Your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets.
Old Teddy Bear Magazines
Date: The late eighties through the early nineties
Discovered at: Kansas City thrift store
Here’s some thrilling ridiculousness from an earlier, simpler time before the creation of godawful teddies was outsourced to consumers in the form of those blasphemous Build-A-Bear Workshops– “blasphemous” because, as the bible makes clear, only God can build a bear.
But, seriously, back then, rather than choosing between pre-fab bear parts for a cheap-ass toy to be assembled on-site like a Chipotle burrito, bear-makers dared to dream of bears more marvelous than anything nature has ever bothered to birth. Their work was honored in magazines like this one, which looks like poster for the teddy bear version of Witness:
Those magazines featured hard-hitting columns like this one.
But mostly they featured amazing 90s teddy bears. Here’s the bear you should see if you need a little honey.
He’s wearing fur, which is darling. Imagine if Barbie left the house in a tankini fashioned from the flesh of Ken.
Here’s a tribute to American patriotism/baked potatoes.
The ads, too, are alive with bear-weirdness. This portrait of teddy swingers comes awfully close to warranting an NSFW tag.
Even stranger: this tribute to Beauty and the Beast.
IF THEY’RE BOTH BEARS, WHICH IS WHICH?
Anyway, let’s get back to the real reason we’re here– teddy bears dressed as food for some reason. Here’s a bear burger … with tomato shoes!
I think the idea is that this is what you imagine if you were a starving cartoon character stranded on a desert island– with a bear.
And, amazingly, this fried-chicken bear is actually crazier.
Who knew? It takes cereal and glue to make a teddy bear look like a tanning-bed enthusiast.
After that, it’s probably no surprise to see this teddy foot-long:
This hot dog and these onion-rings serve as great reminders of the cardinal rule of all crafts: If you’re working with brown material, work hard to be sure the end product doesn’t look like something you should be flushing.
What do you call a teddy bear with holes in its arms? No, not a junkie!
Still, it does look pretty desperate for a fix. Meanwhile, this pizza looks like straight-up sex-torture witchcraft:
There’s only one image in this stack of five bear magazines anywhere near as disturbing as that one:
Never forget, I guess. In addition to all the upsetting imagery, and the suggestion of some cruel scenario in which a vengeful Pooh must be fed virgin teddies, I’m left saddened by bears’ pathological inability to spell the word “honey.” They always come so close!
That demands a palate cleanser. How about one more wretched attempt at that most impossible of ideas– teddy-bear sexiness?
Four more hot bear pix to go! Let’s marvel at the magician who made his pants vanish:
And this surprise appearance from one of the few fantasy animals more silly than ol’ teddy bears: those stupid cat people from Skyrim.
Bear-makers tend not to put much work into the names of their creations:
“Phantom of the O’Beara”? I would have gone with “The Thing We’ll Still Be Stuck With After the Estate Sale.”
Finally, here’s the biggest surprise I found in all these bear mags: Teddy Victoria Jackson!
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