American Greetings created Care Bears in 1981 as characters in a line of its greeting cards. The following year, the company launched a full Care Bear franchise that included films, televisions shows and toys.
In 1981, Elena Kucharik drew the Care Bears for a line of American Greetings cards. The company planned to promote the Care Bears franchise as a follow up to its successful Strawberry Shortcake franchise. In 1982, American Greetings partnered with Parker Brothers and Kenner to release a children's toy line featuring the characters. A television special called "The Land Without Feelings" was released the following year. Several more television shows and movies were produced throughout the 1980s.
American Greetings sold over 70 million cards and 40 million stuffed animals during the 1980s netting a profit of over two billion dollars.