Friday, August 06, 2004

Satisfying my Inner Child

I love Care Bears and it can all be blamed on my Aunt K. When we were young, my aunt and my grandmother got us stuffed animals for virtually every holiday. This led to stringent selection criteria that my aunt created including hugging and cuddling tests. One of the animals that found its way to me after passing the tests was Tenderheart Bear--the flagship Care Bear, the one with the single heart on his tummy. After Tenderheart, my aunt got me three other Care Bears--Wish Bear, Love-A-Lot, and Baby Hugs.

What did I love about Care Bears? Everything!

  • the little curls of hair on the tops of their head
  • the pads on their feet were heart-shaped
  • Tenderheart's little tongue
  • the enamel heart on their bottom that says "Care Bear"--kind of like the way Cabbage Patch kids had Xavier's signature on their bottoms
  • they were just the right size to cuddle with when I was in elementary school

My love for Care Bears didn't stop with the bears. I had a couple of the action figures (Tenderheart and his cloudmobile!), the markers--they looked like the Care Bears but you pulled off their heads to color with them--and the movie on video. As I grew up, Tenderheart continued to be one of my most treasured stuffed companions. He went to Girl Scout camp with my aunt and I when we went to "parent-daughter" camp together and everyone thought she was my mom. When I was about thirteen we drove to Idaho Springs to have pizza at Beau Jo's and we stopped in a little antique store across the street. Aunt K got one of my first pairs of earrings--silver bears with turquoise on their tummies--and a Tenderheart glass from the Pizza Hut Care Bear collection.

As the 80s retro movement started, I was so excited to see that the Care Bears were coming back. My family all remembered my love for them, so I have gotten Care Bear pjs, stickers and keychains as they've come back. My college roommates and I were known to color Care Bear coloring pages off the internet when we needed a pick-me-up.

I got a phone call about a year ago--my Aunt K and my cousin were at Walmart and had something they needed to share with me. All of sudden, there were small Care Bear voices singing on the phone. They have brought back the classic Care Bear stuffed animals and these had a merchandising twist-they sing and if you have more than one sitting together, they'll sing together. I'm sure the other people at Walmart thought my aunt and cousin were crazy as they stood in the aisle and laughed with me on the phone. Shortly after I dragged one of my friends to Walmart to help me appreciate this phenomenon in person--they are so darned cute!

I gave in to my inner child on Sunday at Walmart--I bought Care Bear fruit snacks. The good news is they have patterns on their tummies, but the bad news is that they aren't as cute as the Care Bear gummy bears that I used to get at the movies that actually had hearts on their tummies. (And the company made the shopping even better--I miss shopping with my cross-country road-tripping visitor!)

My plea to the candy manufacturers cashing in on the retro trend: bring back the Care Bear gummy bears and I will never sneak candy into a movie theater again!

In the meantime I'll be here... snacking on my Care Bear fruit snacks! (They've made their way into my desk and the college intern across the aisle from me was reminicing about Care Bears with me yesterday...)



At 10:39 AM, Blogger Angie said...

I was really excited to see Care Bear gummi bears at the movies last month, but they don't have hearts on the tummies! Impostor bears!


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