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Spring 1996

Everthing you need to know about Muffy.
Muffy Wishlist
Muffy History
Muffy VanderBear Club

VanderBear Family
We have published a history of the VanderBear Family.

Very Important Bears
Did you know that the VIBs have been around longer than Muffy! Learn all about these fascinating bears.
VIB History
Retired Photo Album
Recent Photos

Price Guides
Muffy Guide
VIB Guide
North American Bear

Welcome! We have been online for over two years. After serving thousands of viewers over the past year and our site hosting more and more information, we have concentrated on making the site very easy to navigate. You will be able to go right to the information you want to see.

Check out the new Releases for 2004.

Your input is encouraged, so if you have any suggestions about what you would like us to include about Muffy and the North American Bear Co. Please E-mail us at If you would like to contact North American Bear Co. directly please e-mail them.

Introduction To NABCO

In the early 1970's, Barbara Isenberg was living in New York, writing a hardware column for the New York Times and raising her three year old son, Christopher. Looking at his toys, she found them lacking in the endearing qualities she remembered of the toys of her youth.

Thus, Barbara set out to create a softer toy with an interesting design and emotional potential. She asked her fashion designer friend, Odl Bauer, to make a teddy bear out of an old sweatshirt so it would be soft and cuddly, yet different from anything that was currently avaialable in toy stores. That bear evolved into Albert the Running Bear. Barbara' friends adored Albert as much as her son did, and it was then Barbara realized the need for teddy bears in everyone's life

In 1978, after perfecting a variety of sample bears, Barbara and her brother Paul Levy, formed North American Bear Co., Inc. Their strategy was to appeal to adults as well as children with unique and high quality products people could identify with.

Odl Bauer, who sewed the first bear, joined Paul and Barbara and together they worked on developing the VIB's (Very Important Bears). Using her English literature background, Barbara experimented with a variety of names and puns for these colorful 20" velour bears. The first was Douglas Bearbanks, based on the legendary silent film star. He was followed by Scarlett O'Beara, Chef Bearnaise and Amelia Bearheart. The VIB's are all eventually retired to make room for new introductions and often increase in dramatically in value on the secondary market. For example, Amelia Bearheart is currently valued at $1,500.

The next major line to be introduced was the VanderBear Family, created in 1983. This family of classic golden jointed teddy bears including father Cornelius, mother Alice, brother Fuzzy, sister Fluffy, and baby Muffy. Each member of the family is available undressed or in a variety of high quality and detailed costumes. Muffy has become a runaway best seller and even has her own fan club!

More recently, North American Bear Co. has diversified into a full range of plush creations including dogs, cats, bunnies, monkeys, and pigs. Each has it's own original look and name.

Albert the Running Bear who started it all, is now the subject of three children's books published by Houghton Mifflin that Barbara co-authored.

All of the products are created by our in-house team of designers in our New York studio, while our sales office and warehouse are located in Chicago.

How to Reach Us
You can visit stores that specialize in The Muffy Vanderbear® Collection, by browzing the Directory of Teddy Bear Stores.

Our North American Office:
North American Bear Co., Inc.
401 N. Wabash, Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312)329-0020
Fax: (312)329-1417
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Central Time
Our European Office:
North American Bear Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 6085
London, England W2 4WX
Phone: 0181 960 7744
Fax: 0181 960 8844