A 20-year-old super-collector owns a staggering 600 Care Bears.
After getting the first one as a gift six years ago, April Barrett, now has a room dedicated to her giant collection at home in Minnesota, USA.
And remarkably, her supportive partner, Travis, doesn’t mind!
“I call it my Care Bear sanctuary,” April says. “It’s my happy place. If I’m having a bad day, I only have to look at the bears’ smiling faces and my own lights up.”
As a child, April became fixated on the cartoons and would dance around the room singing the theme tune.
“I loved how they came in different dazzling shades and had unique symbols on their bellies,” she says. “I suppose I never grew out of them.”
When her mum, Cindy, presented her with a pink teddy on her 14th birthday, it was the beginning of an obsession.
“There were 27 more Care Bears to collect and I had to have them,” April says.
“I started saving up my pocket money and soon I had the complete set. But I told Mum I wasn’t going to stop there.”
April spent hours scouring car boot sales and the internet for Care Bear merchandise.
“Comic books, video games, T-shirts – you name it, I bought it,” she boasts, proudly.
By the time she was 16, April had accumulated so much she didn’t have the space to keep it all.
“I asked Mum if I could turn the spare bedroom into a Care Bear palace,” April explains.
“Thankfully she agreed, so I moved my collection in straight away, arranging the bears in order of colour and size.
“I found it really therapeutic. But I noticed that some parts of the room looked bare. So it became my mission to fill the space with more!”
Upping her search, April added lunchboxes, clocks, mugs and hats to her haul.
“I’ve spent about £2,000 ($1,000) on my collection so far, but it’s been worth every penny,” she says.
Friends and family have even got in on the act.
“I always get given Care Bear memorabilia for birthdays and Christmas,” April, who has been dating Travis since 2009, says.
“I’ve given my dad, my best friend and Travis, a Care Bear each from my collection. Everyone knows how precious they are to me, so to receive a Care Bear as a gift, means you’re really special.”
When she moved in with Travis last year, the bears got a room of their own.
Now she spends hours rearranging her collection, dusting it and, of course, adding to it.
“Grumpy Bear, Funshine Bear, Laugh-a-lot Bear – I love them all, it’s hard to choose a favourite,” April says.
“Some people might think I’m crazy for being 20 and obsessed with Care Bears. But I’ll continue to expand my collection.
“I can’t bear the thought of living without them!”