It was 1981 when the first ten Care Bears were designed for greeting cards. Just two years later, the toy line was rolled out, which is when children really began to fall in love with them.
The Care Bears were all distinguished by their different colour and, more importantly, the symbols on their stomach. These symbols show their distinct personalities – Bedtime Bear had a sleeping moon on his stomach, Cheer Bear had a rainbow, Friend Bear had two flowers and so on. Their “personalities” made them very collectable.
The Care Bears took to TV and cinema screens with The Care Bears cartoon and The Care Bears Movie in 1985. Both introduced us to the Care Bears’ home, Care-a-Lot, along with new characters like Cozy Heart Penguin and Lotsa Heart Elephant.
Outside of Disney productions, The Care Bears Movie became the highest-grossing animated movie of all time – not bad given their humble beginnings. The bears themselves went on to become one of the biggest and most-loved toys of the Eighties.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the Care Bears, the brand was relaunched in 2002. This revamp included all-new character designs, as well as a pair of straight-to-DVD movies. The bears even found a home on Netflix, in the new series Care Bears and Cousins.