears: Journey to Joke-a-lot (2004) and The Care Bears' Big Wish Movie (2005). In 2007, the franchise celebrated its 25th anniversary; another relaunch took place, as well as the release of Care Bears: Oopsy Does It!.
In mid-2011, American Greetings announced a revival TV animated series titled Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot. The premiere of the series utilizes "30 years of caring". It premiered on The Hub on June 2, 2012.
As of 2014, Care Bears merchandise is still being marketed. During 2008 and 2009, Canada's Cookie Jar Group and France's MoonScoop Group attempted to acquire the franchise from American Greeting Cards, but with no apparent success.
The Care Bears were initially created in 1981 by Those Characters From Cleveland (TCFC), the licensing division of American Greetings. Jack Chojnacki, the co-president of TCFC, introduced the first Care Bear to six businessmen—three from American Greeting Cards, and three from the toy company Kenner—in February 1981. On the employees' reaction to the toy, Chojnacki recalled in early 1985: "It had a high 'aaaaaah' factor."
Muriel Fahrion, the artist who helped create Strawberry Shortcake's look, was also among the franchise's first concept artists. Working with TCFC Creative VP Ralph Shaffer, Muriel designed the first six bears, creating the best-selling greeting card themes for their belly graphics. Susan Trentel, Muriel's sister and doll designer of Strawberry Shortcake, designed the Care Bears plush. Once out of the concept stage children's book illustrator Elena Kucharik became the primary artist for the Care Bears creating hundreds of full color illustrations for cards, books and a myriad of licensed products. TCFC's creative team of artists and writers worked to create numerous characters in the line, which was a joint development by Those Characters From Cleveland and MAD (Marketing and Design Service of the toy group of General Mills).:53
As they had done with Strawberry Shortcake, once titled "Project I," American Greeting Cards called the Care Bears development "Project II" as they strove to make the character program secret until advertising was ready. At the start of the franchise, Care Bears was already established as its working title.
Launch and success
On September 24, 1982, the Care Bears franchise was launched in New York City before members of the area's Society of Security Analysts. Attending the event were American Greetings president Morry Weiss, and two employees of Those Characters from Cleveland: Jack Chojnacki and senior vice-president Henry Lowenthal. Eventually, the characters were announced as a toyline for production by Parker Brothers and Kenner the following spring, as well as pre-licensed characters and media stars. At that time, American Greetings touted their debut as "the biggest character launch in the history of retailing". On a US$5–6 million advertising budget and a wholesale commitment worth US$122.5 million, American Greetings introduced the characters to the general public in February 1983, with an appearance at New York City's Toy Fair; 26 licensees were involved upon launch. Among them was General Mills, a food company which owned the board game manufacturer Parker Brothers. In early 1983, Parker Brothers released six books featuring the Care Bears as part of its publishing division's first offerings. On television, the original ten Bears starred in their first syndicated special, Atkinson Film-Arts' The Care Bears in the Land Without Feelings; Kenner produced and sponsored it.:52
In December 1983, American Greetings and CPG Products lost a lawsuit against Easter Unlimited, importers of a line known as "Message Bears". According to New York City judge Leonard B. Sand, those toys lacked the "heart-shaped 'toushee tags'" used to identify the Care Bears.
In 1984, AGC introduced a spin-off line, the Care Bear Cousins; another syndicated special, The Care Bears Battle the Freeze Machine, came out that same year. A miniseries based on the toys was distributed by Lexington Broadcast Services Company.:52 A year later, the Bears and Cousins starred in their first film, The Care Bears Movie, produced by Nelvana Limited and released by The Samuel Goldwyn Company. It became the highest-grossing animated film made outside the Disney market at the time of its release. Later that autumn, DIC Entertainment released an 11-episode television series in syndication.
In 1986, Nelvana returned to the franchise with a second movie, Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation. Released by Columbia Pictures, the film featured a new villain, Dark Heart, and introduced more of the Care Bears and Care Bears Cousins: Harmony Bear, True Heart Bear, and Noble Heart Horse.
Later that year, a TV series titled The Care Bears Family (also from Nelvana) premiered on the U.S. ABC network and Canada's Global. Lasting two seasons and consisting of over 70 episodes, this introduced the evil wizard No Heart and his sidekick Beastly. In the second season, No Heart's niece Shreeky was introduced.
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 whole, the sales of their merchandise reached over $2 billion during the 1980s.
In early 1991, Those Characters from Cleveland and Kenner embarked on a relaunch of the franchise, involving seven bears. One of the Care Bear Cousins, Proud Heart Cat, was released as a bear with white fur that sported the tummy symbol of a heart-shaped American flag. The publishing company Random House released two tie-in books: The Care Bears and the Big Cleanup (1991) by Bobbi Katz, and The Care Bears and the Whale Tale (1992) by Peggy Kahn.
In 1999, the rights to the Care Bears franchise were bought by Jay Foreman, the president of Fort Lauderdale-based Play Along Toys, for less than $1 million; he also planned to acquire fellow American Greeting Cards property Strawberry Shortcake. Three years later, American Greetings relaunched the Care Bear brand as part of the Bears' 20th anniversary celebration with a series of plush toys and movies. The artwork and design of the bears were changed for relaunch. Also, Champ Bear's colours were changed from tan to true blue, with his tummy symbol changed to a winner's cup with a star, and Share Bear's tummy symbol was changed from a milkshake with two straws to two lollipops crossed. The change to Share Bear's symbol stems from Play Along Toys' suggestion of the change on the grounds that sharing a milkshake may spread germs. Apart from that, many other minor changes were made to the designs, mostly involving lightening the colors of the bears and minor redesigns to the tummy symbols.
In the midst of this revival, Play Along released brand new toys based on the newly redesigned Bears, sold at stores such as Wal-Mart, Kmart, Toys "R" Us, Target, KB Toys, and Mervyns. The new merchandise included the Bears doing aerobics; Tenderheart Bear as a patient (casting the child that is playing with the toy as the doctor); Champ Bear as a fireman; and the Care Bears themselves as Cubs. Over 70 million 13-inch (330 mm) plush Bears have been sold since the re-launch. In addition, Lionsgate Home Entertainment and subsidiary FHE Pictures, in association with Nelvana, have made two direct-to-DVD computer-animated films, Care Bears: Journey to Joke-a-lot in 2004 and The Care Bears' Big Wish Movie in 2005. Various other music CDs featuring the bears and video games were also produced.
New versions of the various cousins were produced (with Proud Heart being changed back into a cat, in a different color and the same symbol she had in the 1980s franchise). Two of the Cousins, Treat Heart Pig and Noble Heart Horse, were never produced as 13 inch plushes in the 2000s, and the Cousins were not relaunched in the 2007 relaunch of the franchise.
In 2007, American Greetings relaunched Care Bears again, first with a series of dolls, then a new movie, Care Bears: Oopsy Does It! and immediately before with a new TV series Care Bears: Adventures in Care-a-lot. The animation and artwork is completely different from the originals giving the Care Bears have smaller body structures and redesigned tummy symbols, which are now called belly badges. Also, instead of Nelvana, the film and the animated series are produced by SD Entertainment.
As part of the franchise's 25th anniversary celebrations, the Bears were redesigned by the American Greetings Properties illustration team, as was the logo of the franchise. The line consists of fifteen of the thirty-nine bears (as seen in Care Bears: Oopsy Does It!). Five of the bears were chosen to be the focus of the franchise: Oopsy Bear, Cheer Bear, Funshine Bear, Grumpy Bear and Share Bear. The other bears include Wish Bear, True Heart Bear, Bedtime Bear, Tenderheart Bear, Love-a-lot Bear, Harmony Bear, Amigo Bear, Surprise Bear, Superstar Bear, Best Friend Bear, Play-A-Lot Bear, Heartsong Bear, Good Luck Bear and Hopeful Heart Bear, although the remaining 24 bears are also stated to have a release in the near future according to Play Along Toys.
Their new theme song is performed by former Letters to Cleo member, Kay Hanley, and the music video premiered on Fox and Nickelodeon. In August 2007, they appeared in 20th Century Fox's theatrical release of Care Bears: Oopsy Does It!. This was followed by the television series from SD Entertainment, Adventures in Care-a-lot. The series premiered on CBS' KEWLopolis block on September 15, 2007.
The Care Bears franchise was rebooted upon the 2007 relaunch. Prior plot devices like the Cloudmobiles, Caring Meter, the Cloud Keeper, and even Care-a-lot castle were not referred to or mentioned as of the new series. In its place is the gathering tree, which is where the Care Bears now gather to meet or hold festivities. Also, the Care Bears have, up until the point of the first direct-to-DVD release for the new franchise (Grizzle-ly Adventures), never had humans visit Care-a-lot, and a new villain named Grizzle (who seeks to conquer Care-a-lot and nothing else) was introduced. A February 2007 article in the Wall Street Journal states that in the new version, "they live in a village, centered on a big tree; with no castle in sight".
However, the Caring Meter made its return in Grizzle-y Adventures, and the second direct-to-DVD release of the franchise, Ups and Downs, included a passing remark regarding the Forest of Feelings. In addition, Care-a-lot castle reappeared in certain scenes in the new game for the V.Smile Baby Infant Development System, Play Day.
On July 23, 2008, American Greetings announced that the Care Bears (along with Strawberry Shortcake) would be sold to Cookie Jar Entertainment in an acquisition due to take place on September 30, 2008. By April 2009, it was announced that Cookie Jar Entertainment had problems in financing the acquisition and that a French company called MoonScoop has also expressed interest in the franchise. The deadline for Cookie Jar's acquisition was April 30, and MoonScoop's attempt June 7. In mid-August 2009, MoonScoop sued American Greetings, claiming the latter backed out of the planned US$95 million deal; AGC and Cookie Jar sued each other in the process as well. In late April 2010, the Cleveland company "won summary judgment on MoonScoop SAS' contract", as well as "promissory estoppel claims" in the case; MoonScoop filed for an appeal the following month. At the end of November 2012, the US District Court in Cleveland ruled in favor of American Greetings over MoonScoop.
In late 2009, American Greetings announced that the Care Bears will be re-imagined with the launch of a new series, "Care Power Team". This re-imagining re-used the Adventures in Care-a-lot designs, has the bears sport "enhanced belly badges," and sees the bears taking on emergencies. Soon after, a trio of new films appeared: Care Bears: Share Bear Shines, Care Bears: The Giving Festival and Care Bears: To the Rescue. In the same year, it was announced that the master rights to the toys for the Care Bears have changed hands from Play Along Toys to Hasbro, in a deal that also involved Strawberry Shortcake. However, it was only in mid-2013 that the first Care Bear toys from Hasbro appeared. There has been no word on what caused the delay.
In July 2011, the card company announced that a new television series, the franchise's first in CGI, is in development. Entitled Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot, it premiered on The Hub on June 2, 2012.
In December 2013, AG Properties and Mindworks Entertainment announced they will collaborate with Sanrio for a co-branding with the character franchise Little Twin Stars. An expanded rollout is expected in March 2014.
In July 2014, it was announced that Hasbro has lost the rights to making the toys to another toy company called Just Play. It is widely thought that the reason for the change is due to American Greetings being unhappy with how long it took Hasbro to release a toyline from the time it acquired the rights to make the toys.
In January 15, 2015, it was revealed that Netflix has commissioned a new series called Care Bears and Cousins after The Hub cancelled Welcome to Care-a-Lot. The show is set to premiere sometime in 2016.
Characters and universe
||This section may be written from a fan's point of view, rather than a neutral point of view. (October 2010)|
The franchise consists mainly of the Care Bears themselves, as well as the later additions the Care Bear Cousins. Both of them live in the Kingdom of Caring, which is made up of Care-a-lot (the home of the Care Bears proper) and the Forest of Feelings (home to the Care Bear Cousins). In 1989, Carole Ashkinaze of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution referred to them as "the whimsical, late 20th-century descendents [sic] of what we used to know as guardian angels: furry, friendly, adorable creatures whose mission is to guide small children and protect them from bogeymen. Running against a Care Bear is like, well, running against the Easter Bunny."
Accompanying them are the Star and Heart Buddies, who look out for the Bears and Cousins whenever they are on missions in caring; and the Birds, who are usually seen in the Forest of Feelings with the Care Bear Cousins and watch over them. A less recurring character is The Cloud Keeper, the portly gentleman who maintains Care-a-lot. He only appeared in some of the franchise's early publications and on the DiC-produced TV episodes.
The ten original Care Bears consisted 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. Later on, additional bears joined them, as well as the Cousins.
For the new 2007 TV series, Care Bears: Adventures in Care-a-lot, five of the Care Bears were chosen to be the main characters of the show. As seen on the Care Bears website, they are Share Bear, Cheer Bear, Funshine Bear, Grumpy Bear, and the new bear introduced in the movie, Oopsy Bear who would frequently make a mess of things. However, the other Care Bears still make appearances in the series. The unofficial role of leader of the bears, as of the new series, was transferred from Tenderheart Bear to Cheer Bear. The cousins were not relaunched in the 2007 series.
Some elements of the Care Bears franchise pay homage to the legend of King Arthur. For example, the name of the main characters' residence, Care-a-lot, is a play on King Arthur's legendary Camelot castle. The Care Bear Family sits around a heart-shaped table, similar to the Round Table used by Arthur and his knights. In addition, Sir Lancelot's name inspired that of Love-a-lot Bear.
Throughout the movies and series, various villains have tried to stop the Bears and Cousins in the background on their missions. On the first two specials and DiC television series, they battled against Professor Coldheart, his assistant Frostbite, and occasionally Auntie Freeze; in Nelvana's version, they faced Wizard No Heart, his bumbling assistant Beastly and his ill-tempered niece Shreeky, and minor villains such as Dr. Fright and Sour Sam. In the movies, they went up against Nicholas and the Evil Spirit in The Care Bears Movie, Dark Heart in Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation, The Wizard of Wonderland and his assistants Dim & Dumb in The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland, and the Rat King and Evil Vizier in Care Bears Nutcracker Suite. Following the 2002 revival, Sir Funnybone the rat was introduced as a villain in the movie Care Bears: Journey to Joke-a-lot, while The Care Bears' Big Wish Movie broke from tradition in which it did not have a villain. For the 2007 revival, The new movie, Care Bears: Oopsy Does It! introduced new villains, Grizzle and WingNut, who persists into the new TV series, Care Bears: Adventures in Care-a-lot.
The Care Bears' ultimate weapon is the "Care Bear Stare" (a.k.a. "Belly Magic"), in which the collected Bears stand together and radiate light from their respective tummy symbols. These combine to form a ray of love and good cheer which could bring care and joy into the target's heart. The Care Bear Stare has several different looks. One has a beam coming from the tummy being made up of several replicated images of the symbol. Another variation forms a rainbow when multiple Bears and/or Cousins are involved. A yellow beam with red hearts is sometimes seen as well. The movies Care Bears: Journey to Joke-a-lot and The Care Bears' Big Wish Movie do not feature the Care Bear stare, but it does return in Oopsy Does It!. In the new series, Care Bears Adventures in Care-a-lot, the stare appears as a beam of light in the color of the bear from which it originates, but is initiated by simply rubbing the symbol.
In the original animated specials and the DiC series, the Care Bear Stare is initiated by the phrase "Care Bears...prepare to stare!" while in the Nelvana series and later versions it is initiated by the phrase "Care Bears Countdown!"
During the movies and the DiC series, the Care Bear Cousins call their weapon the "Care Bear Cousin Call." In the DiC series, the call looks identical to the Care Bear Stare and is often performed at the same time without it being referred to as the call. In the first movie, the Cousins, excluding Swift Heart Rabbit, simply made whatever animal noise is common to their species since they did not have any tummy symbols; those are later given to them by the Care Bears at the end of the movie. In the second movie, the Call looks like a musical score which radiates from their tummy symbols. By the start of the Nelvana series, the Care Bear Cousin Call was no longer used and the Cousins simply performed the Care Bear Stare.
Although commonly used on villains, the stare and call have been also been used on humans and the Care Bears themselves. It was occasionally used in the DiC series to cure Care Bears and humans who were placed under the effects of Professor Coldheart's uncaring magic. It also occurred once in Adventures in Care-a-lot, when it was used to temporarily cheer Grumpy up in the episode "Tell-Tale Tummy".
In addition to the Care Bear Stare, the Care Bears can also use their tummy symbols to summon other assistance such as heart-shaped balloons, cloud cars, rainbow bridges and sending out a distress signal.
Shown prominently in most of the Care Bears movies and TV episodes made in the 80s, the Caring Meter is typically in the dead center of Care-a-lot inside the Care Bears' main meeting hall. This meter shows how much caring there is both in Care-a-lot and on Earth. In the 1980s movies/cartoons, it is shown as an un-numbered clock-like meter. In The Care Bears' Big Wish Movie, the meter is shown with a raincloud (less caring) side and a rainbow (more caring) side. Ideally, the Caring Meter should be all the way towards the rainbow side. Whenever the Bears see the meter drop towards the raincloud side, they try to prevent it from getting worse by going on "caring missions" to try to get more people to care or for the Bears themselves to do caring deeds. If the meter drops near zero, Care-a-lot will suffer disasters, such as thunderstorms, buildings and rainbows crumbling (earlier movies) or the bright colors of Care-a-lot gradually turning into black and white (later movies). If the meter were to reach all the way to zero (there is no caring anywhere), then Care-a-lot would be gone forever.
Initially, no mention was made of the Caring Meter in Care Bears: Oopsy Does It! and the first season of Adventures in Care-a-lot. With the release of Grizzle-y Adventures, the franchise's first direct-to-DVD release, the Caring Meter has returned, and the Care Bears have begun to interact with humans once again.
Apart from toys, books, greeting cards and animated media, the Care Bears have been prominently featured in merchandising as well, some of which includes gummy bears, party goods, cell phone covers, interior decoration sets, stationery, school supplies, stickers, clothing, accessories and many other goods. During the early 2000s relaunch, the classic Care Bear toys were available at stores such as Carlton Cards, Claire's, and Spencer Gifts.
When the franchise was introduced in the 1980s, a mistake was made while manufacturing the stuffed animals causing Bedtime Bear (blue) and Wish Bear (aqua) to swap colors. As soon as the mistake was discovered, the two bears returned into their appropriate colors. Later, a children's story was written explaining why the bears had switched colors.
In his 1986 essay, The Shortcake Strategy, Tom Englehardt referred to the Care Bears dolls as "highly specialized" toys. "So specialized [are they] that instead of being complex individual personalities, they are no more than carefully labeled fragments of a personality", he stated. "Together, they must engage in a series of specialized interventions as complex as those of any real-life medical unit."
Many children's books have been based on, and have featured, the Care Bears and Care Bear Cousins. Some early publications include "Meet the Care Bear Cousins" (based on the first movie), "Sweet Dreams for Sally", "The Witch Down the Street", "The Trouble with Timothy", and "A Sister for Sam." All of these titles were published by toy makers Parker Brothers, who was a licensee of the characters. Over 45 million Care Bears books were sold during the 1980s. As of 2006, Scholastic Press has published books based on the Bears' first two CGI films, as well as the new toys, while Modern Publishing publishes a small number of activity and baby books featuring the bears for the toddler market. Publications International and Penny Candy Press are also known to have published a few sound books featuring the bears in the past.
In Playing by Different Rules, a 1988 book chronicling the Parker Brothers/General Mills merger, Ellen Wojahn wrote that Parker's Care Bears books (along with those based on sister property Strawberry Shortcake) "were, in fact, little more than illustrated brochures for Kenner's projects—and who knew [by 1984] how long the likes of these characters would remain popular?"
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. The November 13, 1986 issue featured a crossover with another American Greetings property, the Madballs.
During the same period, over in Britain the Care Bears also appeared in a comic book series published by Marvel UK with artwork by Harry Papadopoulus. The pereodic comics eventually were then bundled into hardcover Care Bear Annual books. some of these UK comic book issues also had stories and art from the US comic series.
At the height of the '80s Care Bears craze, Kid Stuff Records released several LPs based on the franchise. These included "Introducing the Care Bears", "The Care Bears Care For You", "Adventures in Care-a-lot", "The Care Bears' Birthday Party", and "The Care Bears' Christmas" (all from 1983), and 1986's "Friends Make Everything Better" (released as a promotion with Trianimic). They released the soundtrack albums for the first two movies. The albums based on the toys were best sellers in children's music during their prime.
All of the albums from 1983 (except for "Birthday Party") featured writing, production, and performance credits from Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan (who were the lead singers of The Turtles, also known as Flo & Eddie; former Mothers of Invention from Frank Zappa's 1970–1972 period). The soundtrack album from The Care Bears Movie featured songs by Carole King and John Sebastian, who sang lead for The Lovin' Spoonful.
In the midst of the 2002 revival, Madacy Kids released brand new Care Bear CDs. In 2004, Meet the Care Bears, Care Bears Holiday Hugs, Care Bears Christmas Eve, and the Care Bears: Journey to Joke-a-lot soundtrack album came out, as well as Care Bears Nighty-Night the following year.
The cover of both Care Bears Holiday Hugs and Care Bears Nighty-Night advertises another two CDs, called Care Bears Share A Smile and Care Bears Let's Be Friends. As of April 2008, Both Share A Smile and Let's Be Friends have been folded into a single album and released as a digital download from www.Amazon.com and www.Walmart.com, however it is at this date not available as a physical CD. This has caused some difficulties to international fans as Amazon.com and Walmart.com will not sell digital downloads to fans who reside outside North America.
Approximately 50 seconds into the music video for the breakout single "I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need to Be Nicer" from Swedish rock band The Cardigans sixth studio album Super Extra Gravity, there is a brief appearance of Bedtime Bear. He is shown again for the last time at the 76 second, lying on a bed in close proximity to the featured dog.
A Care Bears game was planned for the Atari 2600 in 1983. It was preliminarily completed and ready for beta testing, but the project was canceled before testing could begin. The beta prototype subsequently disappeared into obscurity and the only known existing prototype to date is an early alpha of the game. No other games featuring the bears were ever made during the period.
In 2004, the Bears starred in their first official game, Care-a-lot Jamboree for the PC. A few months later, another game featuring the Care Bears for the PC, Let's Have a Ball! was released. In the same year they were featured in Care Bears: A Lesson in Caring for the V.Smile educational game console.
Like the movies, no game for any systems was produced in 2006, and no new game was released in time for the 2007 relaunch. However, in August 2008, a new game, Care Bears Play Day, was released for the V.Smile Baby Infant Development System, finally breaking the two years of silence for the franchise on the gaming front.
||This section's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (October 2010)|
Various interactive smart toys with the Bears have been introduced by Play Along since the 2002 revival. One of them, Care Bears Share-A-Story, was introduced by Play Along in July 2005. The toy is based upon the same basic idea of a Teddy Ruxpin. The head, mouth and eyes of the Care Bear move around as a cartridge plays fairy tales such as Goldilocks and the Three Care Bears, Jack and the Beanstalk and the Three Little Pigs. A hardback book version of the story comes with it so the parent and child can read along as the story plays. The toy ships with the story Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and additional story cartridges and books are to be purchased separately. Also, apparently only Share Bear was ever made as such a toy.
Additionally, Care Bears Sing-along pals were also introduced. These Care Bears plush toys sing three different songs while their heads rock back and forth and could synchronize wirelessly with other singing Care Bears of the series to sing together in a group (the effective wireless coverage being three feet, although the range might deteriorate due to environmental conditions and remaining battery strength). While initially introduced in a rather large variety of designs, at the moment only the Share Bear, Cheer Bear and Funshine Bear models are still being made, with the physical appearance of the bears redesigned to match the 25th anniversary looks.
Another Care Bear smart toy is the Care Bears Tenderheart Smart Check-up. The toy comes with an interactive plush Tenderheart bear and various toy medical equipment. The interactive plush has soft-touch points throughout the body and can be fully played with without the toy medical equipment.
Lastly, there are a line of Care Bears smart toys that would play hide and seek with the owner. The line, called Hide 'N Seek Care Bears, comes in two designs: Secret Bear and Surprise Bear. Both bear comes with a wireless handpiece. To play the toy, a third party, usually the parent, must partake in the game by hiding the bear. The child then has to find the bear, with the handpiece occasionally providing hints on how close the child is to the bear through audible instructions.
Live appearances and shows
Funshine Bear as part of the Christmas decoration in Junction 8, Singapore in Dec 2013.
The Care Bears appeared in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1985. With the redesign of the characters on the heels of their 25th anniversary, the Care Bears returned to the parade for the holiday in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Also in those latter two years, they appeared at the Macy's Flower Show in the flagship New York store.
In 1984 and 1985, the Care Bears appeared at the San Diego Zoo in California, performing in a stage show at the amphitheater.
Tenderheart Bear, Funshine Bear and Cheer Bear appeared in a live-action 1985 TV special produced by ABC station WLS-TV in Chicago called "Be A Safe Kid", teaching kids how to be safe from strangers.
In the Summer and Fall of 1986 and 1987, the ABC television network toured shopping malls across the country with their stage show "The ABC Family Fun Fair" promoting their Saturday morning cartoon lineup for those years. With "The Care Bears Family" series as part of that block, some of the cast were part of the show...Funshine Bear, Cheer Bear and Braveheart Lion in the 1986 edition and Cheer Bear with Tenderheart Bear in the 1987 tour.
During the Summers from 1988 through 1992, the Care Bears were the official characters in residence at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom near Allentown PA. On the park's Center Stage, they performed in "The Care Bear Song & Dance Revue" and also did many walkabout meets & greets with guests around the amusement park. Dorney Park also had the animatronic "Care-A-Lot Castle" show created by Sally Industries.
Tenderheart Bear appeared at the Teddy Bear Rally in Amherst MA from 1996 to 2005.
Throughout the 2000s, the Care Bears have appeared in the DooDah Parade in Ocean City NJ.
In the mid-2000s, the Care Bears starred in their own stage show, called "Care Bears Live", organized by VEE Corporation.
The Care Bears appeared in the 2007 St.Patrick's Day Parade in Chicago, where, as grand marshal, Good Luck Bear ceremoneously dyed the Chicago River green from a motorboat.
The Care Bears have been appearing in the annual Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver BC, Canada since 2008.
During the Christmas holiday season, the Care Bears have done shows and appearances in Singapore at the Downtown East shopping mall and entertainment district from 2008 through 2010.
During the 2010's, Tenderheart Bear has appeared in the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade in New York City.
Funshine Bear and Share Bear appear in America's Children's Holiday Parade taking place in Oakland CA early during the Christmas season.
Funshine and Share have also been appearing in the Indy 500 Festival Parade in Indianapolis IN over Memorial Day weekend.
As part of the Care Bears' 30th Anniversary, Share Bear appeared at the Noodlecat restaurant in San Diego CA as part of The Hub's presence at Comicon 2012 in San Diego CA.
Also in connection with their 30th anniversary, Cheer Bear appeared at The Toonseum in Pittsburgh PA during a 2012 exhibit about the Care Bears' animated television series, and also at the Pittsburgh Comic Arts Festival sponsored by them.
On the weekend in the middle of June 2013, Funshine Bear, Cheer Bear, Share Bear and Grumpy Bear appeared onstage for "A Care Bears Dance Party" at Sesame Place in Langhorne PA.
In July 2013, Funshine Bear and Love-A-Lot Bear appeared at the Anthrocon furry fandom convention in Pittsburgh PA, which took place in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
- Connelly, Sherryl (April 2, 1985). "High 'aaah" factor has meant millions". Boca Raton News. New York Daily News. p. 4B. Retrieved August 6, 2010.
- Ligue française de l'enseignement et de l'éducation permanente; Union française des œuvres laïques d'éducation par l'image et le son (1986). "Les Bisounours (The Care Bears Movie)". La Revue du cinéma (in French) 418. Ligue française de l'enseignement et de l'éducation permanente. p. 26. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
Scn. : Peter Sauder, d'après les personnages créés pour Those Characters from Cleveland par Linda Edwards, Muriel Fahrion, Elena Kucharik, Dave Polter, Tom Schneider, Ralph Shaffer, Clark Willey.
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Patriotic bears: Two Ohio companies have joined together to teach children about the environment and patriotism....
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