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Kareem Abdul Jabear

made by: North American Bear Company
(see below)
Very Important Bears

designed by:Barbara Isenberg

date: 1984-5
North American Bear Company did not get permission from Kareem Abdul Jabbar. In the resulting lawsuit, they lost the rights to use this name and had to stop making these.

construction: black stuffed plush
in purple shorts with gold trim, gold shirt with blue trim, black '33' on chest, 'NABCO u.s.a.' basketball in netting attached to right wrist

size: 24" long
The only odd size VIB

price: $150
Near MINT (but elastic in pants shot) with Near Mint name tag (minor age bumps and fold)
string around neck but tag hanging in back in picture

packing/delivery: $7.50 flat rate



Kareem Abdul Jabear

made by: North American Bear Company
(see below)
Very Important Bears

designed by:Barbara Isenberg

date: 1984-5
North American Bear Company did not get permission from Kareem Abdul Jabbar. In the resulting lawsuit, they lost the rights to use this name and had to stop making these.

construction: black stuffed plush
in purple shorts with gold trim, gold shirt with blue trim, black '33' on chest, 'NABCO u.s.a.' basketball in netting attached to right wrist

size: 24" long
The only odd size VIB

price: $75
FINE (but elastic in pants shot and basketball deflated) with Near Mint name tag (minor age bumps and fold)

packing/delivery: $7.50 flat rate


NABCO Promo Photo
(Kareem appears brown in the promo photo but was issued only in black)

Teddy J. Bear wants you to know that you can
Tell your bear collector friends about this rare basketball playing VIB, Kareem Abdul JaBear!


The North American Bear Company (NABCO) was formed in 1979 out of one monther's frustration in not finding the right toys for her young son. Barbara Isenberg, who is still NABCO's chief designer, teamed up with her brother and a fashion designer friend to make teddy bears different from anything that was currently available. Their goal was to produce teddies with appeal to adults as well as children, offering both unique designs and high quality.

The inital NABCO line was the Very Important Bears (VIB's). Using her English literature background, Barbara developed pun-ny names for these colorful 20" velour bears which were dressed appropriatly. The first VIB, Douglas Bearbanks, was based on the legendary silent film star. He was released in 1980. Scarlett O'Beara, Chef Bearnaise and Amelia Bearheart followed that same year. Each VIB was retired, usually in 3 to 4 years, to make room for new introductions. The line was discontinued after Miss Mlle N Ium in 1999. All the VIB's are popular with collectors. Amelia, in pristine mint condition sold for over $1,500 in 2002.

Most North American Bear Company products appearing in our catalog came to 'Everything Teddy Bears' from collectors sales and estate sales. There are a few which were purchased from store closings. In all cases, we have attempted to research the original costumes and 'go-withs' and note any missing items. Presence and/or condition of the original name/series tag is also noted.


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