Toychest Time Machine: Were Bears
Anyway, these Care Bears with claws were originally the creation of artist/cartoonist George Nicholas, who then granted the distribution rights to UK-based toymaker Hornby. Coinciding with a comic book, each bear was given their own backstory and included a special audio cassette with an adventure tale on it. There were four Were Bears in the initial release (Howler, Grizzler, Gums and Fang) each featured reversible features (head and hands) that instantly turned them from cute to downright creepy. The lined proved to be so popular that a second series was released 2 years later called Terror Teds.
The origin behind the Were Bears (as depicted in the comics) was actually pretty interesting despite an encroaching “cheese factor.” Essentially, the best toy maker in all of Bavaria, Baron Egon Baconburger (see what I mean?), is working late one night when he suddenly succumbs to the family curse: lycanthropy! Taking this horrific transformation in stride, Baconburger decides to prowl the countryside and leaves behind his latest cuddly creations, a quartet of teddy bears. The bears inexplicably come to life and then also transform into… well, Were Bears.
Okay, so it admittingly doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but regardless they were popular enough to attract interest from Hollywood in their heyday and were even reseurrected (sort of) a year or so ago by another UK-based artist Steven Wheeler in a modestly animated 3D trailer for an apparent relaunch. It’s actually pretty creepy compared to what’s shown above, you can check it for yourselves out here.