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I was recently given a present from my mum. She handed me a large cupboard box. I was intrigued, as when I opened it I found a cream canvas bag and inside this bag was a Teddy Bear. I admit I adored Teddy bears when I was younger however, being in my mid thirties I was surprised at my mums choice of present. Taking the bear out of the bag I came face to face with a dark faced bear. All I can say it was love at first sight! The bear was a grizzly bear named Malcolm from a company called Charlie Bears who are based in Cornwall. My bear is 48cm high with beautiful facial features that give him a personality of his own. He is jointed arms, legs and head with a big tummy. The fur is soft with big padded paws. He came in a canvas bag which included a poem regarding bears which I thought was a great personal touch. I have now found out that the bears this company make are limited editions and new bears are launched each season. All bears are handmade which make them all unique. Being limited this does make the bears expensive, they range from £20 to over a £100. My bear was around £40. Having reviewed the collection, they all seemed to have a huge amount of character through beautiful expressive faces. The bears came in all colours and sizes. There are several ranges available, one called the Isabelle collection where all bears come in a presentation box and certificate of authenticity. The price obviously counts these bears out as presents for younger children however they are great present for the young at heart and are a real collectors piece. I guarantee they will put a smile on anyones face. To view the bears visit their website, www.charliebears.com
Like most children when I was little I absolutly loved cuddly toys, I had every sort you could imagine, animals, bears, disney.. this love of cuddly bears has followed me on in life.. In my 30's I still have many of the bears I had when I was little in the spare room in our house piled high on a big rocking chair and there are even more of them in my parents atic, I just cant bring myself to throw them away, I partially think this is because when i was younger they meant so much to me, every bear has a name and I can still name them all..and there are a lot.. Im sure most people can remember the names of there bears they had when they were younger. There is on bear who has been with me for years and still comes to bed with me which my husband finds most amusing. I do still love cuddly bears but wouldnt go out an buy them anymore...not until Bear factory was invented! I just love this shop, a perfect place for all bear lovers, its fun how you can choose your bear, see it get stuffed and even a llittle heart is put inside it. You can then dress the bear and name is and get a birth certificate. This store is probably aimed at children but both my mum and I have a few bears from there that people have bought us as presents...these ones dont get cuddled though! Something about cuddly bears that just make you smile... and I believe that if i was to ask you all to raise your hands if you still have a teddy bear I think there will be loads of people that raise their hands with me.
Teddy bears are a must for every child - bears should be brown and be jointed so that they can walk and go on teddy bear picnics! All bears need to have a name. I have had my teddy bear - borris - since before i can remember and he is very well worn but still much loved. I think tha the was given to me by my aunty pam when i was born - i did decided to give him a hair cut and cut off the designer label (he was a steiff) when i was about seven so his fur is rather patchy but he still sits on the shelf in my bedroom and i am now twenty six. Teddy Bears are often brought for children and my child has about fifty! It is something that as a parent you never need to buy as everyone else buys them for your child!
I love steiff, i wont say i love steiff teddy bears as i have always adored there aminal collections much more than there teddys. I am a great lover of monkeys, i had collected monkey teddys all my life, some would go as far to say i am obsessed and yes may be i am. I have collected around 300 monkeys so far but have all been of the cheap variety, no names or any thing but wholst looking on ebay last year i dont know why but i went into the steiff section and saw 2 mo haire monkeys from the 1950,s. I put these down to watch them to see how they were doing and logged in a couple of times each day to see if there price had gone up. To my amazement no one bid on them so i got me 2 steiff monkeys for £3. After this i saw that steiff had made a 2007 baby monkey and had to have him, he cost me £17 from steiff, i adore them all. Just before christmas my cat garfield got run over and sadly died so i decided to look for a ginger kitten from steiff, after all i wouldnt have to remember to feed this one, there was a lady selling one on ebay which went through the roof, i bid up to £50 on him then decided that was me out. He eventually sold for £90 but the buyer never paid and after reading the sellers bad feedback about this i emailed the seller and she sold the ginger kitty to me for £30, what a bargain. just before christmas wholst looking through my studio catalogue i noticed they had a steiff teddy bear called charly for £20. As i said before im not into teddys but i had to buy this one as my niece is named charlie. I love steiff animals and if you are loking for a bargain ebay is very good but beware some of the teddys are sold in sets of 2 or more and most times you will find only one of them is a steiff.
If you are a teddy bear collector like me then your hobby may be referred to as an arctophily. The word arctophily is derived from the Greek words arctos, which means bear and philos, which means love. WHY ARE THESE BEARS CALLED TEDDY BEARS? It was in November 1902 that Theodore Roosevelt (The American President) or Teddy Roosevelt as he was known to his family, took a 4 day break from politics to attend a bear hunt in Mississippi. The President was unlucky, and his only chance of a kill was a bear cornered and tied to a tree. He refused to shoot it. This incident was illustrated by a political cartoonist, Clifford K. Berryman, and through Berryman the little bear he drew came to symbolize the President. Within a year the little cartoon bear was transformed into a toy now known as the teddy bear (named after the President). BEARS ON ALL FOURS Prior to the Teddy Bear a bear was referred to as just a bear and would often be seen on all four legs unlike the teddy bears we know today. MY FAVOURITE TEDDY BEAR My favourite teddy bears are those of the Steiff origin. Steiff bears are all handmade to a very high quality and therefore can be very expensive. Steiff was set up in Germany and started out as a family business headed by Margarete Steiff. As a child she contracted Polio and became wheelchair bound and as a result of this she became an expert seamstress. At first the Steiff bears were unsuccessful but in 1903 it began to really take off and are now to this day one of the most sought after brands of teddy bears. The Steiff teddy bears are all legally protected by the famous button in ear trademark. So far I only have a few Steiff teddies due to the cost but over the coming years I shall certainly be buying more. A LONG WAIT FOR MY STEIFF TEDDY My favourite Steiff bear I have is called the Millennium Bear. I caught sight of it in a magazine and it looked absolutely gorgeous. It had a 22 caret gold medallion around its neck on a gold ribbon. It was a lovely cream colour and the fur is mohair and had moving joints on both the arms and legs. Its quite heavy, but this is good as it sits upright very well and doesnt fall over. This is important, as a lot of people who purchase Steiff bears want to put them in a glass cabinet or somewhere on show. I placed the order for this in September 1999 and was told I would only have to wait 28 days for delivery. One thing I liked was that it let me pay in 4 installments, as the bear was £150. Well I waited and I waited and I got a letter of apology after waiting 2 months to say that there had been a much bigger response for this bear than initially thought and because they are made by hand they can only produce them at a certain rate but promised me I would get the bear before 2000 for the Millennium. Well it got to the Millennium and I was still without my bear and I was quite disappointed. In February 2000 they wrote to me again and said it would be another 3 months wait but in this letter they did send me a very posh certificate confirming that I was now the proud owner of a Steiff Bear. The waiting seemed like forever and I almost felt like asking for my money back that I had put down as a deposit, but the longer I waited the more I wanted the bear so was prepared to wait. In the end I finally got it sent to me with another apology letter in June 2000 so what was supposed to be only a 28 day wait turned into a 9 month wait. Despite the delay Steiff was very apologetic and did keep me informed on a regular basis and as soon as I caught sight of the bear and saw how great it was the waiting was soon forgotten. It was well worth the wait. In the future however I dont think I will be placing orders for Steiff bears again because of the possible waiting involved. I will just look in shops and see what I can find. OTHER TEDDY BEARS I also collect non-furry teddies the ornaments called cherished teddies. I have about 50 all together which I collected over a number of years. My favourite set of these, which I have in a special glass showcase, is the 12 bears, which represent each month of the year. I find each one fascinating not only is each bear really cute but they are all carrying out an activity which represents each month: January Bear Is the bear with his woolly hat and scarf on making a snowman February Bear Is holding a heart to represent Valentines Day March Bear Is holding a kite to represent the month that can be more prone to strong winds April Bear Is holding an umbrella to represent the April Showers May Bear This bear is all decorated in flowers to represent the season when all the colouful flowers are here June Bear Is the bear holding the watering can July Bear This bear is eating a melon August Bear Is the holiday bear playing with his little yaught September Bear This is the bear that is ready to go back to school with his books October Bear This one is holding a pumpkin for Halloween November Bear This one is eating a fruit pie December Bear Is the bear dressed up as Father Christmas MY MOST MEMORABLE TEDDY BEAR My most memorable of all teddy bears I have ever had has to be a teddy bear that I named Lucky. I got him when I was 7yrs old. It wasnt something I chose because of the quality or the way its made like I perhaps would do now, but it was just very cute looking and it had this pick me up and take me home kind of look on his face so thats what I did. I named him Lucky as if I went on holiday he always came with me. So he got to travel around a lot and was very lucky. I have still got him to this very day but hes not as fortunate as he used to be I always used to take him to bed with me but now I have got my husband Lucky sits on a bed in the spare bedroom. Ah!!! Poor Lucky! But its not too bad as all my other teddy bears sit on this bed so he isn't alone. WHAT IS SO GREAT ABOUT TEDDY BEARS? Its the teddies face that I find adorable. If you look at a group of various different teddies all together its like you can tell each and everyones personality or the way they are feeling at that moment in time just from there facial expression. Its the one with the cute face, the happy face or the pick me up and take me home face that I love. As a child I was always very lonely so a teddy bear was like a friend to me so they were always very important to me and still are. Hope you have enjoyed reading this. Sarah
My name is Gina and I am a chocoholic. I bet you are wondering if I have strayed into the wrong category. No, most definitely not. Just read on and see... Every lady reading this will agree that gentlemen are very difficult to buy personal presents for. We can all rush out and pick the latest tool for them to add to the big tool graveyard in the shed but something personal? Well, if you are like me, its socks or aftershave or both if he's lucky...(I have just made myself unappealing to every male on dooyoo lol) But imagine if the person you are buying for is female.... she doesn't wear cosmetics because of a skin problem, same for perfume and smelly bath stuff (even the ones for sensitive skin.) Don't buy her anything to wear because you would have to remortgage to afford it. Is very minimalist so no ornaments. Doesn't want chocolate because like me she is addicted and by now you are screaming OMG.... but she's my friend and I love her. So with Christmas looming up I was beside myself (not easy when you are as big as me) All I could think of doing was go on the net and smurf, so I smurfed long and hard. Putting things into my search engine like.... Difficult people to buy for...or...present for peculiar people. You can imagine some of the results.... (Do not try this if you are of a delicate nature.) I eventually stumbled across Name it gifts quite by accident, they supply personalised gifts like Birthday cards, Anniversary cards, and Baby welcoming cards. Basically, cards for every occasion, all personalised and some including little gifts, like a mini bar of chocolate or silk flowers or a crossword puzzle, but the thing that took my eye and what this review is about was TA DAH... A chocolate scented teddy bear.... This gorgeous dark brown squidgy teddy is soft and cuddly. He is 24cm tall (around 9 1/2" )and smells of CHOCOLATE! Yes, I couldn't believe it either but he really smells absolutely scrumptious. He has a ribbon round his neck in brown chiffon, his paws and feet are dark brown felt and embroidered on his left foot is a steaming cup of hot chocolate (I just can't stop sniffing this bear!) He smells just like the best chocolate...not sickly, but sweet, and not too overpowering. He has black button eyes held very firmly in place and his nose is the same colour as his fur, which is quite long, not shaven, like some teddies. It feels a bit like chenille. His ears are set to the side of his head, not right on top like some bears I have seen, and he feels not too soft but also not too firm. I can definitely feel some tiny beads inside along with some very soft material. I would like to point out that as I have been writing this I have had to keep handling the bear and I don't know if its the warmth of my hands or the stroking of the fur, but the smell appears to be getting stronger. Its lovely. It does say that this bear is 'baby safe' however I would not give this bear to a baby. Firstly, I don't think that a baby would get the idea that this is only to be sniffed and I dread to think what might happen if some tiny tot tried to take a chunk out of it. The label attached to his left leg gives the name 'Russ' who are a well known manufacturer of bears. I have seen programmes featuring the Russ bears on QVC. However, this label states Russ beanie and co. inc Oakland NJ also Russ beanie ltd Southampton also Canada Australia and China...On the other side is the Russ logo and a CE mark and it states that the bear contains all new materials which conform to Toy Safety Regulations. It also states that the bear contains Inner bagged scented PE plastic pellets (that must be what I can feel when I squished him) and polyester fibre. It also states that it is surface washable and not to immerse in water or to use soap or detergent. This bear cost me £7.00 but I had to order something else to get the special price. I ordered a personalised birthday card with a mini choc bar inside and my total bill came to £11.50 including P&P...I have had a good look round the internet and have found several of these bears all priced around the £7.00 mark. I struggled wondering which category to place this under, so I hope my new Dooyoo friends will forgive me if I got it wrong...but if you are looking for something a little bit different then please think of this especially if it's for me..........
Hands up! How many of you played with teddy bears as children? Ah, nearly all hands are up. Now ´fess up, how many of you still have their teddies, either sitting on the sofa, hidden somewhere in the closet or as a part of a teddy collection? Thought so, still quite a lot of hands up. (Not mine, though, my teddy got lost when moving house yonks ago. Did I cry? You bet!). Now, no matter what your teddies look like, which size or colour they have, how much they cost, I can tell you for sure that they´re all (il)legitimate offspring of the first teddy ´born´ in Germany in 1902. HOW IT ALL BEGAN In 1847 Margarete Steiff was born in the German town Giengen in the South of Germany, about 100 km southeast of Stuttgart (and about 60 km away from the town where I live), she was taken ill with polio at the age of 1½ and spent the rest of her life confined to a wheelchair (she died in 1909). She learnt to sew garments and household articles, in 1880 she made an elephant of felt intended for the use as a pincushion. It was the first soft-filled fabric toy animal and soon became very popular with children. In 1886 already more than 5000 elephants were sold, in 1893 Steiff felt toys were presented at the Leipzig (Lipsia) Fair and the company was founded, in 1895 the first foreign business contacts were established with Harrods in London (!). One of Margarete Steiff´s nephews created a bear in 1902, it was given the designation ´55PB´ (55 cm tall, sitting, P = plush, B = jointed [´beweglich´ in German]), since then it has been going strong! More than 30 operations are needed to produce a bear and even nowadays most of them are performed by hand in the traditional manner. It´s clear that such a production method has its price, a teddy bear made in Germany can´t be cheap, but then it´s worth its price, it´ll last for generations whereas a cheap specimen from some substandard sweatshop may not even survive your child´s toddlerdom (toddlerhood?). Over the years the Margarete Steiff Company has become the leading manufacturer of high-quality toys and collectors´ items world-wide, in 2002 (I couldn´t find a later date) more than 1.5 million Steiff animals were produced. In 1904 another nephew had the brilliant idea to put a button in the left ear of all toy animals thus distinguishing Steiff products from imitation ones and the world-famous trademark ´Steiff Button in Ear´ was born. Almost 90% of the German population know the Steiff brand and the slogan ´Button in Ear´ (50% of the production are sold nationally, 50% internationally). When ear piercing came up, it was used to make fun of the ones who put a metal mark in their ears to distinguish themselves! BEAR > TEDDY BEAR > TEDDY Why should a bear, an animal, be called ´Teddy´? This has to do with the 26th President of the USA, Theodore Roosevelt nicknamed Teddy. He was a passionate bear hunter but in spite for his passion for hunting, he actually spared the life of a young bear in 1902, after that event Clifford Berryman, a well-known American artist, used to add a small bear whenever he drew caricatures of the President. The (well-made and informative) homepage of the Steiff firm (www.steiff.com) shows one of Berryman´s drawings, strangely the little bear resembles Micky Mouse! Soon the bear and the name Teddy merged and a bear became a teddy. From the start the ´Teddy Bear´ market boomed and 3000 bears were sold in the first year of its presentation at the Leipzig Fair. HOW MUCH DOES A STEIFF TEDDY COST? Well, it depends on what you want it for. Maybe you want to add an antique teddy bear to your collection? In 2002 a new world record for an antique teddy (from 1926) was achieved at the 6th Steiff Festival in Giengen, it was auctioned for 156.240 Euro (~107.888 GBP)! Surprisingly (at least for me), a not antique teddy bear had achieved a higher price in 2000, Christie´s at Monaco auctioned it for 213.720 Euro (~147.627 GBP). That is not your league? Well, if you just want a teddy for your child or yourself to play with, then the prices are affordable, a 30cm high one costs 25.95 GBP in GB. You can find Steiff products (hundreds of different kinds of teddy bears and other animals) in: Steiff Gallery store located in the upper Mall of the Glades Shopping Centre in the heart of Bromley, Kent (2 minutes from Bromley South Station with fast trains from London Victoria [18 minutes]), they also have an online shopping catalogue which you can find via the before mentioned homepage www.steiff.com. All in all there are almost 100 Steiff Club Stores throughout the UK, but a great many more stockists, Club stores are listed on the Steiff website. WHATS THE SECRET? Why has the teddy become the No. 1 felt toy animal? I sent an email to the Steiff company and learnt that up to 75% of the production were teddy bears. I´m not a psychologist , I can only try to offer an explanation, maybe you can find it convincing. Furry animals as a whole appeal to us, we want to touch and stroke them, who has ever felt the urge to do this with, say, an alligator or a snake? Bear cubs look cute to us (so much so that once a little boy climbed over the railing in a zoo in order to stroke some, Mother Bear didnt like that at all and hit him with a paw, the claws tore off the boy´s arm). I think the humanoid features of a teddy are responsible for the permanent appeal, a bear has a face (vaguely) resembling the human one, can move arms and legs in the way human beings can, walk upright (if you help it a bit); it is like friend, a mute one admittedly, but one that listens to whatever sorrows it is told. And why are the Steiff teddies the No. 1 in the teddy bear world? It must be the fact that they´re of the best quality with much attention to details. THE FESTIVAL Between 24th and 26th June, 2005, the 9th Steiff Festival will be held in Giengen, it is also the 125th anniversary of the Margarete Steiff company. The highlight will be the opening of the museum ´The World of Steiff´, why not come and join in the fun? Btw, the teddy bears are cheaper in Germany, you pay 5 GBP less for the 30cm high one, for example. Is that a deal?
I decided to review something that holds fond affection in every ones (or nearly every ones!) heart! Teddy bears have been a favourite of mine for years and my oldest, being 24 years old, namely Bobby Bear, is one of the wonderful, world famous Steiff bears. Teddy bear lovers and collectors are known as 'Arctophiles' and although I would not consider myself as an Arctophile, I do love them all the same!! I have a bear similar to the beige bear at the bottom of the page, but unfortunately it is in a lot worse condition with bare patches and replaced paw pads! He is my companion wherever I go and has traveled to Spain, Ireland, Germany and Malta! There are two stories as to where the idea of the name 'Teddy' came from. The more famous idea is that of President Theodore Roosevelt refusing to shoot a bear cub whilst hunting in Mississippi in 1902. The following day an inventor called Morris Michtom (never heard of him personally!) had the idea to make a jointed soft bear and having heard of the events regarding the President, he asked permission to call the toy 'Teddy'. The second claim is that Richard Steiff, the nephew of Margaret Steiff designed the first jointed bear and exhibited it at the 1903 Leipzig Fair. Some of these bears were sent to America and used to decorate the tables at a White House reception. When the President was asked what species of bear it was, someone suggested it was a new species called 'Teddy'! I like the first idea best but who knows the real story! Steiff's teddy bears are one of the most collectable soft toys in the world. The quality of the bears is renowned and even has its own membership club. There are over 6,000 members of the ?Steiff Collecto rs Club? in the UK alone. You can join the ?Steiff Collectors Club? through most Steiff suppliers. The name of the Steiff bear comes from their founder Margaret Steiff who was born in 1847. Although Margar et died in 1909 at the age of 62 years, the company continued, and is today probably the worlds leading and most well known soft toy manufacturer. I say soft toy manufacturer rather than teddy bear as the bear was not the first toy created by Margaret Steiff. After Margaret overcame polio, she was left wheelchair-bound but successfully went on to form a dress making business. Quite randomly she also discovered a pattern for an elephant soft toy, which attracted her. She made the elephant with the intent of it being used as a pin cushion. Little did she know how popular he elephant soft toy would be. It became a favourite toy of her nieces and nephews. Fritz, Margaret's brother, saw potential and suggested that they try to sell the toys at a German Christmas market. Of course, the toys were a big hit. The Margaret Steiff Soft Toy Corporation was founded in 1880 initially producing a few animals, with the range growing along with the business. The company grew but it was not until the introduction of a bear in 1902 that the company really expanded. The famous Steiff trademark "KNOPF IM OHR" - "BUTTON IN EAR" appeared in 1904 as the company tried to distinguish themselves from other manufacturers. The button is still very much part of Steiff toy and has come to trademark Margaret's passions of quality and her view that children deserve the best teddy bears! The Steiff Bear With their pointed snouts, long arms and feet and hump ed backs, early Steiff bears look much more like real bears than most teddies of today, and are the most valuable of all collectors? bears. The earlier Teddy Bears also had shaven snouts. Early Steiff bears did have a humped back detail but with later bears the humps become less noticeable. Steiff bears also had long curved arms and legs with large felt paw pads. These were characteristic of all Steiff bears. Most bears are made from be ige or gold mohair plush. Unusual colours are more desirable. Steiff also make some bears in red, black, apricot and white mohair although I have never seen them. Early Steiff bears, as with many early Teddy bears had glass or shoe button eyes, attached by wires which can come loose. It is therefore recommended that old bears should be kept away from young children or have the eyes replaced by the safer modern day types. The bears paw pads were usually made from felt and were especially prone to wear. Many have since had their pads replaced with a more substantial material but bears with the felt pads in tact are surely the greater in value. The bears were stuffed with ?excelsior? and later with kapok. Earlier bears were stuffed with long thin strips of lime-wood or pine. Many of the bears also had growlers or squeakers too. I have also seen on the Antiques Road-show, a musical Steiff bear which was valued at several thousands of pounds! Steiff bears were always marked with a distinctive button in the ear. Early buttons had an elephant logo or were plain. Later buttons had the word "Steiff" written on them. The ?Steiff Collectors Club? began in 1992. The club costs £27.00 annually, which may seen a lot but it produces a quarterly news and features magazine, club members only gifts, a folder, a catalogue, and a membership card. As a Steiff Club member you also receive a Special Edition miniature bear. A new one is produced every year. I have included a couple of the recent bear pictures at the bottom of the page. When I say miniature, they are only about 5 inches high, if that! The year of production is always shown on the bears sash. Steiff produce a large range of soft toys, and also a number of limited edition toys specific to shops, countries and organisations. Getting hold of earlier bears is becoming more and more difficult. Prices I have seen for rare bears can be in the thousands but a regu lar bear still can reach hundreds, if kept in the right condition. Over 100 years ago, Margaret Steiff stated that her philosophy for toy production would be that "for our children, only the best is good enough" and set out to produce "Friends for Life". And she certainly did that!! Thanks for reading. Kerry xx
Whether you are young or old, male or female, I bet somewhere in the attic or in your abode there is a teddy bear. So what makes us like and love Teddy Bears? Where did they originate and how much do they cost and how did they get their name? These are some of the questions that I will try and answer and I will tell you about my collection of Teddy Bears from a 37 year old! As early as 1830s The Bear became a favourite and so Goldilocks and the Three Bears was written. By the end of the 1800s a bear was shown in a catlogue but had not yet been named as The Teddy Bear. By the start of the 1900s Steiff Bear had been introduced to the world. Almost simutaneously the Americans and the Germans were producing bears. The first known bear that was named a Teddy Bear was sold in a Brooklyn shop in America. So how did he became known as The Teddy Bear. Apparently Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt who was then the American President was out on a shoot and failed to make a killing. His mates found this quite amusing and stuffed a bear and stood it in front of him as a sitting target and nicknamed it Teddy Bear after him. Then within months the Steiff Teddy Bear was imported to America and also The Americans were also selling Teddys Bear as a joke which caught on and is now the most popular soft toy in the world been bought by all ages. Early Steiff bears can now fetch around 40,000 pounds, (must look in my loft again) When the Titanic sank, Steiff created a Black Teddy Bear for mourning the sinking and the people lost. So what makes us like and love Teddy Bears. I think part of it must take us back to childhood. I love my teddy bears and refuse to get rid of any of them. So what are Teddy Bears made out of? These can be as simple as plain cheap fur fabric in the popular browns or other colours. I collect brown bears. Joints can be movable or set. A good set of eyes and a nice smile makes me buy another. Bears can be made out of mohair and other fabrics and throughout the decades have been stuffed with anything from tights to cotton to rags to horse hair. They normally are soft but specialist collectors might have bears that are hard stuffed bears and are not cuddleable. Prices can vary, I think the cheapest ones that I have bought are keyring jointed bears with anoraks on for 1.00 My most expensive was a Steiff Bear. Now before you all rush off thinking I am worth a bomb, I must tell you that you can buy current small Steiff Bears for around 100.00 A few years ago when we moved I had over 100 bears and my dear old mother said to me you are getting to old for these, it is time for them to go. Crikes, how could she speak about my friends like that. I did sought out around 50 and gave them to the local childrens hospital, but there is something about the rest that made a 37year old bag them and keep them. I just could not part with a lot of them. So through this I will tell you all about my bears, but do not forget, that you have to tell me about yours. Edward Arndale Bear was won in Stretford Arndale in the early 80s. Actually he is 18 years old. He is nothing special other than he is one of those charity bears that you rip a ticket and never find a number that matches the ones on the board, yes you know the ones that I mean. He is a brown bear with a gorky nose and sized abnormally everywhere, but he has been a good friend and is hardish but still cuddleable. Well imagine my face this morning when I walked into the bedroom after coming back from shopping to find him in the grip of my dogs mouth and stuffing all over the floor. Rips in him everywhere and holes and his eyes and belly hanging out everywhere. He was nearly decapitated and the dog was shaking him violently. After cussing the dog, for the mess, hubby went to throw Edward in the bin and I was so disgusted at how he discarded my friend. We went out to get some things from the market today and I went to the sewing stall and bought some fire retardent stuffing 1.99, 4 pieces of blue felt, 2 eyes and a nose. Poor Edward is now in the Intensive Bear Unit and under sedation. I have spent the last 4 hours doing cometic surgery on his face and repair the 25 or so holes that the dog had ripped opened. I stuffed him so his snout puffed out and I put in a new nose and eyes. I sewed his head back to his body and then I started on the back of his head. I still have to do more work on him on his belly and back and arms and legs. So this daft woman then says to me why do you not buy a new Teddy Bear kit...Ouch how could you say that, For the last couple of hours I have sat down and made him new Tracky bottoms in dark blue and light blue felt and it looks cool. He will be fighting fit in a day or two and god help the dog if he eats him again! He is a tatty bear, years have taken its toll on him but there is now way we are going to be seperated. The there is Coco and Goldie Bear. They were won at fairs 23 years ago and have travelled where ever I have been or where my parents have lived. They are now safe and well with me and are fur fabric 4ft bears with a soft filling, Coco is Dark Brown with white ears and paws and Goldie is a Brown one with the same. These sit on my rocking chair. Then I have the Commonwealth Games Bears from the 17th Games in Manchester in 2002. There is a Mum, Dad and a Baby Bear in there and they have red sweatshirts on bearing the Commonwealth Games Logo and are tagged. These are a golden fur and feel so nice and they have a lovely smile. Unfortunatley when the games were on, I was a volunteer and at the time We were homeless and if anything the Games kept me sane, but money was tight and I could not afford the 70.00 for the collection. After the Games had finished a lot of them were given to charities to sell on and by a pot of luck one day whilst out shopping our local chairty was there and I was able to pick th e set up for around 10.00 for all three. I have two teddy bears that wear dufflecoats in royal blue and a green soft fabric teddybear. Off course the term Teddy Bear is so generalised these days that it can be thought of as a soft toy rabbit. To me a Teddy Bear is a Brown Bear. I have lots of other soft toys and they are building up quite nicely. My Teddy Bears are mainly for display but I do throw one or two around my bed, yes sad I know but I use them for allsorts like pillows and as book rests, lol. Sometimes when it is girlie time and you just want to curly up and die, you can cuddle the hell out of them and they won't wind you up like the male spieces do. They sit there and listen to everything that you have to say and they do not answer you back or interupt you. You can tell them your inner most thoughts and secrets with out the fear that when you step outside your front door everyone knows what you have been up to. You can shout at them and punch them when you are angry (Not that I hurt my bears) and they will not retaliate. They do not need feeding and are cheap to run. Also my Teddy Bears come alive at night and party. This morning two of them had fallen off their shelf and when i went downstairs the large beige vase was on the floor, must have been a good one. If you are purchasing a Teddy Bear especially for a baby, make sure it has the CE quality test mark on it. You might see a larger one for the same price on the market, but its eyes could be swallowed by a young child. If you buy a teddy bear, tug its eyes and nose, (Ouch) but it is better to be safe than sorry. Look at the stitching to make sure there is no way the stuffing can get out as tiny fingers tend to find holes. You can join Teddy Bear Events, I do not do these but I do think they are good for youngsters or mothers and toddlers. There are also Teddy Bear Clubs around the world and museums and special clinics for specialist repairs. You can buy bears from Supermarkets, Toyshops, Mothercare, all sorts of places. But most of all enjoy your bear, A bear is for life and not just for your childhood. Right back to been an adult, Karen :0)
After thinking long and hard about my favourite things I have plumped for my favourite bear, Pooh Bear. Those of you who know me from other web sites will know that my user name is Pooh Bear; I don't think I could have it on here :-( Before I tell you about Pooh Bear let me take you on a tour of my house and my Pooh Bear knick-knacks! In the entrance hall there is a wooden notice board with Pooh bear etched on it and a Pooh Bear calendar above the telephone there is nothing else Pooh Bear here or in the living room, hubby says it does not create a good impression as people enter the house if they are confronted by Pooh Bear - I could say the same about being confronted by him!! In the Dining room I have a Royal Doulton Pooh figure that my parents gave us as a wedding present and some Pooh Bear candles. In the kitchen there is no Pooh Bear evident, but there is a honey pot on the window ledge and glasses in the cupboard. Proceeding up the stairs this is where the real Pooh Bear paradise begins, on the stair head there is a Pooh Bear picture, in the bathroom there are Pooh Bear glasses for the toothbrushes and sometimes there are Pooh Bear flannels in use. Enter the spare room and you are confronted by a mass of Pooh Bear paraphernalia; mugs (I used to collect mugs, I had hundreds, many of which are now boxed up and in the loft, but the Pooh ones are still on display - 9 in total), pictures, a suncatcher on the window ledge, Pooh and friends figures on the window ledge too, a thimble, key ring and egg cup on the book case, several Pooh Bear books, a money box, stickers on the wardrobe door, coasters on the bed side table, an alarm clock and of course Pooh Bear bedding!! It won't take much effort to transform this room into a nursery if the time comes! In our bedroom there are two Pooh Bear pictures over the bed and two Pooh Bear stuffed toys, one was given to be by my mum when I went to university, the other was brough t back from USA by my hubby on a recent business trip. Sadly they do not make Pooh Bear bedding in double bed sizes. In the room we use as a study and where I type all my dooyoo ops there are; 3 Pooh Bear posters, a little picture that says "Time for a smackerel of something" on it, a Jubilee Pooh toy (that was given to me by a friend for my birthday last month), a mouse mat and The Pooh Book of Quotations and The Pooh Dictionary. This is just the stuff that is evident as you walk around the house, there is much more in cupboards and drawers that only come to light when in use! I have many items of Pooh Bear clothing, including shirts, t-shirts, socks, knickers, nightwear and jumpers. The shirts and jumpers I usually get from the Disney shop, though I wait for the sales as the full prices are rather extortionate and although I am a big fan I am not a wealthy one! I have a big collection of Pooh Bear socks, I was given four pairs for my birthday. The socks are available in several places including Debenhams, Morrisons and market stalls as well as the Disney shop. My husband has several pairs of Pooh Bear Socks too and a couple of ties, one from Debenhams and the other from Tie Rack. I also have a good collection of Pooh Bear knickers and nightwear. La Senza sell knickers and I have a real silk pair! La Senza also do a nightwear range and I have a nightie and pyjamas. Debenhams used to do a good Pooh Bear range and I have some knickers and pyjamas from there, but I have not seen any lately. BHS also have Pooh Bear nightwear. Places like Boots, Mothercare, Disney shop and Asda do Pooh Bear babywear, but I don't have a need for that at the moment, but I am sure that you can all guess what any baby of mine would wear! I also have many Pooh Bear notebooks, earrings, writing paper, photo albums, photo frames, book marks a beach towel, a diary, an umbrella and many, many Pooh Bear cross stitch kits! I have Pooh Bear &quo t;wallpaper" on my computer and have just bought the Pooh Print Studio!! I have even used Winnie the Pooh in a university assignment where I used the characters to describe the personalities of people I worked with in a placement. So when did this infatuation start? As a child I had the story books, but never had much interest really. I became addicted when I was working in a children's hospital and I helped one of the nursery nurses make a Pooh Bear freeze on the wall, this was at the ripe old age of 24! After that Pooh bear became a huge part of my life, he was even evident at my wedding as my parents arranged some Pooh Bear balloons and my husband had got a Pooh Bear cake as it was my birthday too! I wanted Pooh Bear figures on top of the wedding cake, but that was vetoed! I shall now tell you a bit about the history of Pooh Bear. Canadian troops in the First World War adopted a bear cub whose mother had been killed and named it Winnipeg, Winnie for short after the town they came from. Winnie became the mascot of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade and travelled to Britain with the troops. When the troops went into battle Winnie was left at London Zoo. Winnie the black bear became a popular attraction and she lived in the zoo until she died in 1934. During the time at London zoo Winnie became a favourite of Christopher Robin Milne, the son of A.A.Milne and Christopher Robin decided to rename his teddy bear Winnie the Pooh; Winnie after the bear and Pooh after a black swan. A.A.Milne started to write stories about Winnie the Pooh and his friends for the young Christopher Robin. The stories are based at the Milne's home Cotchford Farm and surrounding area of Ashdown Forest in Sussex, this is the area called Hundred Acre Wood in the stories. The first Winnie the Pooh book was published in October 1926 and were illustrated by E.H Shepard. Winnie the Pooh was brought to film by Walt Disney in 1966 and the first feature length film of Winnie the Pooh was made in 1977. The Disney Winnie the Pooh is probably the one that most of us are familiar with these days and comes second only to Mickey Mouse in the favourite character stakes. The Disney Pooh Bear has little resemblance to E.H Shepard original bear who was just like an ordinary plain teddy bear. I am not sure how the bright yellow, t-shirted bear came about, but I think he is the character that appeals to most of us rather than the original bear. There seems to have been a big revival in Pooh Bear in recent years and many shops have their own Pooh Bear lines, some of them are Disney's Pooh and some are Classic Pooh. I hope that this gives you some insight into one of my favourite things and that you have enjoyed reading about it, and in the words of Pooh Bear "When you are a bear of very little brain and you think of things, you find that sometimes things which seemed very thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it" (A.A.Milne House at Pooh Corner). "Jill Murphy asked me to write about one of my favourite things to help her celebrate her fourth anniversary of cancer-free living and to remind ourselves of all the nice things in the world. It takes more muscles to make a frown than a smile you know. If you'd like to join in, whether you've only just joined dooyoo, or you've been here ages, you're more than welcome. Just write about one of YOUR favourite things, make your title "A Favourite Thing: [your choice]" and include this paragraph at the foot of your opinion. And post before Friday, 9th August."
Bears, I just love them!!! My partner has had to build me a run of floor to ceiling, wall to wall shelving so that my collection of bears can sit in comfort and watch te comings and goings in my home. My first bear was a red bear aptly named Moscow, he travelled everywhere with me,he knew my secrets and has kept them from the day I told them to him. I now have in my collection a couple of steiff bears, some deans bears and a whole hoard of miniature Hermann bears who live in a dolls house!! I have rescued bears from collectors fairs, taken them home and repaired them to their former glory. Sometimes you find great old bears at jumble sales, people just throw them out with no idea what they really are. I have aquired three valuable bears this way, although it is getting harder these days as people are beginning to be a bit more shrewd! I also have a collection of artist bears from all over the UK and abroad. I regularly travel to bear fairs where you can find the most amazing variety of bears to suit all tastes and all pockets. It was this that inspired me to make my own collectors bears, and I only wish I'd done it sooner. There is nothing more satisfying than when you've cut,pinned stitched, stuffed and jointed a pile of mohair and then all of a sudden there's this little bear sat on the table infront of you! Bears are without a doubt the most appealing leftover memory of childhood. I love bears!!!Don't you?
Steiff are 100 years old this year and that makes it a good time to start collecting. Teddy Bear collecting has taken off over the last couple of years, with some bears fetching over £100,000 and Steiff is one of the most well known brands and still one of the best. ~~~ History ~~~ Based in Germany, the company was started towards the end of the 19th Century by Margarete Steiff who despite having Polio as a child had set up a little cottage industry making cuddly toys. As soon as he was old enough her nephew Richard Steiff, a wildlife artist joined the business. He was fascinated by bears and wanted to create a toy bear, this he did in 1902 and it flopped - almost! On the last day of the trade fair he had taken it to with no success at all an American buyer spotted it, took it back to the States and the rest is History. ~~~ How to spot a Steiff ~~~ Steiff have one of the oldest trademarks. The "Knopf Im Ohr" or "Button in Ear". Every Steiff toy, both teddy and animal has the distinct tag in their ear - or some where else if the animal hasn't got an ear (for example I have a bird who has it on his wing). There are three sorts of tags Yellow tag with red writing means that it is part of it normal catalogue and is made as demand dictates White tag with red writing. This is an Original limited addition. They can be limited by the number made (eg one out of 5000) or by limited production (they will only be made for a specific length of time - the centenary bears will only be made in this year) A white tag with BLACK writing is a limited addition Replica of a popular bear of the past. Steiff keep a copy of each bear they make in their own library and occasionally model a replication on one of these. ~~~ Steiff Today ~~~ Steiff today produce a selection of animals as well as the bears. The animals range from plush 5" din osaurs (approx. £20 - £30) through farm animals (ranging from £40 to £150) up to a 6 ft tiger which will cost you about £600 The bears come in a range of shapes and sizes. Their classic collection draws on 100 years of design experience and reflects all their different techniques. They use a range of different sorts of mohair from long and curly to give the appearance of warm plush hair you can rub your hands in. Through to distressed mohair which looks like chunks are missing - but the bears with this effect have the air of being much loved and well cuddled. Steiff have just introduced their first bears, which are partly filled with beans, and this has lead to fat happy content looking bear. Most classic bears are between 7" and 18" and cost between £50 and £200. A sub set of their classic collection, which they introduced last year, was the "Fruities". Currently there are 10 of them, each one is modelled on a piece of fruit. The Apple Bear is round and fat in a light green with air brushed red cheeks. The plum is a deep purple oval shape and the tomato a round deep bright red colour. Also in the set is Green Pepper, Pumpkin, Orange, Lemon, Strawberry, Cherries and Pear. All of them have the appropriate storks and leaves on their heads. It is not often that you see so many different colours, reds, greens, orange, purple, and yellows at an affordable cost. I have seen them priced between £52 and £55 pounds and are about 7" high. The one exception is Cherries as they are pair of 4" bears joined by a cherry stork and retail for about £88 - £90 They also do a number of celebration bears for births, graduations, anniversarys and I will be walking doen the Aisle later this year with my little bride and groom bear on my bouquet Every year they launch a number of limited additions. England, Ireland and Scotland have their own bears, so does the collectors club (more of that lat er). Some shops like Hamleys and QVC will have their own limited additions and this year there are a number to celebrate the 100 years. As they are so much more collectable, they do cost a little extra. But the smaller 100-year Anniversary bears start at about £70 with a bright red ribbon and a porcelain plaque. All limited additions come with a certificate uniquely numbered and this number can also be found on the reverse of the white tag! The back of the tag will also contain details of the limited addition like name and quantity produced or duration of production. One very popular set of limited additions are their Disney characters. They are just coming to the end of producing Winnie the Pooh and his friends including Eeyor, Rabbit, Owl, Tigger and the this year Kanga, Roo and Piglet. Some of the early ones especially Pooh and Tigger are already going for several times their original value in a couple of years. They also have produced Pluto, Goofy (New this Year) and Mickey in a number of guises including Steam Boat Willie and The Sourcer's Apprentice. The world wide limited additions for these are usually about 5000 and they always sell well. The cost for Disney is usually between £90 and £200 ~~~ The Steiff Club ~~~ The Steiff Club has been running for 10 years and each year you received a limited additon collectable, Newsletters approximatly four times a year, invites to special events and the opportunity to purchase limited addition pieces. The cost is currently about £27 per year and can get a leaflet with details from most stockests, & Joining Packs from Club Stores (details on the website) or down load a copy of the application form from the official website. For more information look at www.steiff.de and click on the Union Jack in bottom right had corner to translate it into English. It's a great site, containing details of all their available items, information on stockists, Club event s and offers and competitions and ideas for gifts ~~~ Where to Shop ~~~ These are from personal experience and I have found most stockists and club stores are willing to mail you items if you live out of an area. Good Shops I have found that are willing to send you items through the post are; Hamleys (London) tel 0207 4797308 and ask for Trisha. She knows her stuff and is very helpful Bears and Bunnies (Tunbridge Wells) tel 01892 546929 - Great if you want to chat about bears The Spruce Tree (St Ives - Cornwall) tel 01736 794713 - My personal Favourite but is not also open in low season. Very Good Websites www.companyofbears.com - Ask for Karen. Very good, prompt service, Post and Packing included. However it is not clear from the website if an item is in stock. They also have a reservation service which allows you to pay over a period of time This is always my first point of call. Good Search facility www.beargarden.co.uk - Small friendly company with a very clear to use website with stock details shown. A little more expensive than Company of Bears but if you are a member of the Steiff Club they offer you a 10% discount (Just email them your details) and this does make a different ~~~ How to Start Collecting Bears ~~~ If you are thinking about starting I would suggest you start with a couple of the fruities, a couple of the classic bears and one of the 100 years anniversary bears. Display out of direct light in a glass cabinet. Ikea are doing an up right 1ft by 5ft unit for about £70 at the moment which is ideal for a couple of bears on a shelf. Keep a clean cloth and bowl for cleaning the bears if you have to, most can be sponged down and if they can't the packaging will tell you. Keep all your certificates and labels safe, especially if you want to sell them on. Buy the ones you want - not just because it might increase in value. If you can't afford the big bears - Join the club! For £27 per year you'll get a highly collectable miniature bear and start with these. ~~~ Why Collect Bears ~~~ I was given a bear on my 21st birthday and haven?t looked back. I think that they make my home look welcoming. I still get them out and fluff their fur up and dust them down and that can be very therapeutic after a stressful day at work. Because they are all hand made no two are the same you each of them have their own personality. They are also a great heirloom to a daughter, niece, or goddaughter who will probably get just as much out of the collection as you do. ~~~ Finally some Dos and Don?t ~~~ Don't shove them in the washing machine Don't handle with sticky fingers Do keep all the packaging and labels - it keeps them valuable Don't cut the tag off Do keep out of light and dust free Do enjoy planning your next purchase Do enjoy the club - you'll make friends and have fun Do shop around - you might find a gem ! Do have fun - I do!
This is an opinion about TY ?Beanie Buddies? Bears and no other make of Teddy Bears. I fell into collecting TY ?Beanie Buddies? Bears quiet by chance. I had never really intended to do so but it just sort of happened. I always thought they were over priced! But somehow it happened. I became hooked! I went in to my local specialist store in St. Neots to buy some beanie babies and instead came out with a buddie. In fact my first buddie was actually Jumbo Peace Bear Buddie for £69.00, now worth around £100.00. Now have the full range of Peace bears and I also have Jumbo Sweetheart Monkey Buddie which I managed to buy for £55.00 (A bargain price). I now have around fifty ?buddies? in my collection or which forty are bears, however I have never spent over £15.00 on any single regular sized buddie. I have fallen in love with these cute soft cuddly toys. They are great for young children as well as for bigger kids. Be warned though, if you wish to collect them, do not let your children touch them at all! **How to Store ?Beanie Buddies? Bears and Preserve their Value** 1) Do not remove the tags. Use tag protectors where possible. Specialist collector shops have the regular tag protectors. You will need to shop around for the larger tag protectors. They cost around 25p each. 2) Store out of the light in a smoke free environment. I use plastic storage boxes with lids as they stack easily. Compared to ?Beanie Babies? bears, ?Beanie Buddies? bears are really large-sized ?Beanie Babies? as the ?babies? were first introduced. ?Buddies? were first available to the buying public in September 1998. There are currently over one hundred different ?Buddies? available. New ?Beanie Buddies? are introduced monthly so you never get tired of collecting, however it does prove to be an expensive hobby if you have to have them all! Ty Warner the owner of TY developed a new, fantastic material exclusively for Ty a nd called it Tylon. With this new material Ty introduced the first nine ?Beanie Buddies? to the World. This soft, smooth silky fabric was to be the most exclusive fabric for ?Beanie Buddies?. They were originally designed to take the place of ?Beanie Babies?! The bears are the most popular and generally the most sought after, but other ?Beanie Buddies? include bats (My favourite one being ?Black Batty? at around £100.00), birds, butterflies, cats, crabs, dogs, dinosaurs, donkeys, elephants, fish?need I go on! My favoirate ?Beanie Buddie? bears are Sakura and Buckingham. They are country exclusives and have triple in value since I brought them about a year ago. They may be worth more but I have not checked lately. ** Sizes of Buddies Bears** Some of the Buddies such as Peace Bear come in various sizes. Regular size about 16 inches in height. It is t he most common ?Beanie Buddies?. Large size is about 22 inches in height Extra Large is about 27 inches in height. The number of pellets needed to feel this sized buddie will fill seventy-five ?Beanie Babies?. Jumbo is about 48 inches in height. There is enough material here to make twenty-five regular buddies. **Cost** Most ?Beanie Buddies? Bears cost £9.99, but look out for special offers. Regular bears cost about £14.99 in some shops. (Avoid paying over the odds as you can be ripped off!) Large ?Beanie Buddies? Bears cost around £25.00 when current. Extra-large ?Beanie Buddies? Bears cost around £49.00 when current. Jumbo ?Beanie Buddies? Bears cost around £75.00 when current, at an average of £9.99 a standard ?Buddie? £75 is quiet cheap pro-rata! £9.99 x 25 = £247.50! Retired regular ?Beanie Buddies? Bears depending on desirability and rarity will cost up to £200.00 but will often increase when retired, as will all ?Beanie Buddies?. **Collector?s Official Website** The official TY website which enables you to keep track of all new releases of ?Beanie Buddies?. Have a personal collection list and also a website plus much more can be found at www.ty.com I visit they frequently to keep track of my large collection! ?Beanie Buddies? have not been around too long and seem quite plentiful. I feel ?Beanie Buddies? Bears are slightly easier to obtain and less designs are produced and the tend to be round a lot longer than the ?Beanie Babies? Bears so they may be an idea bet for making money in the future. **Where to find ?Beanie Buddies? Bears** *High Street* In many John Lewis Shops Westgate and many other Co-op Department Shops Toymaster Shops Many card and soft toyshops *Online shops* www.ryebypost.com www.thesofttouch.co.uk These are the two, which I use and trust most. There are many others, check with your regular search engine for other sites.
I cannot understand the lunacy which drives grown women (and men) to cling onto their childhood friend – the teddy bear. Anyone who continues to "love" a teddy and becomes an obsessed collector into adulthood clearly should be treated for a mental condition. Simple as that really, teddy bear collectors are barmy. Now if they were penguin collectors….. ~~~ The Beginning ~~~ When I was a mere babe in arms I was given a penguin as a christening present. This penguin was named "Peter" and soon became my constant companion. A few years later (don't ask me how many I really cant remember!) Peters son, also named Peter came into my life and took over as my companion. The original Peter was renamed with the revered handle "old-one" and continued to live peacefully with the young Kathryn and her precious Peter. Over the years more and more penguins came to live with us. ~~~ Best Friends ~~~ My Peter, was always my closest friend, as an only child I had the companionship of Peter Penguin. Peter went everywhere with me, in fact I don't think I ever spent a night without Peter. As will happen with such close companions Peter became worn and his stuffing started to poke out. Mum (who hates sewing) performed many surgical procedures on him over the years, he was recovered from head to toe numerous times, underneath is the original Peter with only the eyes still being original. As the years passed Peter acquired many new friends and one special friend, his wife Freddie. Whenever I was lonely or sad Peter was there for me, many is the time I drenched him with tears and he always listened patiently and comfortingly. ~~~ Kidnapped! ~~~ I can still remember that dreadful day with clarity. I was about 23 years old at the time and Peter and I had spent the night at my boyfriends house (I told you he went everywhere). Later that day we met up with some friends for the afternoon and Peter was le ft in my overnight bag in the car. The event we attended finished and we all left to head for Pizza hut. As we crossed the car park some of our friends were sitting in my boyfriends car, laughing at us because he hadn't locked it. Of course he had locked it, some scumbag had broken in (not hard in a Mark IV Cortina) and stolen my overnight bag. I was inconsolable, Peter had been stolen! I was really upset, tears were pouring as my friends tried to comfort me. I was in a daze for the next hour as we sat in Pizza hut, someone said we should go to the police station in case my bag had been handed in I thought it was pointless. My friends persevered as they could see how upset I was and we headed for the police station. The policeman asked us to describe the missing bag and was asking lots of details when my boyfriend twigged and said "you're looking at it aren't you". The policeman was indeed looking at my bag and he handed it over asking me to check if there was anything missing. I ripped that bag open, grabbed Peter and hugged him and started crying and babbling thanks to the policeman. Looking back he must have thought I'd flipped! Peter has never been left with unattended baggage since that day. ~~~ They Take Over ~~~ The penguin collection has taken over my life. I have hundreds of cuddly penguins, each with individual personalities and every one named. Some live in my bedroom, the rest have a colony in the second bedroom, where Old-One is in charge. Peter, Freddie and their son Plonka all sleep with me. I still take them everywhere, my wedding night, honeymoon they were there. When I go away now my husband packs them! ~~~ Expansion ~~~ What started off as a collection of cuddly friends inevitably grew. I have all sorts of penguin things in my house. Every room contains penguin objects of some description, some decorative some functional. At work there is a teeny beanie penguin on top of my monitor and a fluffy penguin pencil case on my desk. When my father died my colleagues bought me a lovely penguin shower radio to cheer me up. Birthdays and Christmas rarely pass without a new penguin addition to my collection. The little blighters even have their own website, and they love reading their guestbook! http://www.penguinweb.org.uk/penguins ~~~ The Bottom Line ~~~ Whether you collect bears or some other animal you can derive great pleasure from your collection. There are many collectors out there, each as barmy as the other you are not the only one. Children should be encouraged to love their toys, it shows a healthy imagination, which may carry on for life. Hopefully they will have friends and partners who understand.
Who is always there when you need him, is always on your side and never disagrees with you? That’s right – teddy! I have always loved teddy bears ever since I can remember. I have lots of bears that live with me, most of whom have a story to go with them so I’ll just take you through my ‘landmark’ bears! If I tell you about them all individually I’ll have to make this opinion into a book! I was given a straw filled teddy, Edward, when I was one year old (yes, I’m THAT old!) and he still sits on the cupboard in my bedroom. I did have two of them at one time but my mom decided that Little Ted was so dirty he should go in the washing machine and then the spin drier, needless to say he met an untimely end – RIP. She told me that I should smarten Edward up or he would go the same way. I covered his leather paws with felt, replaced his eyes with blue buttons and made him some pale blue Lurex trousers; he was the first punk bear! I have since restored him back to his former glory I might add! My next real bear friend came in the form of a lovely big bear bought for me for my 28th birthday as I was living alone at the time, having just split from my then husband, and my friend decided that I should have some company. He was eventually christened Frankly when another friend jokingly said to him ‘Frankly, I don’t like the way you’re looking at me’ and I thought that Frankly was an ideal name for a bear. Frankly was a good friend to me during the time that I lived alone. He never complained when I cried so much that I soaked his fur. I used to tell him my problems, explain what I was going to do and ask him to let me know if he had a better idea. He never said anything so I guess he always agreed with me! I went to Brixham for a holiday and there was a charity stall on the harbour side where you could win teddy bears. I had a go and won a bear named Bruno. T he lady running the stall asked me to walk around with Bruno in my arms just so that everyone could see that it was actually possible to win a bear from her stall. At lunchtime we went into the pub for our lunch and as I walked through the door the man behind the bar shouted ‘You can’t bring him in here! He’s too young!’ I looked around to see whom he was talking to – you guessed it! He was talking about Bruno the teddy bear! Everyone was in fits of laughter, it’s a good job I don’t embarrass too easily! When I went into hospital for the removal of my ovary a friend from work bought me a lovely little bear to take with me in case I got scared. He was christened Crichton by one of the men from work as the girl who had bought him for me was named Julie Butler and the Admirable Crichton was a famous butler. A bit of lateral thinking for that one! When my sister got married she decided to have the reception in the evening and so I offered to provide a buffet after the actual ceremony, which was to be held in the morning. That way people didn’t just have to wander off home and then return for the main reception in the evening. I made a good job of it too even if I do say so myself. When the speeches were made in the evening the two mothers were both presented with bouquets and then my new brother in law started talking about someone who had got a special present for ‘service above and beyond the call of duty’. I was surprised when he called me to the stage and presented me with Rufus, a ‘ty’ bear with weighted hands and feet so he can sit on the edge of a shelf. By the time I was forty I was again living alone, but I was quite happy as I had many friends, as well as all my bears! I threw a party to celebrate my birthday, which was a huge success with the house bursting at the seams. One of my friends, who lives in London (I live in the Midlands), could not come to the party as he was studying for exams at the time. Imagine my surprise when I opened the door to find him standing on the doorstep complete with a new teddy as my birthday present. He had travelled all the way from London and was to travel all the way back later that same evening, so I reckon that makes ‘Party Bear’ pretty special. My life changed soon after that as I began to see my now partner, Dave, and we decided to live together. We went on holiday to the Isle of Skye and while we were there we visited Dunvegan Castle, the home of the MacLeods. When we returned to the car to make our way back to our guesthouse, I could hear a noise. Dave had bought me a little bear who plays ‘Scotland the Brave’ when you press his tummy! He has a magnet on his back, but I couldn’t find anything magnetic to stick him on to in the car, so I got my purse out, put it on the dashboard and stuck him to the clasp. His name was then obvious - Percy MacLeod! The final member of my bear family to mention has to be my one and only Steiff. We went to York for a weekend break to celebrate my birthday in November 1999. While we were there we went into the Christmas shop to look at the decorations and we went upstairs to see the teddy bears and dolls. Dave had always wanted to treat me to a Steiff and this time there was no stopping him, so I chose a lovely light brown bear, which growls when you turn him over. If I’m honest he sounds more like a sheep than a bear, but don’t tell him I told you, he’s a bit embarrassed about it. He was christened Shambles after the street in York. He was to be my Christmas present that year. When Christmas came I was presented with lots of parcels as usual, one of which was Shambles, but there was another bear too. Dave had insisted that I have a bear to mark the Millennium, thankfully not another Steiff though. He had bought a lovely soft bear with the date ‘2000’ embroidered on hi s feet. His name? Milly of course! Well, that’s just a few of my teddy bears, and I’d better stop now before I really get going!