Fred Bear 3-D Sculpture Boosts Customer Experience



Fred-Bear Display

With the shifting landscape of retailing, customer experience is becoming more important than ever; good news for visual merchandising and display.

Last year, Nebraska-based specialty retailer Cabela’s approached Fusion Specialties with a unique request for their newest store in Michigan.  They wanted us to create a statuesque replica of Fred Bear, an American bow hunter, bow manufacturer, author and television host who helped popularize bow hunting during his lifetime.

Thirty years after his death in 1988, Cabela’s chose to honor Bear in their new store in Michigan where Bear spent his adult life.  The display features a life-sized and realistic bronze statue of Fred Bear, standing in an outdoor setting, with a quote from Bear carved into the stone behind him.  The project required focus from all aspects of our internal creative and development teams to ensure that every detail was captured.

Our sculptors were tasked with recreating Fred Bear’s face from images provided to them. With as recognizable a face as Fred has, attention to detail was critical.  Every crease and furrow of the brow were incorporated into the clay sculpt.  Once complete, the head was scanned by our in-house 3-D specialists.

Fred Bear Sculpted Head for Customer Experience Project

The 3-D team built a digital model of Fred Bear’s body.  As luck would have it, we had a body double for Bear in-house. One of our sculptors has a similar height, weight, and posture to Fred Bear.  He was the perfect model for 3-D scanning once we dressed him in Fred Bear-like clothing and outfitted him with a bow.

In-house sculptor posing for Customer Experience Project

Once the scans were cleaned up, they were digitally combined to create our virtual copy of Fred Bear. He was 3-D printed and assembled into the full, physical recreation. A special bronze paint was applied as the finishing touch, and the outcome is a lifelike full-size output that looks like a cast bronze sculpture.

3-D render of completed Fred Bear form for customer experience project

Completed bronze finish on Fred Bear for customer experience project

The finished piece was part of Cabela’s drive to provide a special, regionalized approach to their new stores. The new Chester Township store in Michigan featured not only local legend Fred Bear, but also mounts of black bears, smallmouth bass, lake sturgeon and walleyes, all native species in Michigan. Every display was created to give local customers a very personalized and recognizable customer experience.

Fusion Specialties helps retailers create memorable customer experiences, whether it’s across 500 stores or one iconic display. If you’re ready to bring your displays to the next level, reach out to us at