January 26th, 2015
This cute koala would like to wish everyone a Happy Australia Day! We hope you have a fantastic time with your loved ones today. Have fun and be safe, eat lots of great tucker and enjoy your day off.
Australia Day, or Straya Day as it’s becoming known more recently, is a huge celebration of this great country we live in! It’s all about having a day off to have fun with family, friends (and lots of food). It’s one day a year to take pride in Australian culture, heritage and history and to inspire our national spirit.
Big Day For Koalas Too
It’s also a big day for koala bears, especially Smiling Bear. He likes to put on his best Australia day clothing, all emblazoned with the Australia flag, grab a cold one (ginger beer that is!) and head out to see what everyone is up to.
Being an Australian icon, I get a lot of requests for koala cuddling, but of course I don't mind. It’s all part of being in my exclusive club, the Australian koala bears club, we're cute, kawaii and adorable. If you want to find out more about my cute koala plushies, see the link at the bottom of this post.
Aussie Day is the official national day of Australia and is celebrated annually on the 26th January. It marks the anniversary of the first fleet of ships arriving at Port Jackson in 1788. However, because of the negative connotations of British settlement upon indigenous Australians (known as Aboriginals) the day is now more about looking towards the future, whilst recognising cultural diversity. So, in modern times the celebrations are about community, being accepting of one another with lots of family friendly events.
Australian of the Year
There are also official award ceremonies like the Australian of the Year award (hello, where’s Smiling Bear’s?!) Young Australian of the Year (again, what about moi?!), Senior Australian of the Year (ok, I’m obviously too young and beautiful for this) and Australia’s Local Hero (I suppose I’m more of an international super hero). The announcement of the Australia Day Honours list is a big thing, and there’s a speech from the Governor General and Prime Minister, and of course there is the welcoming Australian Citizenship ceremonies for new immigrants into Australia.
What Can I do on Australia Day?
There are so many great things to do, from going to outdoor concerts, big firework displays, sporting competitions, festivals, street parties, barbecues – the options are endless! If you are looking for things to do you should take a look at the official Australia Day website here, where you can find all local events for your area. It’s also a good place to see lots of messages shared by people from all over Australia, and to see their happy Australia Day images and what they are getting up to. You will be able to find lots of things for an Australia Day for kids, as it’s such a family friendly day where everybody comes together and celebrates. Whether you’re old or young, black or white (or anything in-between) it makes no difference. The day is all about celebrating together, our multiculturalism and unity.
Sydney Australia Day celebration is recognised as the nation’s largest celebration, and once again after New Years, the harbour becomes a focus with the world famous ferry race and tall ships race. Each city or central location has its annual traditions too, with Perth Skyworks being the largest single event presentation of the day.
Official and Unofficial National Anthem – Straya
This year, in the build up to Australia Day weekend, a new National Anthem was released, (or unofficial National Anthem) called ‘Straya’. It was sung to Outkast’s ‘Hey Ya’ song and it has become a viral video hit, clocking up well over 1 million video views at last look, and still climbing. It even made international news. It’s very catchy, and the accompanying video of famous Australians that has been edited together for it is great! Smiling Bear especially likes Kylie Minogue, who doesn’t like this little koala cutie?! She really is an Australian treasure, (and her sister Danii's not bad either). Check out the awesome Straya video below:
If you want to check out the cute koala plush toy 10–inch shown in the image above, then visit the Smiling Bear store.
You can also search the site for previous Australia Day posts to find more images, cards and designs to share with your mates.
January 17th, 2015
Come and take a selfie with our giant koala plush at all major Australian airports, right outside Discover Australia stores. Also available, our new super cool plush range from Bandai.
These cute kawaii plush products make the perfect gift or souvenir, and you can’t buy them anywhere else – it’s an Australian exclusive!
A percentage of all profits from sales are donated to our friends at the Australian Koala Foundation (the AKF). That’s a whole lot of plush love, so come and get some!
* Our own online store is launching any day now!
* Smile More webcomic resumes shortly too
January 4th, 2015
If you are visiting Australia, then you've got to purchase one of our authentic Australian koala plush toys as a souvenir. Smiling Bear's new koala plush product range is cute, premium and totally unique.
Our plush make the perfect souvenir or gifts and continue to remind you of your special time spent here in Australia long after you’ve returned back home again. Take a little bit of the laid-back Aussie lifestyle and positive outlook back home with you.
Available exclusively from Discover Australia stores at all major Australian airports, Sydney International, Melbourne, Gold Coast and Cairns – come and find us and say hello to Discover’s smiling staff! They will be happy to help you choose that perfect gift.
These products are also available from our online store here, and we are shipping our products worldwide, for delivery straight to your door.
Smiling Bear, the adorable little blue koala was dreamt up in Manly, on the Northern Beaches of Sydney NSW. Building on the iconic nature of the Australian koala, Smiling Bear is the new Aussie character venturing out around the world. He has developed a strong online following (now over 1/4 million Facebook fans) all checking out the weekly webcomic and fun, positive messages about his happy-headed life.
As an authentic Australian owned character and company we will be donating a percentage of profits to the Australian Koala Foundation (the AKF) and helping them to raise global awareness for the wild koala and its protection. You can read more information of our involvement with the AKF on our About page here. You can read more information about the AKF and the amazing work they do at their site SaveTheKoala.com
Our plush toy and accessory product range has been expertly manufactured under license by Bandai, one of the worlds top toy companies. They were specifically chosen for their exacting standards and extremely high quality products. Plush like this cannot be made in Australia, so we had to look further afield and seek expert help. Smiling Bear remains an authentic Australian owned company and character, whilst partnering with Bandai, one of the top toy manufacturing companies in the world. We believe this is a forward thinking, progressive partnership and it has allowed us to create a truly outstanding product range.
If you’re wondering why we didn’t make our plush here in Australia, it’s because you simply cannot manufacture high quality plush here. Claims of 'Australian Made’ plush or stuffed toys commonly sold as souvenirs to tourists in Australia are not actually manufactured here at all. They are actually shipped here from elsewhere in bits, and then at best, assembled here. The loophole in the ‘Australian Made’ law means that as long as a certain percentage of total costs are attributable to Australia (including things likes shipping, insurance etc) you can use the ‘Australian Made’ logo under license. You can read more about this misleading ruling at FindLaw Australia here.
If you do want to buy something that is 100% Product of Australia, you should only look for products displaying the official words'Product of Australia’.
We wanted our products to be manufactured in the most logical and fair way possible, without misleading people, so we could pass on the quality to the consumer. As previously mentioned, we are an authentic Australian owned company and character brand, and are located in Sydney NSW and we will continue to support the Australian Koala Foundation.
December 24th, 2014
So much has happened at Smiling Bear in 2014, what a crazy year it’s been.
Big thank you for all your support (especially you die-hards who’ve followed me since the start!) I look forward to catching up with you all again in 2015. From Smiling Bear and myself... We wish you a Koala Christmas and a Smiling New Year! Look after each other and have fun this holiday...peace
Share this koala christmas card with someone you love.
Our online store will be going live in early January, and we will be selling the new Bandai Smiling Bear koala plush range. We’ll be shipping worldwide so no matter how far away you are from Australia, we can deliver to you. Don't miss out!
A percentage of our profits will be donated to the Australian Koala Foundation to help them in their fight to save the koala from extinction. You can find out all about them at SaveTheKoala.com
2015 Koala Protection Act Reminder
Also, don’t forget that 2015 is the year for a Koala Protection Act, led by our friends at the Australian Koala Foundation. They will need all the help they can get to spread their message worldwide.
Even President Obama has been asked for his help, to put more pressure on the Australian Government. Without a Koala Protection Act the wild koala will become extinct, and considering the koala is Australias national icon, this sends a terrible message to the world. We cannot let this happen.
Look out for our posts about it in the new year and find out how you can help. If you can't wait until the new year and you're desperate to help now, then go here and find out how.
December 14th, 2014
If you’re coming to Australia, you’ve got to cuddle a koala! Why not cuddle a koala as soon as you’ve landed, right inside the airport?!
How is this possible you’re thinking? Smiling Bear, the adorable blue koala fast becoming Australia’s character mascot, is now available exclusively at Discover Australia stores at all major Australian airports. Come and cuddle the giant koala plush and get that perfect selfie picture!
And while you’re at why not pick up an Australian plush koala or three! Our new Smiling Bear koala plush range has launched and makes the perfect Australian souvenir to take back home with you. There’s a 4–inch backpack clip-on plush koala, a 7–inch plush koala and a 10–inch plush koala.
The 7-inch and 10-inch plush koalas both have a beautifully lined Secret Smile Pocket™, that perfect place to hide and keep safe your precious mementos that make you smile. Each pocket is lined with our signature SMILE MORE pattern. What will you put in your Secret Smile Pocket™?
We also have a plush coin purse and plush phone and camera pouch, both with a red carabiner clip, and again lined with our signature SMILE MORE pattern.
So if you’re visiting Australia, when you’re at the airport come cuddle our koala, Smiling Bear.
He’ll be looking out for you.
As an Australian owned character and company, Smiling Bear will be supporting the Australian Koala Foundation (the AKF) by donating a percentage of profits and helping to raise global awareness for the koala and it’s protection.
For more information about the threat to koalas in the wild and how you can help, please visit SaveTheKoala.com
The plush toy and accessory product range has been developed under license by Bandai, combining the expertise of a global giant in the field of toys and the unique point of view and popularity of the Aussie Smiling Bear brand.
December 13th, 2014
Win 1 of 6 Smiling Bear Plush Prize Packs!
Just Kidding magazine have six amazing Smiling Bear plush prize packs to give away, each valued at over $60! For your chance to win one, simply tell us what makes you SMILE MORE? (for example yummy chocolate cake or a really funny joke)
Enter via Just Kidding Magazine Issue 8, Australia. Entries close 20th January, 2015. See magazine or online version here for more details.
December 6th, 2014
Our Smiling Bear Bandai koala plush range is launching this week at Discover Australia stores! Come find us at all major Australian airports. Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast and Cairns airports and cuddle a koala. And, while you're at it why not pick up a koala souvenir or three!
The Smiling Bear koala plush range is exclusive to Discover Australia, and makes the perfect Australian souvenir or gift to remind you of your time spent here in Australia. Don't settle for the usual boring stuffed koala toy, buy something a little more original and unique. Smiling Bear, the cute kawaii little blue koala is fast becoming Australia's new global icon, recognised for spreading his positive SMILE MORE message around the world. He is an ambassador for the optimistic, fun and relaxed Australian lifestyle.
Smiling Bear is an Australian owned character and company, and will be supporting the Australian Koala Foundation (the AKF) by donating a percentage of profits and helping to raise global awareness for the koala and it’s protection.
The plush toy and accessory product range has been developed under license by Bandai, combining the expertise of a global giant in the field of toys and the unique point of view and popularity of the Smiling Bear charatcer brand.
Full announcement to follow shortly.
Also available online from our store.
November 29th, 2014
Shortly after the new store launches there’s going to be a brand new service called the Smile More Society™
This will be a bit like a newsletter, only better! By joining you’ll receive our freshest creations (both comic posts and other images), exclusive discounts, competitions and much more! It will always be free (of course!) and straight to your inbox.
Don’t miss out, sign up now
November 21st, 2014
Sorry for the lack of activity recently, we’ve been busy working hard on something new and very exciting.
A brand new store and product line will launching very soon! Don’t miss out, sign up for an alert here: http://bit.ly/SB_LAUNCH
Be happy and don’t forget to smile more :-)
October 17th, 2014
It’s the weekend, so it’s with sunshine and smiles that I'm gonna be living!
Have a great weekend everyone, be happy and don’t forget to smile more :-)