The North American Bear Company was established in 1978 by Barbara Isenberg and her brother, Paul Levy. During the 1970s, Isenberg became interested in toy design and wanted to create plush toys which appealed to both children and adults.
The North American Bear Company’s first major product line of Very Important Bears (or VIBs) included 20” plush bears with names such as Scarlett O’Beara, Queen Elizabear, and William Shakesbear. In 1983, North American Bear released its VanderBear Family series, which soon featured the extremely popular Muffy VanderBear. Muffy eventually had a fan club formed in her honor; she also starred in the company’s Fanfare magazine. North American Bear offered new annual variations of Muffy along with special outfits and accessories, even manufacturing some non-bear friends for Muffy.
North American Bear continues to produce high-quality plush toys and licensed collectible bears.