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Bearriors, the fighting animal cartoon hoax more fake than Street Sharks

Do people just go on the internet and tell lies? Yes, and it’s not just anonymous trolls. Professional folks enjoy pulling pranks just like everyone else. We already told you how a lie I told years ago about Street Sharks continues to hoodwink people online to this today. Well, here’s another nerdy hoax involving a group of radical fighting cartoon animals. Everything you think you know about the Bearriors is a lie, because Bearriors never actually existed.


The Bearriors hoax originated in print, which has more inherent legitimacy than a website any bozo could’ve created. In 2003, ToyFare ran an article called “Breaking Down the Bearriors: A Long-Lost ‘80s Toy Line Gets Its Modern-Day Due.” At the time, a lot of 1980s cartoons slop — from He-Man to Captain Planet to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — was being rebooted for modern children. The article claimed the same thing was about to happen to the 1988 show Bearriors, and that a new incarnation of the cartoon was on the way.

For those that didn’t know, which was everyone since the show was fake, the article explained the history of the Bearriors cartoon. According to illustrator Ryan Dunlavey, who provided art for the article, the show was about “a group of eco-themed animal warriors.” Dunlavey’s blog also details the bear warriors themselves including leader Kodiak, an ax-wielding polar bear, a female archer, a koala mechanic, a panda ninja, their grizzly bear mentor, and (for some reason) their pet raccoon named Ruckus. The Bearriors battled an evil cyborg lumberjack named DeForrest Kutter. Jawsome.

ToyFare went all out for the gag. Along with the character designs, the magazine commissioned convincing logos for both the classic and modern versions of the show. The article even displayed some custom Bearriors action figures complete with a vehicle. This was the true purpose of the hoax, to drive the toy collectors who read ToyFare crazy by encouraging them to hunt down toys that were rare because they weren’t actually real. According to Dunlavey, “the hoax worked — if the nerd message boards are to be believed.” Other architects of the joke included ToyFare editors Justin Aclin, Jon Gutierrez, and Zach Oat along with writer Tom Root (of Robot Chicken fame) and figure designer Joe Amaro.

Like my Street Sharks caper, the Bearriors saga gained momentum from its longevity. Dunlavey said ToyFare continued to “leak” art from the show over the years, and one of the characters appeared in a collage of other, actual, ’80s ephemera. Readers were rightfully baffled. Finally, in 2007, ToyFare revealed the scheme, and let me tell you, revealing a scheme like that feels great.

So, let this confirm all your worst fears. You can’t trust anything, especially the things you have no reason to suspect are lies. Bearriors? Sure, why not? Who cares. The ontological nightmare rages on. Who should they cast in the real Bearriors reboot? I say Henry Winkler. I heard that guy knows a thing or two about voicing radical animal men.

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