It’s back to the 1980s for the latest toy trend, as Suzanne Nelson reports.
OVER the past few years there has been a resurgence in popularity for toys that first became must-haves for children in the 1980s.
Many parents have found themselves buying their children revamped versions of toys that they used to play with – such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, My Little Pony and Transformers.
Now to add to the list are the cute and colourful Care Bear characters that first hit the big time in the early 1980s.
Care Bears each have their own color and “belly badge” to represent its character and personality, such as Share Bear and Grumpy Bear.
And according to Toy Planet, in Derby’s Intu shopping Centre, the bears have been flying off the shelves since they first started stocking them just over a month ago.
Eleanor Cullen, one of the store’s managers, said: “They have been selling incredibly quickly. We sold out of the first delivery within a couple of weeks.
“We had a new delivery just over a week ago, which included two Tenderheart Bears that sold within a day.”
The toys were created by American Greetings in late 1981 for a line of greeting cards but soon had their own films, TV show and range of merchandise.
They were a big craze in the 1980s, trickled into the 90s and are now seeing another huge revival.
“Care Bears were on the list of top toys for 2015,” said Eleanor.
“They have a broad appeal – adults see them and remember them from the 1980s and either buy them for nostalgia or to introduce them to their own children and children like them because they’re cute and cuddly.
“They each promote a moral message too, such as sharing and harmony.”
There are several characters in the new range, including Cheer Bear, Share Bear, Harmony Bear, Grumpy Bear and Tenderheart Bear, which are all sold by Toy Planet. Large Care Bears with a DVD are priced £17.99 and smaller bears are £7.99.
Eleanor said: “Cheer Bear has been the most popular, followed by Share Bear – although we have sold quite a few Grumpy Bears too.
“We have a shop in Burton’s High Street and it has seen big demand for Care Bears since they came into stock. They are flying off the shelves.”
As well as Care Bears, Eleanor is also tipping several other toys for big success in 2015.
These include the new Lego ranges – Speed Champion Lego and Lego Elves – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and merchandise linked to the new Avengers movie and Disney’s Frozen Fever short sequel to the popular animated film.
And she believes that last year’s Loom Bands craze will be overtaken by Shopkins – fun, small collectable characters that live in a shopping world.
She said: “These are rubbery little figures that look like supermarket items. They’re selling well and I think they will take over Loom Bands.”
MEET THE CARE BEAR BUNCH:
Cheer practically invented looking on the bright side! She often makes up cheers right on the spot for encouragement or to help solve a problem. Spreading happiness is as evident in her constant smile as they are on her belly badge.
Share is her name, and sharing is her game! Share Bear is a nurturing and generous bear who considers everyone her friend. Carefree and loving, Share is happiest when she’s giving – or baking! She thinks sharing is such a treat, that she shows it with her belly badge – two heart-shaped lollipops.
For Funshine, having fun is job number one. Nothing makes him happier than hanging with friends, or going on adventures – making even more friends along the way! He makes the most of his days with sunny optimism and for being fearless. Funshine’s belly badge reflects this spirit – a smiling, blazing yellow sun.
Behind Grumpy’s gruffness is a big softie who really cares. He’s great at connecting with children and reminds those who are having a bad day that they’re always loved – which is why his belly badge is a rain cloud with heart-shaped raindrops.
Tenderheart is very wise, grandfatherly bear whose heart is always in the right place. Whether it’s advice or understanding, he knows just what a child needs to help them share their feelings. He has the perfect belly badge for the job, too – a big, red heart
A talented performer who is all about bringing folks together and encouraging them do their best, especially through music. She believes that differences are the key to creating harmony in the world. The flower on her belly badge reflects this by having different coloured petals.
Silly, sweet and full of joy, Wonderheart is Tenderheart’s neice. Always wanting to be part of the bigger bears’ adventures, she is a playfully curious bear who is never short on questions – about everything. Her belly badge is clearly a little heart, but she won’t know what its full power is until she’s a little older.