22 September 2021

Walt Disney World 50 for 50: The Bear Band Bears

 Those crazy Country Bears really put on a show! But what if you couldn’t get to Walt Disney World in 1971 when the bears made their debut? The answer is obvious, bring the band to your house! Okay, so it might not seem feasible, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen in some form or fashion.

We all remember paper dolls, right? The flimsy figures of a boy or girl that you could cover with a variety of tabbed paper clothing. In 1971, Whitman Books released a similar punch out book for the Country Bear Band. Each bear could be punched out in either one or two pieces, depending on the bear, and came with an instrument that was either attached or tabbed. In the end, children who purchased this book ended up with six jamming bears. Although some appear a little out of character in the book, the bears included were Henry, Big Al, Teddi Barra, one of The Sun Bonnet Trio, Wendell? and Terrence.

This was one of those great items that promoted Walt Disney World away from the parks that could serve as either a reminder of a trip or a preview of what was awaiting guests down in Florida.

For those beary interested individuals: These pages are all the same size and a band could easily be assembled by printing out the bears on a cardstock, cutting out the figures (be mindful of the shape of Henry who’s top section has to come off of the front page), using an X-acto knife for the slots, and following the simple visual instructions on the various pages. That is, if you’re so inclined to assemble your own jamboree.

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