The American Greetings Corporation Inc., based in Brooklyn, Ohio, created the Care Bears characters in the early 1980s to embellish greeting cards. Eleana Kucharik designed the first artwork for these characters that led to the Kenner Company, Cincinnati, making an assortment of plush toys designed for adults and children. The stuffed toys are available in a variety of colors such as blue, yellow or red. A unique feature of the plush toys is that each one has an emblem on its front with designs such as hearts, stars or flowers.
Throughout the 1980s, the Care Bears characters appeared in feature films and television specials leading to the creation of the Care Bears Cousins. The Care Bears brand now includes plush toys resembling other animals including penguins, rabbits and lions. Adults who loved these toys as children helped to revive the brand by 2002 leading to a new animated series featuring the Care Bears. Modern technology has led to toys that glow in the dark or move limbs with battery power. The toys a have a popular theme song and are featured on parade floats.
The colorful plush bears and cousins are popular with adults and children because the tummy symbol or belly badge expresses an emotion. Each toy has a name to go along with its badge, such as Share Bear, Grumpy Bear or Funshine Bear. Both children and adults love receiving toys with the Care Bear theme as gifts for birthdays and holidays.