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Give Me A Hug, I'm Soft And Furry!
Member Name: karenuk
Date: 14/02/01, updated on 13/03/01 (116 review reads)
Advantages: beautiful, varied, often cheap to buy, always good for a hug :-)
Disadvantages: some can be very expensive and hard to find
I have loved teddy bears since I was little, I certainly can't pin-point a particular time when I first noticed them, it seems to have been a constant thing.
As a child though, I didn't have one special bear, although my first was a koala. Being unable to say the three syllables, he became "Kola". The thing I needed every night in bed was a cut off piece of a pink blanket called Cuddles and my thumb. (Not much has changed, but don't tell anyone!)
I began collecting bears without really noticing really. People bought them for me as presents, I won them, swapped them, saved up my pocket money and soon had a bedroom full of over a hundred. Most are now stored at my Dad's house in the loft, but a few have moved with me.
There is a large yellow bear that now sits on my daughter's wardrobe. She likes playing with it, but it has a zip up the back and the stuffing comes out, so it usually spends its time up there, looking down.
He is called Jeremy and I got him from Derek Batey (presenter of the TV show 'Mr. & Mrs.') when I was a child. I think it was in Llandudno, we had gone to see him in the theatre and I was chosen to go up on stage and was given this huge bear for my troubles.
Another special bear is Koppa, so called as that was the colour of my hair at the time! (copper) It is an unassuming looking brown bear, quite small, wearing a T-shirt saying "I Love You". I bought this for my first love, Patrick, when I was 16 or so. After we split up, we had our own kind of mini custody battle for the bear (!) which I won. So Koppa has many memories attached to him too and sits on top of my wardrobe, along with my Large Buddy sized Peace bear and Hippie rabbit from my TY beanie collection.
I had a long time when I stopped collecting. Other things became important and if I had any spare money, I spent it on my children or if I bought any bears, they invariably took ownership of
them all, sooner or later.
Then last year, I began collecting TY beanies, deciding it was time I bought some things for me, for a change and what better than a large amount of cuddly toys!
From the TY beanie babies, I progressed to teenies, Attic Treasures, Beanie Kids and Classics. I now have over two hundred of them, with the bears being my very favourite of all.
The Attic Treasures are probably the nearest I will get to owning a Steiff bear, as they are beautifully made, jointed and extremely expressive. Steiff bears are often around £100, Attics can be bought for £5, so much more my kind of price range too!
Only a fellow bear collector will understand the dilemma we are faced with in a shop selling teddy bears, as to us, each one is different, no matter if they are all apparently identical. Countless times, I have sorted through tens of bears for the one with the right facial expression - ignoring the grumpy looking ones and finding the one saying "I need a home, I want to be loved" with those adoring eyes and a slightly timid smile. (Pretty much the way to pick a man too, ha ha!)
So here I sit at the computer, with my room full of bears, including some fairly rare beanies - Sakura, Germania, Glory, Britannia, etc. Wherever I look, there are shiny eyes, furry paws, carefully sewn on smiles and fluffy ears.
I am now saving up to buy a bear called Peachy, made by a fellow Dooyoo writer, Squiggles. I read her opinion on teddy bears, checked out her homepage and fell in love with her creations. I know just the spot where Peachy is going to sit and I am eagerly looking forward to my very special bear.
**UPDATE** March 13th
Peachy arrived this morning and is absolutely gorgeous! I am so pleased with her, what a wonderful addition to my teddy bear collection. Thanks, Louise :-)