John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners have unveiled the winner of their soft-toy design competition, which celebrates front-line workers and for which 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the NHS.
The #DesignYourSuperBear competition – which launched last month and was judged by a panel including children’s illustrator Rob Biddulph and John Lewis toy buyer Rachael Larkman – was won by 13-year-old Klara Hinze. Her design depicts a bear wearing a blue cape and face mask.
#DesignYourSuperBear was launched as part of the John Lewis Partnership's "Feel good Friday" campaign, which hopes to teach new skills to the public with the help of celebrity experts, charities and the NHS.
Larkman said: "All 17,621 entries we received were bursting with creativity and our shortlisted six did an amazing job against fierce competition. But there can only be one winner and our customers have chosen a very worthy design.
"Klara’s bear is the perfect tribute to the NHS, with its blue cape and mask, and vibrant rainbow colours. It really champions our front-line heroes and we think it’s something our customers will love and get fully behind when it comes on sale later this year."
Hinze added: "I’m incredibly happy to have won this competition and to be able to support the NHS. I hope my bear makes lots of people happy."
Although the "super bear" has not yet been named, John Lewis and Waitrose are set to announce the new product via social media in the coming days.
John Lewis has sold soft-toy versions of characters from several of its Christmas campaigns, incuding Monty the pengiun and last year's Edgar the dragon – although Sir Elton John, star of 2018's "The boy and the piano", was a notable exception.
Yesterday (Wednesday), The Sun reported that John Lewis was in talks with 100-year-old NHS fundraiser (soon to be Sir) Captain Tom Moore to star in this year's Christmas campaign. The company has declined to comment.