made by: North American Bear Company
Very Important Bears
designed by:Barbara Isenberg
construction: brown stuffed plush, dressed in
Army green uniform with web belt (brass buckle), dark green helmet marked 'BEARATROOPER', backpack marked 'BEARACHUTE' with camo parachute, black leatherette boots, uniform has 'First Bear Division' patch and General's gold stars
size: 21" long
near Mint, but WITHOUT hang tag
packing/delivery: $7.50 flat rate
The North American Bear Company (NABCO) was formed in 1979 out of one monther's frustration in not finding the right toys for her young son. Barbara Isenberg, who is still NABCO's chief designer, teamed up with her brother and a fashion designer friend to make teddy bears different from anything that was currently available. Their goal was to produce teddies with appeal to adults as well as children, offering both unique designs and high quality.
The inital NABCO line was the Very Important Bears (VIB's). Using her English literature background, Barbara developed pun-ny names for these colorful 20" velour bears which were dressed appropriatly. The first VIB, Douglas Bearbanks, was based on the legendary silent film star. He was released in 1980. Scarlett O'Beara, Chef Bearnaise and Amelia Bearheart followed that same year. Each VIB was retired, usually in 3 to 4 years, to make room for new introductions. The line was discontinued after Miss Mlle N Ium in 1999. All the VIB's are popular with collectors. Amelia, in pristine mint condition sold for over $1,500 in 2002.
Most North American Bear Company products appearing in our catalog came to 'Everything Teddy Bears' from collectors sales and estate sales. There are a few which were purchased from store closings. In all cases, we have attempted to research the original costumes and 'go-withs' and note any missing items. Presence and/or condition of the original name/series tag is also noted.