All About the Boxes

   What to look for if you decide to collect Care Bear boxes.

   

      There are many factors involved when you decide to get in to collecting the boxes. The first factor is what type of box you want to collect.  There were four different packing styles during the five years the poseable bears were available, and each style has unique properties to look out for when collecting them.  The second factor is the boxes overall condition.  Never settle for a bad box, a better box will always come up.

    The First Style of Packaging was released in the year 1982.     

The bears that were released in this style box were, Bedtime, Birthday, Cheer, Friend, Funshine, Good Luck, Grumpy, Love-A-Lot, Tender Heart, and Wish.  In 1983 Baby Hugs, Baby Tugs and Grams Bear were added for a total of 13 bears. The box design was a triangular shape, with a square shaped plastic window that the figure was placed in.  A removable “punch tab” was installed in the top middle of the back card, so that the toy could be “hung” on pegboard rods inside the toy store.

    

                       **What to look for when collecting**


-Is the over all condition of the box good? (Look for rips, tears, writing, water damage, fading do to sun or age, and bending)

-Is the bear still secured to the box (look for the plastic strip around the bears neck)?

-Has the bear faded (from age and sun damage)?

-Is the plastic bubble still clear and free of yellowing (caused from age or sun damage)?

-Is if the tape is still sealing the box.

-Is the “punch tab” in place, or was it removed.

-Has the back card been bent during the past twenty years (usually to make wrapping easier)?  You can tell if this has occurred by seeing if there is a “bend” line on the back or the box along the spot where the card and box meet.


     The Second Style of Packaging was released in 1984.   The box design was changed to a main square section with the figure placed inside with a plastic bubble. This main section was attached to a larger back panel that doubled the height of the box. The overall size of the box was the same as the first style. The thirteen bears released in the first style of box were now joined by the Cloud Keeper and Professor Cold Heart to complete the 1984 wave.   Cold Heart and The Cloud Keeper were released with “play pieces” to encourage sales.

   

                   

                           **What to look for when collecting**


-Is the over all condition of the box good? (Look for rips, tears, writing, water damage, fading do to sun or age, and bending)

-Is the bear still secured to the box (look for the plastic strip around the bears neck)?

-Has the bear faded (from age and sun damage)?

-Is the plastic bubble still clear and free of yellowing (caused from age or sun damage)?

-Is if the tape is still sealing the box.

-Is the “punch tab” in place, or was it removed.


    The third style of packaging was released from 1985 until 1986  

The final release of the poseables occurred with out The Cloud Keeper or Professor Cold Heart; the sales of these two figures were not high enough to insure their continued production.  Instead, two new bears were added to the line up, Champ Bear, and Share Bear.  These two bears, along with the original 13, were each released with an accessory having something to do with what the bear stands for. The release also saw the premier of the Care Bear Cousins.  Of the eleven known cousins, six of them were released for sale in the 1985 issue. The six were, Brave Heart Lion, Bright heart Raccoon, Cozy Heart Penguin, Gentle Heart Lamb, Lotsa Heart Elephant, and Swift Heart Rabbit. The boxes were the same size and style as the Cloud Keeper and Cold Heart boxes from the year before.  The only addition to the boxes was a sticker in the shape of a star that read, “Wow, I can hold my play piece!” This sticker is commonly known as the star sticker.



                           **What to look for when collecting**


-Is the over all condition of the box good? (Look for rips, tears, writing, water damage, fading do to sun or age, and bending)

-Is the bear still secured to the box (look for the plastic strip around the bears neck)?

-Has the bear faded (from age and sun damage)?

-Is the plastic bubble still clear and free of yellowing (caused from age or sun damage)?

-Is if the tape is still sealing the box.

-Is the “punch tab” in place, or was it removed.

-Has the back card been bent during the past twenty years (usually to make wrapping easier)?  You can tell if this has occurred by seeing if there is a “bend” line on the back or the box along the spot where the card and box meet.

-Is the star sticker in place and in good shape?

     The European style of packaging lasted from 1984-1986

The care bears in the UK were released on blister packs.  The cloud keeper and Cold heart were released in a similar box style, but with a jagged cut window, and different graphics. The times of release were the same as in America, however the bears were not released with the accessories. The Cousins were released twice, once with and one with out their accessories.  The accessories were sometimes placed inside the figures bubble, instead of it’s own.


                    **What to look for when collecting**


-Is the over all condition of the box good? (Look for rips, tears, writing, water damage, fading do to sun or age, and bending)

-Is the bear still secured to the box?

-Has the bear faded (from age and sun damage)?

-Is the plastic bubble still clear and free of yellowing (caused from age or sun damage)?

-Is the “punch tab” in place, or was it removed.


Prototype Boxes


These boxes were used before the final blue box decals were approved.  They were used to see how bright the bears would look through the plastic.  I discovered that inside the opened boxes were feed back cards. They ranged from having initials in the corners, to long notes saying how to change the paint coverage on the accessories.

The 2002 boxes were a variation on the blister pack.  The bear was not attached to the back card, but instead, sat inside a plastic form. This form was then slipped in to a plastic square. This square was then attached to the back card.  In early 2004 the poseable line was turned in to a clip on poseable figure.  A sticker was added to the corner of the plastic in the shape of a star that read, “I’m a Clip On!”  If there is no sticker, then the figure is just a poseable.  The poseables were also sold as accessories to a plush line.  These bears were attached to the plush box with a plastic dome like casing. This was the only way to get the America Cares bear.

The UK 2002 boxes were simply a blister pack.   Only five of the bears were released in the UK including, Bedtime bear, Cheer bear, Funshine bear, Tender heart bear, and Wish Bear.

The 2005 boxes from Brazil are different from all the others. The box has an open design with out any plastic to protect the bear.  The figure is standing in the box with twist ties to hold the bear in place. There is two different background pieces. One has two suns, while the other has only one sun.  There is also two different side panels, depending on which bear is in the box.

Play set packaging remained the same for the years they were produced.  The Rainbow Roller and the Cloud Car had a back card attached to the box. The Care-a-lot box had no back card.

Play set packaging in the UK had no back cards and slightly different graphics with words written in three different languages.  The Rainbow Roller also came with a Love-a-lot poseable for a short time.

The 2005 play set box from Brazil is a rectangular box with no back cards.


In late December of 2007, the new poseable line started to appear in stores. The new box style is very different. For the first time, two bears were sold to a package. The box is in the shape of a rainbow, with a plastic window. There is also a rainbow shaped back card that the store uses to hang the toy for displays. 

   

     



    The Mail Away Style of Packaging was a simple white box. The one box type incased a normal poseable box, with only a list of contents on one side. The two pack box featured an colored photo on one side and a list of contents on the other.


                   

                           **What to look for when collecting**


-Is the over all condition of the box good? (Look for rips, tears, writing, water damage, fading do to sun or age, and bending)

-Is if the tape is still sealing the box.

-If the tape has been cut, are the correct bears in the box?


The South American style of packaging uses the same colors and images as the American style, but instead of a box, the bear is attached to a single piece of cardboard with a blister pack.                                      


                       **What to look for when collecting**


-Is the over all condition of the box good? (Look for rips, tears, writing, water damage, fading do to sun or age, and bending)

-Is the bear still secured to the box?

-Has the bear faded (from age and sun damage)?

-Is the plastic bubble still clear and free of yellowing (caused from age or sun damage)?

-Is the “punch tab” in place, or was it removed.