Friday, 26 September 2014

1985: CARE BEARS Launch Ad (Marvel UK)

Soft, cuddly and full of love: the MARVEL UK House Ad trumpeting the launch of the CARE BEARS comic, part of a multi-media merchandising and media tsunami to shift the cuddly toys.  

The weekly launched in October 1985 and was something of a pre-school blockbuster for the Annex of Ideas, clocking-up an impressive 147 issue run (plus annuals and specials).  In comparison, THE GET ALONG GANG (which established the formula for this sort of offering) fell out after 93 weeks and ACORN GREEN (which lacked animated support) mustered only 36 issues.

Although not of much interest to collectors of M-UK fare, this is significant because it shows why the company so decisively turned its back on its own characters in favour of licensed properties throughout the second half of the eighties.  

The flexi-disc (quaint technology from the past) was rarity for the British Bullpen.  The monthly incarnation of WORZEL GUMMIDGE had featured one in 1981 and M-UK repeated the trick with the launch issue of ACORN GREEN the following year.  

The strips were a mixture of reprints from the US Star Comics book and newly commissioned material from the folks at Redan Place.

The back-up strip was (initially) Strawberry Shortcake.  The CB animated series was part of the roster of toy-based cartoons served up by TV-am.  

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