|Text on Button||BE AFRAID BE VERY AFRAID|
Illustration of an orange, black, and green jack-o-lantern on a purple background with orange text.
|Curl Text||©RUSS BERRIE AND COMPANY INC OAKLAND, NJ MADE IN USA/EUA|
“Be afraid. Be very afraid” is a popular quote from the 1986 horror film The Fly. It is said by Geena Davis’ character Veronica in a scene where she emphasizes the danger presented by Jeff Goldblum’s character, the titular The Fly. The now famous quote was actually added to the script after Blazing Saddles director Mel Brooks suggested it to The Fly’s director David Cronenberg. In addition to including it in the film, the quote was also used as the film’s tagline.
Company founder Russ Berrie started his eponymous business with $500 in a rented garage in Palisades Park, New Jersey. Berrie intended to design, market, and distribute “impulse” gift items. From the start, Russ Berrie & Company produced a string of hit products that quickly found their way onto countertops, desks and dashboards across the country. Among the company’s earliest creations: Fuzzy Wuzzies (tiny fur ball-like critters bearing messages like “You’re My Best Friend” or “Wild Thing”), troll dolls (squat gnomes with plumes of brightly colored hair) and the Bupkis Family (a motley collection of endearingly ugly rubber figurines). The owner believed in the power of “transformational giving,” partnering with energetic, visionary leaders to change the world for the better. He took an entrepreneurial approach to philanthropy, using his keen interpersonal skills to identify people and causes in which to invest and working closely with partners to hone strategies and set expectations. “There is nothing more important in life than helping a fellow human being.” — Russell Berrie (1933-2002)
About Russ Berrie. (n.d.) Russell Berrie Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.russellberriefoundation.org/our-founder
Collis, C. (2018, October 23). Mel Brooks came up with one of the most famous horror movie taglines of all time. Entertainment Weekly. https://ew.com/movies/2018/10/23/the-fly-mel-brooks-david-cronenberg/
Russ Berrie And Company, Inc. (2020) Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved from https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/economics-business-and-labor/businesses-and-occupations/russ-berrie-and-company-in