There was an awesome store in the Mt. Shasta Mall in the early 80’s called Polabear. It was stocked to the ceiling with more high-quality toys, games, stickers, and candy than seemed possible for a relatively small retail location, as if someone had gathered up all the best kids’ stuff on the planet for Redding kids to enjoy. They had Sanrio stuff for the girls, Lego sets and Tomy robots for boys, all the crazy Rubik’s cube variants, and tons of other stuff that any kid would love. As far as locations in that mall were concerned, it was second only to the Gold Mine on the coolness scale. I think just about every kid who knew about Polabear loved it.

Then, in the mid 80’s, it abruptly disappeared. I’m not clear on the details, but seem to remember that they did some remodeling on that part of the mall that forced Polabear out of their well-known location near PayLess (or was it Pay ‘N’ Save?). A number of other businesses showed up there over time, including that Blue Chip Cookies place – but none of them held a candle to Polabear. I recall being extremely sad when I realized that it was gone and never coming back.

I tried to dig up some additional information about it, but there’s nothing. The post you are now reading seems to be the only “proof” that this place ever existed.

Location:  Polabear was located inside the northernmost west entrance of the Mt. Shasta Mall, near what is now Macy’s. International Imports was a couple of doors down on the same side. Though much bigger, OLD NAVY now occupies the spot where Polabear once brought joy to children of all races and creeds.