Care Bears poseable figures – Play Along Toys

Care Bears poseable figures by Play Along Toys

Company: Play Along Toys / Jakks Pacific

Release: 2002

Size: 9 cm

Main distribution: America / Europe

These are a line of poseable figures of Care Bears, to accompany the relaunch in 2002 for the Care Bears’ 20th Anniversary after the President of Play Along Toys bought the rights in 1999.

The Care Bears came in a blister pack, on a blue cardboard with the new rainbow Care Bear logo above it.

I believe 10 figures were made; Tenderheart Bear, Cheer Bear, Funshine Bear, Wish Bear, Share Bear, Friend Bear, Bedtime Bear, Grumpy Bear, Laugh-a-Lot Bear and Champ Bear.

They got a few little re-designs from their original 1982 counterparts. Notably Champ Bear went blue instead of tan. His belly badge changed to a cup with a star instead of a heart. Share Bear’s belly badge changed from a milkshake to two lollipops (they believed sharing a milkshake spread germs). Other than that some of the bears colours became lighter and their belly badges got slightly updated.

They look very much like Kenner’s poseable figures from 1982, apart from the curl of hair that’s missing on these figures, and the notable design changes. All the figures have the same mold, but obviously come in their own respective colours and have their own symbols on their bellies. They have articulation on their head, arms and legs.
Play Along Toys is a wholly owned division of Jakks Pacific.

Care Bears poseable figures by Play Along Toys branding

All the figures have © TCFC on their leg (Those Characters From Cleveland, whom originally created the Care Bears in 1981 for Greeting Cards).

I got 2/10 figures.

Tenderheart Bear

Care Bears poseable figures by Play Along Toys Tenderheart Bear

Tenderheart Bear is one of the original 10 Care Bears and often considered the face of the franchise. He is the leader of the Care Bears and kind, attentive, and (usually) level-headed.
He has light orange/brown fur and a red heart with a pink outline as a Belly Badge. He has a little red heart on his right bum cheek. His eyes look to the left.

Funshine Bear

Care Bears poseable figures by Play Along Toys Funshine Bear

Funshine Bear is one of the original 10 Care Bears. S/He is happy, perky, and ready to rise with each day and equally ready and willing to help others, but also has a tendency to be a practical jokester.
S/He has sunny yellow fur and a smiling sun as a Belly Badge. S/He has a little red heart on his/her right bum cheek. His/Her eyes look forward.
In the original series Funshine Bear is a girl, but in the later series they are a boy.

Growing up, I watched the original Care Bears animated series made by DIC entertainment. It had a short run of only 11 Episodes, and each Episode consisted out of 2 11 minute shorts. I think I watched the first movie as well at one point.

I quite liked them, even if they were a bit sappy at some points. But looking back, I never realised how progressive they were (girls were blue). There’s a lot of pro-gay undertones (rainbows), as well as genderfluidity (Funshine is a boy now?!), which I think is just amazing, especially for that time.

My uncle and godfather worked at a hospital where they would get toys for the kids. Mostly Smurfs, but also Disney and Care Bears. He would sometimes bring them home for me. So I ended up collecting the Kenner mini Care Bear figures!

Years later I find these figures in a charity shop for cheap. I still like the Care Bears, and hope to one day show it to my own child (the original series (1981-2002) that is, not a fan of the current re-designs) and to give them some toys to play with too. These are great as they still have that classic look to them, but don’t have that hair that the Kenner figures have (which worries me with small children).

If I find more in charity shops I’ll get them as well, as I hope to get the whole line-up this way, but I’m not actively going to hunt for them or pay lots of money for them. Who knows which ones I’ll find next.

Got any more details / information you think I should add? Or did I get something wrong? Do you own the same figures? Do you agree or disagree with my findings? Let me know in the comments below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *