Three decades on from having made their first appearance, the Care Bears are on course to delight a whole new generation of youngsters, thanks to a new master toy partnership with Basic Fun.
The Florida-based toy and novelties company has been handed the UK and North American master toy rights for the classic brand from the property’s owner Cloudco Entertainment. Basic Fun now plans on launching a fresh line up of products focusing on interactivity, collectability and playability.
Care Bears first came to market in the early 1980’s as an American Greetings card line, quickly followed by a successful Kenner toy line. The property became a runaway hit when reintroduced in the early 2000’s by Play Along, which was co-founded by Basic Fun!’s CEO Jay Foreman.
From 1984 to 1986 and then from 2003 to 2005, the Care Bears brand racked up more than $1B in retail toy sales and more than $4B across all categories.
“When we relaunched Care Bears at Play Along, we were blown away by how big it hit and how well it was received by kids and collectors, considering it had only been off the market for just over ten years,” said Foreman.
“Now that we are truly in the sweet spot between the confluence of the millennial mom and her child with this heritage brand, and the craze of collecting, our launch has the potential to be bigger than ever.”
Sean Gorman, president of Cloudco Entertainment, added: “We couldn’t be happier to bring back this brand with the same team that made it happen for us almost 20 years ago. Jay has a real flair for reigniting and reinventing classic brands and making them relevant for today’s kids and gift givers.
“With an all-new look, an all-new TV series, and lots of fantastic partners starting with Basic Fun!, we’re confident that The Care Bears will command the attention and love of all their long-time fans as well as an entirely new generation of kids.”
Basic Fun plans to debut the new Care Bears line to key customers at the Fall Toy Preview in Dallas in October 2019, to the broader trade at Toy Fair New York in February 2020, and to have product on shelf in the second half of 2020 throughout North America and the UK.
The new animated series, Care Bears: Unlock the Magic, which debuted earlier this year in the US on Boomerang and Cartoon Network in the US as well as Tiny Pop in the UK, is a modern take on the cast of bears from Care-A-Lot that many generations know and love with lots of new characters and adventures.