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Muffy VanderBear Portrait Chair
Muffy VanderBear Portrait Chair

Muffy VanderBear Portrait Chair

Barbara Isenberg of New York inspected store inventories of soft toys in the mid-1970s and found them deficient. Isenberg wanted a teddy bear for her small kid that had the same quality, charm, and cozy textures as the ones she remembered from her youth. To make such a toy, she founded the North American Bear Company (NABCO). Isenberg enlisted the help of his friend Odl Bauer, a fashion designer, to create a bear out of an old sweatshirt that would be soft, cuddly, and unlike anything else on the market. Albert the Running Bear, a classic teddy bear in a jogging costume that appealed to both children and adults, was born from the toy Bauer developed.

Isenberg was in charge of NABCO product design and development, while Paul Levy, her partner and brother, was in charge of finances, sales, inventory, and order fulfilment. NABCO released a series of velour bears dressed and named after notable individuals and celebrities known as VIBs (Very Important Bears), such as William Shakesbear, Humphrey Beargart, and Chef Bearnaise, a year after Albert the Running Bear debuted.

Cornelius and Alice VanderBear and their children, twins Fuzzy and his sister Fluffy, were introduced by NABCO in 1983 as a family of very active and fashionable bears. The Muffy VanderBear Club for adult collectors and Muffy’s Kid’s Club for younger enthusiasts were formed the following year when baby Muffy VanderBear joined the family. The VanderBear line has evolved and grown over the years, but it still has a loyal following. NABCO also has lines of baby toys (Flatso, Sleepyhead Bunnies, Pastel Pancakes, and Ollie Dogs), dolls and playmates (Rosy Cheeks, Fancy Prancy, and Topsy Turvy dolls), art and design toys (My Own Monsters and My Own Bears), and whimsical clothing, accessories, and purses, in addition to Muffy and family.


Google. (n.d.). Chair:Muffy VanderBear Portrait chair – North American BEAR Co., Inc. – GOOGLE Arts & culture. Google. Retrieved September 20, 2021, from

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