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Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card Variations

In total, thirty-seven of the original time travel cards have been modified, with seven of these having undergone a second modification. The cards that have pictorial variations are 5 (also a text change), 15, 16, 17, 23, 26, 27 (also a text change), 30 (also a text change), 32, 33, 35, 36, 39, 46, 47, 50 (also a text change), 53, 60, 63 (three versions), 74 and 76 (also a text change). In addition, cards 3, 7, 10, 13, 20, 21, 24, 28, 29, 34, 41, 44, 54, 62, 67 and 72 have changes only to the text.

Whilst I spotted many of the pictorial variations myself, a big thanks to Robin Yu, who supplied me with the majority of the variations found on the reverse of the cards, and also Robert Greenland for 50 and 54. Chas Chaplin for the second variant of 44. Peter Wood for 10 and 67; and Kate Smith for the most recent (21 and 33).

Where the cards are shown side by side, the original card is the one on the left.

Last updated: 15th June 2020

The modifications broadly fall into six categories:


1. The original card was in poor taste, or not politically correct.

74. This is certainly the reason that a change was made to Anne Frank's card, as the original was in poor taste. Depicting a grinning Anne receiving her diary on her 13th birthday - really? An unpleasant time in human history.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 74 Variation


63. The reason for the double change to the Mary Kingsley card was more along the lines of PC than poor taste, where the natives on the bank of an African river, were first disarmed, and then displaced by hippos. Interestingly version 2 also saw the natives bearing teeth, which is against the later trend - see category 4 variations. Bear Nibbles actually issued an apology for this card (the first two versions) which is reproduced here:

“We have realised that one of our cards in our time travel set (Mary Kingsley) has caused hurt, and we are deeply sorry for this.
We really wanted to create a set of cards that made history accessible to children, presenting a broad spectrum of events. With history dominated by male characters, we felt it was really important to bring some strong female characters through, and Mary Kingsley’s time with the Fang Tribe was widely documented as a real mark of her bravery as a pioneering explorer.
We have gotten this card wrong and caused offense in a way that we never intended, and are very sorry for this. We took the cards out of circulation, changed it as soon as we got feedback, and changed our packaging. We really appreciate the feedback that we have been given, and thank people for the time that they have taken in talking to us about this."
Hayley Gait-Golding. Posted by BEAR Nibbles on 26 February 2016 at 15:46

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 63 Variations


16. The Roman Emporer card probably just falls into the poor taste category, with the green fart just a little too solid looking as it veers towards the woman's food - or is it guacamole? However, the replacement is only slightly less offensive, but it is definitely gaseous.

Yoyo Bear Time Trave Card 15 Variantsl


34. Queen Elizabeth 1st's card has a minor change to the text. I suspect the offending phrase is "super spotty skin", which is perhaps an inappropriate way to decribe a former monarch.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 34 Variation


28. Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492. On second thoughts (many centuries later) perhaps he didn't. Who did? The text went through two changes - firstly the word 'native' was changed to 'local', and then 'discovered' was changed to 'arrived'. Thank you to Gary Young for this one.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 28 variation

This card also benefitted from another change at the same time as natives became locals, with regard to the tourist tips:

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 28 variationsThe advice to the seafarers was modified, when somebody spotted that eating lots of fruit on the island is not particularly useful advice for the poor scurvy-ridden sailors. They really needed to take the fruit with them on the ship, and then eat them on a regular basis until they reached home. And not just any fruit mind you ... Oh! there's not enough space!


7. Ancient Olympics, Greece.

Yoyo Bear Tme Travel Card 7 variations

Apparently in 776BC, the Oympics were only open to men. This is history. However, rather than say it how it is (or was), this fact needs to be hidden. This is PC at its worst. The human race continues to learn from its mistakes, particularly the historically shabby treatment of women, so lets not hide from it. At the same time however, other parts of the world still persecute them, yet we can't mention it just in case we offend someone. Go figure...


24. Marco Polo. Another minor change to the text sees Marco Polo no longer decribed as silly.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 24 variations


29. Herman Cortes. A very small change to the text sees Herman Cortes no longer decribed as horrid.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 29 variations


62. Vincent Van Gogh. A change to the text has removed the reference to what type of hospital Vincent Van Gogh was staying in. Mental health is still a taboo subject to some extent - why?

Yoyo Time Travel Card 62 variations


67. South Pole, Antarctica

Yoyo Bear Time Travel 67 variantA change to the "Talk of the Time". Not quite sure what is wrong here, but I suppose it could be taken badly by some British - myself not included.




2. The original card was historically inaccurate.

27. The Tower of London. The descriptive text on the back was changed twice. There was some confusion over which brother was locked in the tower by King Edward IV.

The Edward and Richard referred to in the text probably refer to the two sons of Edward IV. They were both imprisoned in the Tower of London by Richard III in 1483 - they subsequently disappeared, presumed murdered.
Edward IV did however imprison his predecessor, Henry VI, in the Tower of London in April 1471. Henry subsequently died in the Tower on 21st May 1471.

On the third version, the glass of wine is missing, and someone has removed the teeth, so this could have been put in category 4 - "Someone doesn't like teeth". However, given that the polar bear is still baring its teeth, maybe there will be a fourth version? I think the P.B.A.S. (Polar Bear Appreciation Society) may be writing in soon.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 27 Variation


72. Bonnie and Clyde. This card has two versions of the text on the reverse. Neither is particularly bloodthirsty, so we can only assume one of them is inaccurate:

Yoyo bear Time Travel card 72 variation


76. Mount Everest. The initial issue had an inaccurate New Zealand flag, which was drawn with red stars.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 76 Variation

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 76 VariationThere is also a change to the tourist tips, where "locals" become "Nepalese". I think this change occurred before the flag was changed, due to the fact that the version with the white stars on the flag also refers to Nepalese.



3. The original card was too bloodthirsty.

10. Ancient Greece.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 10 variantsThis could be enough to put impressionable youngsters off bake beans for life! Maybe Heinz saw this one and made a complaint. Theatres are a far less offensive option.





26. Bran Castle, Romania. Fresh blood, eyeballs, brains. Far too much gore for little Johnny to cope with.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 26 Variation


30. The Royal Banquet Hall, London. I can sort of see why this one was changed.....

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 30 Variation

There were also some changes to the reverse of Henry VIII's card. The original card had the text shown on the left. When the tattoo card first appeared it retained the original back, but at some point later, it was given new text. I presume the problem is Henry's anger at having not having a daughter, but what a daughter she was - none other than Elizabeth I!

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 30 variation

A a result, there are three versions of card 30.


46. A Barber Shop, London. To a child, the original looked more innocent than its replacment. What wrong with having some lunch before shaving someone's beard?

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 46 Variation

There is also a variation to the text on the reverse of the card with the pie, giving three versions of this card. Some of the cards have the sentence ".... and many people are said to have disappeared downstairs into Mrs. Lovett's meat pies. Mmm."; whilst slightly later versions have omitted the word "Mmm" at the end.


53. A Hospital, Turkey. The wonders of not-so-modern medicine. In the blink of an eye, a guy who looked dead ..... er doesn't anymore.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 53 Variation


17. Londinium - maybe this is the reason for changing this card, but it's very subtle. For those who can't see the differences, there are two: the original card has some blood on the wheel spike, and Boudicea has fiercer looking eyes.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 17 Variation


41. Bishop von Dornheim. Its OK to call him beastly, but don't mention death. The removal of the word "execution" is the main change here. I wonder if Mrs. Braun survived?

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 41 variation


3. Ice Age Humans. Maybe the author was a little too enthusiastic with the narrative "smash open skulls". It was brutal back then, as the re-write didn't pull too many punches either.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 3 variations


20. The Vikings. A couple of changes here on the back, one to the main text and one to the tourist tips.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 20 variations

The tourist tips, card 20:

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 20 variations

This all seems fairly innocuous, so I am struggling to see a reason for any changes at all. Slippery death or slippery end? Or is there a problem with boiling cowskin in tar (assuming the cow was killed humanely beforehand). If anyone knows the background please email me and I'll post it up.



21. Seas near Greenland. Eric the Red was banished from Iceland for killing people, or maybe it was just bad behaviour?

Yoyo Bear Card Time Travel variant 21


33. St. Andrew's Golf Course, Scotland. A little bit of confusion over the dates here. When was the husband of Mary, Queen of Scots murdered? Was it 1545 or 1567? It was in 1567. The image below shows the two dates, with version 1 on the left, and the corrected version 2 on the right. The same error was repeated on the reverse too.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel card 33 variants

4. Someone doesn't like teeth.

27. This card has a teeth change, but due to its historical inaccuracies, it can be found here.

15. A Battlefield, Vietnam in which the two people on elephants now look too good tempered to go into battle. Let's just call it off shall we?

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 15 Variation


23. A Battlefield Asia. Is this another case of let's not frighten the enemy too much. Old G.K. is still pretty scary though.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 23 Variation


39. The Globe Theatre. Is the idea to make him look less fierce, or less happy with his dirty deeds?

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 39 Variation


60. A Victorian School - isn't this how teachers were back then, or is it more to do with the fact he's not very good at brushing his teeth?

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 60 Variation


5. Children might ask too many awkward questions

13. Cleopatra. So Cleo married her brother did she? Explain that one to a six year old. In the modern world, this sort of carry-on is against the law, and rightly so.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 13 variation


44. Blackbeard. There are several changes to the back of the card, with both the text (twice) and tourist tips altered. Thank you to Chas Chaplin for spotting all these.

Yoyo Bear Spy Card 44 Variants

Within the main text, the first change sees one "stick it to" replaced with "sail off with". The second change to the main text is sees Blackbeard no longer described as rotten, but he is still a rapscallion. Also there is no mention of his subsequent punishment, which could have placed this change into the "too bloodthirsty" category. With regard to the top tips, I think the main objective here was to remove references to gambling. "Mummy, what's gambling?". Probably not a bad idea.



6. Artistic Changes.

This last category covers all the remaining modifications, but I can't really see the point of them, other than to cause more of a collecting frenzy.

5. A spooky hill, Ireland. The new version is more interesting with the addition of the purse falling out of the man's pocket, but necessary? OK, there's also a very small amount of blood showing on the original.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 5 Variation

There is also a change to the back of these cards with some using the phrase "people on bonfires" instead of "enemies on bonfires". This affected the version without the purse, so once again there are three different cards.

32. Paris. This card has been ruined by the addition of a garish blue sky. Are we trying to say it never got foggy in Paris?

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 32 Variation


35. The Royal Bathroom. This may be a historical inaccuracy as its possible that the type of tiles depicted on the wall did not exist in 1596.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 35 Variation


36. Houses of Parliament. This card has a change to both the front and back. The picture has a different background which has improved the look of it if you like things more contrasty.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 36 Variation

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 36 variationsA second change to card 36 saw completely different tourist tips, and only affected the cards with the purple background. I can't really see what the issue is with this, and I'm not sure which one came first. "Talk of the Time" was also changed, to remove yet another reference to killing witches and a third alteration. I'm sure the translation below "Witch! Witch! Burn Her!" (this means destroy the witch) is not strictly necessary. It was certainly tough being a witch back in the 17th century. Life was pretty tough in general to be honest - there were no easy rides available!

So in total there are three versions of card 36.


47. The Royal Hair Salon. One of the more subtle changes, where only the eyes, or more specifically the eyelids, have changed.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 47 Variation


50. Melmouth. The change to this card is the hardest to fathom, as the native has been shifted sideways slightly, and one of the dragonflies has disappeared. Why?

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 50 Variation

There is also a variation to the text, where rather than mentioning that his mother has died, it now relates to his skill as a warrior, and his army.

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 50 Variation


54. Queen Victoria.

A minor text change here - not sure which came first. "she'll have you - she despises noisy kids" replaces "she'll hang you - she hates noisy kids" or vice-versa!

Yoyo Bear Time Travel Card 54 Variation

If you are missing any variants, it is possible to buy about 50% of them here.

If anyone out there knows of more variations, please let me know, and I'll add them to the site.