My girls have been having some CARE BEARS withdrawal issues of late, with CARE BEARS: WELCOME TO CARE-A-LOT producing just 26 episodes (the last new one aired nearly 2 ½ years ago already), and the next series nearly a year off, when CARE BEARS AND COUSINS makes it’s debut as a NETFLIX Original in 2016. While the popular characters from American Greetings are often popping up on those lists of “80’s Toys That Are Back!” – CARE BEARS have never gone away for any real length of time, though their licensing partners have changed repeatedly. One of the more recent companies to pick-up the merchandising torch is Just Play, who have been slowly rolling out a new collection of CARE BEARS toys primed to capture the hearts of new fans and old ones (like me) alike. The first item to really hit home for us is the “Care Bears 5-Pack of Articulated Figures,” which we’re just calling “action figures” here at Rock Father HQ, despite only the arms moving on these 3″ figures. Minimal articulation matters not to my girls, who are absolutely in love with this collection, while the nostalgia vibe is mighty for my wife and I…
Growing up in the original CARE BEARS glory days of the mid-1980s (I saw the first two CARE BEARS movies on the big-screen), my sister and I had a variety of toys the first time around, none more memorable than the 3″ figures that Kenner was making way back then. Yes, the same folks that gave the world STAR WARS figures and birthed the entire movement of the now-standard 3 ¾” figures also gave us some fantastic CARE BEARS, and 30 years later, Just Play has really captured that vibe – and it may have been unintentional.
Cheer Bear, Funshine Bear, Tenderheart Bear, Share Bear and my personal favorite, Grumpy Bear are all present in this first 5-pack, though both of my girls asked the exact same question upon playing with these for the very first time: “Where’s Wonderheart Bear?” Seeing that the WELCOME TO CARE-A-LOT series was relatively short-lived, hopefully the youthful Wonderheart Bear will appear on the NETFLIX continuation, because my kids love her. While the previous licensees did make some Wonderheart plush, it would be fantastic to see her pop-up down the line as an articulated figure.
In just a few short weeks, I’ve seen the girls (particularly the figure-obsessed Little Miss Finley) incorporate their new CARE BEARS into a variety of adventures inside and out. They’re the perfect size to seamlessly interact with a multitude of other figures from different creative universes, and as I type this right now, it looks like Share Bear is about to drive off in a Jeep. Funny how that works out.
Available now from Toys “R” Us and other retailers for a suggested retail price of just $14.99