Beach Bear was the guitarist for The Rock-afire Explosion. He was the character who arguably underwent the most changes over the years, although he has often been seen as the "coolest" character of the entire group.
History and Development
Beach Bear's origins began with the Wolf Pack 5. He was the only character to keep his original name (Beach Bear) when the Rock-afire Explosion was developed. Both in the Wolf Pack 5 and in the early days of the Rock-afire, Beach Bear had shaggy gray fur and wavy blonde hair. He also wore a tropical lei and flowery Hawaiian swim shorts. During his time with the Wolf Pack 5, he was taller and had a deeper voice. In the Rock-afire, he was also seated on a surfboard that he'd rock back and forth on.
Originally, Beach Bear had quite a crazy personality. This was accentuated by the wild voice given to him by Aaron Fechter. In late 1982, the decision was made to revamp Beach Bear's character, the most noticeable change being his new voice. Rick Bailey took over his vocals and gave Beach Bear a more laid back, carefree attitude (like an actual surfer). He did retain the character's zany personality, albeit toned down.
Beach Bear was also given a new appearance around this time. The gray fur was replaced with white fur, and a few years later, his blonde wig was removed, as Aaron Fechter believed it would improve the appearance of the character. During this time, Creative Engineering had been considering a "second generation" Beach Bear with improved animatronics that could stand up from the surfboard. Due to budget cuts at ShowBiz, this version of Beach Bear was never developed or distributed.
In the early 1990s, The New Rock-afire Explosion was developed, and Beach Bear was included in the full version of the show. He was redone in the "mijjin" style, and was on stage right along with a Looney Bird that was concealed behind a window. Although he now wore a t-shirt, his character was largely unchanged.
In recent years, Beach Bear has often been seen as the unsung hero of the Rock-afire Explosion. Rick Bailey has stayed semi-involved with Creative Engineering, recording new shows such as 2012's "Sittin' Too Long", and has appeared at some modern-day Rock-afire Explosion fan gatherings to meet with and sign autographs.
During Concept Unification that took place at most Showbiz locations between 1990 and 1992, Beach Bear's animatronic was converted into Jasper T. Jowls. His surfboard and tree stump were removed from the bottom of his animatronic and a metallic barrel was put in for Jasper to sit on. His guitar was kept intact and reused as Jasper T. Jowls' guitar. However, it should be noted that some locations ended up replacing the guitar with Billy Bob's former guitar with Birthday Bird removed. In addition to this, most locations that used Beach Bear's guitar have since replaced it with the infamous cheese-shaped guitar or have repainted the original guitar.
Another thing that should be noted is that during CU, Rolfe's brown eyes were exchanged with the blue eyes that were in Beach Bear's animatronics, giving Jasper brown eyes and giving Chuck E. Cheese blue eyes.
It should also be noted that on the prototype Concept Unification Stage, Beach Bear's animatronic was also converted into Jasper T. Jowls, which was the only character conversion to remain unchanged.