The Care Bears came out in 1983 by the American Greeting Cards Co. They actually just started as bears on cards, and the stuffed animals and cards came later. They started with 10 bears....none of which are purple. I let Nick know, and he was not pleased, but I was able to figure out that the earliest of the purple bears was Share Bear, so I began looking on Ebay. Share Bear started out with a picture of a fountain milkshake and two straws, but at some point some moron decided that they were promoting unhealthy drink-sharing habits to kids so they changed his tummy symbol to two separate lollipops. How stupid. Anyway, so my goal was to find an original Share Bear with the milkshake. I lucked into an auction that had not only the original Share Bear, but a Loves-a-lot Bear and Bedtime Bear. I paid $22 with shipping for all three, and they arrived yesterday.
Kate was more than excited when she walked into the living room and there were three Care Bears sitting on her Elmo couch, waiting for her to get home from Yiayia's. She promptly picked all three up, came over and gave me a hug while holding them, and then sat them back down so she could look over every little detail of their body symbols and hair.
She even took them to nap with her, which is where they all four are as I type this.