Smokey the Bear, also known as Smokey Bear, is one of the most iconic figures in modern history. Originally popularized by the U.S. Forest Service, the cartoonish bear was used in a variety of marketing campaigns to raise awareness for forest fires. The famous slogan “Only YOU can prevent forest fires” is something that the American public will likely never forget.
While some may have chalked Smokey the Bear up to a relic of the past, I am happy to report that MetaZoo will be releasing an exclusive Smokey Bear promotional card which will only be available for purchase at Target.
Author’s Note: The names “Smokey the Bear” and “Smokey Bear” can be used interchangeably. Both names refer to the same character although the correct name is technically “Smokey Bear”
Details about the product have not yet been disclosed. It’s unclear if this card will be a part of a booster box, booster pack, or some other product format. It’s interesting to note that the collaboration is exclusive to Target at this point in time.
Considering that Smokey the Bear is not a cryptid, this announcement was found as confusing by some. However, these people fail to remember the eco-friendly origins of MetaZoo’s set Wilderness — which Smokey the Bear is presumably an extension of. As we pointed out several months ago, Wilderness was the first set released by MetaZoo to have the booster box manufactured from recycled materials. Furthermore, the brand made a pledge to plant a tree for every sale which has resulted in tens of thousands of trees being planted since.
In this context, the partnership with Smokey the Bear makes perfect sense and is a fascinating use of this iconic character. Kudos to MetaZoo for keeping the Wilderness set consistent with the spirit of ecology and forestry — and of course — the wilderness.