The latest polar bear cub craze

February 7, 2008 8:06:08 AM PST

In the run-up to the Nuremburg Toy Fair, which opens Thursday, a number of manufacturers announced imminent plans to release the first line of toys featuring Flocke, the baby bear rescued from her mother by zookeepers in January.

The first products will be produced by the Fuerth-based firm Noris, which plans to bring out a Flocke-based board game by the end of February, said company product manager Markus Weigand. By the end of March, Noris plans to release four jigsaw puzzles with motifs of the cub.

Around the same time, the Nuremburg-based manufacturer Creativ plans to release its own line of Flocke games, the company said.

In May, the manufacturer Steiff will begin selling a variety of Flocke stuffed animals, which spokeswoman Katrin Wachsmuth, said will not be mistaken for the company's already well known Knut teddy bears.

"You'll be able to tell that she's a girl," Wachsmuth says.

Steiff produces stuffed versions of Knut, who was also taken from his mother and raised by zookeepers in 2007, becoming a darling of the media and attracting thousands of fans.

All of the Flocke products will be manufactured in the region of southern Germany around Nuremburg - site of Flocke's zoo - and will feature the official Flocke logo, a polar bear baby sitting in a flower set against a blue background.

A percentage of proceeds from the products will benefit the Nuremburg Zoo.