How Steiff Bears Established Themsleves as the Ultimate Toy Icon

steiff ukWhen we talk stuffed animal toys, nothing quite compares to Steiff bears. They’re an icon and a classic for a reason with more than a century’s worth of hard evidence. But as to how that came to be and why can be a mystery to many and so we’re here to establish some facts.

A polio victim, Margarete Steiff spent most of her life on a wheelchair but this never hindered the young lady from working and reaching for her dreams. At a young age, she persuaded her father to allow her to attend sewing classes. She enjoyed it so much that she wanted to pursue being a seamstress. Together with her two sisters, they opened a dress shop in town which ran for several years. As her sisters soon married, Margarete slowly inherited the shop on her own.

One find day, she came across an issue of Modenwelte magazine which bore a pattern of an elephant fabric, the inspiration to the “elephantle” known today as the very first Steiff toy. But contrary to what many might think, she did not intend for them to be toys. In fact she sold them around the neighborhood as fancy pincushions. Later she noticed the kids playing with them which gave her the idea to open up a plush manufacturing company. The first designs were fashioned after cats, dogs, mice and the like, all of which were an instant hit in the market elevating the brand at a pedestal.

The company may have been established in 1880 but it wasn’t until 1994 when the world first laid eyes on the Steiff bears. After just a few years in the company, Richard, Margarete’s nephew, introduced the idea of the “PB55″, a plush animal toy in the likes of a bear. Richard has always had a fascination for the animal and often sketched them. The toy he designed was 5 jointed and the earliest and first teddy bear there ever was. The toys were debuted at a fair in town where an American businessman came across them, ordered 3,000 pieces and brought them to the US where it further caught fire and earned the “teddy” moniker after the infamous account of President Roosevelt refusing to shoot a cub.

Since then, Steiff bears have become a classic and successfully inscribed themselves in the hearts of billions worldwide for more than a century and counting.

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Beware of These 5 Dangers to Your Stuffed Toys

stuffed toyStuffed toys and animals sure are cute and cuddly and it’s no surprise that they’re on top of the pack when we speak of toys. They’re the most popular around the world after all so much so that we’ve owned at least one in our lifetime and we bet you still keep yours for memory’s sake or passed it on as some sort of heirloom to tour child.

These pieces are beloved for many reasons beyond just their huggable feel and appearance. Science even says they help in introducing the basic senses to infants as well as in developing their motor skills. Stuffed toys also nourish imagination and creativity as well as help those suffering from trauma, negative emotions, depression and anxiety.

But if there is something that stuffed toys cannot do, that would be to live forever. It’s not indestructible. However, we can do some things to make them last a few lifetimes and that includes proper care and maintenance. In light of that, we give you these five dangers that threaten the existence and longevity of your beloved toys.

  1. FOOD – Spills and drops can stain the stuffed animals which can damage its color and texture for good. But more than this, it will encourage insects, rodents and even pets to it which is always bad news. The earlier you a t upon this the better m.
  2. DIRT – While seemingly harmless at first, dust and dirt can severely damage the toy over time and that includes denting its sanitation and cleanliness. They could even make allergies act up.
  3. HEAT – What heat does is fade out the colors, and melt down certain parts or loosen them up. This is why owners need to choose a spot or are that isn’t susceptible to high bouts of moisture and humidity.
  4. MOISTURE – The presence of too much humidity can encourage moisture which will essentially create an environment that serves as the breeding ground for yeast and molds. These factors considered will rot the toy and when that happens there is no going back.
  5. BUGS – Bugs are a sure danger to stuffed animals because they don’t just tear away at its parts or soil them. They too may choose to live in them making them look, smell and feel rotten. Once this has been the case, it is often difficult to save to the point that the toy ends in the trash. Sad but true and necessary.

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Don’t Do These When You Buy Teddy Bears Online

warningSome tasks appear very simple at first not until we take a good look at them. Take shopping online for example. Sometimes, it takes a bad experience to learn a great deal about what should be and should not be done. But we’re not here to tell you to go down that road. In fact, we want you to avoid committing mistakes and so we come with a list of warnings. Don’t do these when you buy teddy bears online.

  • Don’t buy from just about any seller.

It’s important to only shop from trusted sites. Scams are just as present online as they are offline. Knowing which sellers to trust will be your saving grace which brings us to our next item.

  • Don’t forget to read and research first.

Read reviews and feedback from past and present customers. These should come in abundance with the help of the internet from blogs, forums and social media. The same is true for the teddy bears. Look them up and know how to authenticate them and how much they are expected to be valued for.

  • Don’t share unnecessary information.

Before even signing up, make sure to check the site’s privacy policy which should contain the measures and responsibilities of the sellers when it comes to the sensitive information shared in the platform such as names, addresses, contact details and payment information. Don’t share anything more than that such as your social security number.

  • Don’t go beyond your budget.

Depending on the teddy bear you seek, our budgets can vary. Some are more affordable while others can be particularly pricey. Regardless, it is important to stick to our budgets and limit our spending to how much we are capable of to avoid a crying wallet.

  • Don’t forget to canvass and compare.

To ensure that you’re getting the best deal out there, make it a point to compare quality and prices across different shops and sites. This should be easier with the help of the internet and a few clicks.

  • Don’t overlook custom fees, taxes and shipping.

Many people forget that there are other costs when they buy teddy bears online especially when the seller or shop is in another state, country or continent. This means that there will be added custom fees and taxes as well as a higher shipping rate. Make sure to add them up to the cost of the items bought to get at the total price.

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5 Most Expensive Collectible Teddy Bears of All Time

There’s a certain charm that collectible teddy bears exude, an enigma of sorts. They’re memorable and timeless and it’s no surprise why people far and wide have been entranced by its magic.

Collectors come from all over the world, each with their own stash of prized teddies. Hey, you might be one too and don’t worry we get it so there’s no judging here. We belong to the same club. But have you ever wondered what the most expensive collectible teddy bears of all time are? If you do then take a look.

No. 5 — Diamond Eyes Teddy Bear ($84,000)

Manufactured to celebrate Steiff’s 125th founding anniversary, the German brand that pioneered the production of teddy bears more than a century ago created a special one using every luxurious material imaginable. The Steiff Diamond Eyes Bear comes with crafted diamonds and sapphires for eyes, golden thread instead of the usual mohair and a golden snout. To make it all the more special, only 125 pieces were made which retailed at the time for a whopping $84,000 a piece.

No. 4 — Black Titanic Mourning Bear ($140,000)

When the RMS Titanic tragically sunk on April of 1912, the whole world went into mourning. As a form of memorial and grief over the incident, Steiff released 600 pieces of bears in 5 different sizes which were black from head to paw. It’s incredibly difficult to find one in god condition these days but one popped out in a Christie’s auction in 2000 which fetched $140,000. The owner said that she had the toy as a kid but never really liked it so it lived most of its life inside a wardrobe which apparently helped preserve it.

No. 3 — Teddy Girl ($171,600)

Unlike the first two, Teddy Girl is one of a kind. There’s no other one like it anywhere in the world. The cinnamon colored bear from 1904 was owned by Colonel Bob Henderson who fought in the World War II with the toy by his side. After surviving the D-Day Landings, he opened a foundation that gave teddy bears to sick children. The toy went into auction some years after his death.

louis-vuitton-monogram-doudou-teddy-bearNo. 2 — Dou-Dou teddy ($182,000)

This Louis Vuitton Monogram Bear which measures a foot and a half in size was the collaboration between Steiff and Louis Vuitton for the global fashion house ‘s150th anniversary. Only 500 pieces were made from this collection, each one decked from head to paw with the signature LV monogram.

No. 1 —Louis Vuitton Bear ($2.1 Million)

Of all the collectible teddy bears all over the world, the Louis Vuitton Steiff Bear which was dressed in a full LV ensemble complete with matching luggage is the most expensive at $2.1 million. It was bought by Jessie Kim of Korea at a Monaco auction in 2000. It is currently housed in the Teddy Bear Museum at Jeju Island in Korea.

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Effectively Buy Teddy Bears Online

stuffbearsBless the internet because come gift giving time, we can conveniently shop and buy teddy bears online. We can finally skip those long queues at the mall and say adios to the traffic later. Plus, doesn’t it make the perfect solution to last minute shopping? Hey, we tend to get busy most days. No judging there.

So to make your online toy shopping more hassle free and convenient that it already is, here are a few tips.

Tip #1: Plan ahead.

If you are aware that an event is coming up, schedule in your teddy shopping. Yes we said you can do it last minute but it’s still best if we don’t and opt to plan ahead of time especially if you’re buying for more than one. Write a list down and consider your budget. Select a price range for every person on your list. With this, you wouldn’t have to scroll for days wondering who else you’re going to buy for and whether or not you forgot to purchase for someone.

Tip # 2: Know their likes.

What good is there with gifting someone something they don’t like or are interested in? Remember the reason why you’re buying teddy bears online in the first place. It’s not for you and it’s for someone you care for. Therefore, have their interests in mind. What items would they like that would fit the price range you provided for? This will give you an idea of items that you can buy for every person. Do remember to note them down so you don’t forget.

Tip # 3: Know where to shop.

Once you’ve settled on the possible items to purchase, perform research on the online shops and websites to buy them from. Depending on the brand and model of the toy, if you’re that specific, you’ll need to run a few more searches. This shouldn’t be difficult given the power of the internet nowadays. Be as specific as can be because you’ll be drowned with search results in just one click. Run a background check on the available sites too. Read reviews, feedback and recommendations.

Tip # 4: Have fun too.

As you buy teddy bears online, remember that gifting is an experience for you too. So go ahead, have fun and enjoy the process even if you’re in your favorite pyjamas in the middle of your bed covered in blankets. And if there’s any left on your budget, why not buy for you too?

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An Interesting Tale About The Steiff Bear

steiff elefanteleA Steiff bear is no doubt on the frontline of the toy industry for many reasons. Apart from the brand’s undeniable quality in the manufacture of their toys from beginning to end, it’s also no secret that they started it all. Yes, German brand Steiff was the pioneering company to first produce the ever beloved toy we adore then and now.

It’s over a century old but it still has the chops when it comes to these hit cuddly wonders. Ever wondered how it came to be?

It all began with the birth of its founder, Margerete Steiff, in Giengen Germany back in the 24th of July in 1847. At a year and a half old she was diagnosed with polio, an infectious viral disease affecting the nervous system that leads to temporary or permanent paralysis, which caused both her legs to become paralyzed accompanied by a painful sensation on her right arm.

Despite her condition, Maragrete grew to become a happy child who had a certain knack for creativity. Despite her father’s hesitation, she went to school and took up sewing classes that by the age of 17 she has completed her seamstress training. When her sisters opened a dressmaker shop in 1862, she participated as a part-time seamstress. When her sisters married later and left the shop, Maragarete took the reins. A decade later, she has converted what was once their family home into a workroom for her dressmaking projects.

But it wasn’t until December 8, 1879 when the idea of plush toys began. After seeing a photo of a fabric elephant in an issue of the magazine Modenwelt, she decided to use the pattern to make a pincushion in the shape of an elephant which she called as the “Elefantle”. But after selling them off, she noticed that kids played with them instead. This led her to the idea and the birth of the Steiff brand as a toy manufacturer.

In 1880, over 5000 pieces of the Elefantle was sold. With the help of her brother Fritz, they began making more stuffed animal designs and opened a manufacturing house called Filz-Spielwaren-Fabrik.

But it wasn’t until 1902 that the Stieff bears were born. Margarete’s favorite nephew Richard started to help out in the company and designed toys. He was particularly fond of bears that he decided to make a toy like it. Known as the “Bear 55PB”, it was a 5-jointed mohair plush toy with movable arms and legs. Since then, it was an uphill soar.

Check out for more on Steiff.

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The Role of Toys and Play in IQ and EQ

kids-iqStuffed animal toys are loved not only because of their cute and cuddly nature but because of the many benefits that they bring. Children who are fond of playing with them are found to generate better IQ and EQ scores according to many studies. If you’re interested as to how that came to be, we partnered up with the lovely team from to bring you a list of the different roles of toys and play in a child’s IQ and EQ.

Getting to Know the Senses – Have you ever wondered why doctors allow parents to give their babies stuffed animals? This is because, these toys are soft enough to be played with so there is no danger in them unless they are much bigger than the child. The texture of their fur, whiskers, eyes and paws allow a child to get to know their sense of touch. Also, the hues and designs help them get accustomed with patterns and color variations.

Motor Skill Development – Motor skills pertain to actions that involve the use of muscles. Babies, toddlers and children are not yet fully developed and accustomed to these skills. Play helps them discover them. It allows them to get accustomed to and even practice it on a regular basis through a fun way.

Flunks Separation Anxiety – Parents won’t be by their children’s side all the time even if they want to. There are things like jobs, chores and even the kid’s schooling that will create some physical separation between parent and child within a day. Many kids are not comfortable with this so they tend to feel anxious. Their blood pressure rises up and their moods plummet to a slump. Some would even have crazy tantrums. Stuffed toys help ease such dilemma. Their comforting feel and nature are able o calm frayed nerves and make them feel less alone or separated.

Imagination and Creativity – Playing with toys highly encourage imagination and creativity in children. If you notice, playtime is where many kids tend to make up stories about their toys. They would give all of them names and even put items together making them part of a family. A teddy bear becomes a prince, a doll its princess and a dinosaur as their pet. The stories can even range from normal to crazy in a heartbeat. Also, this is where they are likely to imitate activities such as dressing up, taking a bath, cooking, counting or brushing teeth.

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The Thrill You Get When You Buy Teddy Bears Online

Shopping has its magic. Admit it. At some point in your life, it gave you quite a thrill! But our world is an ever changing and evolving one. Even our routines have transformed to fit the modern age, case in point online shopping. But what pleasure is there really when you buy teddy bears online? Allow us to introduce you to its charms.

It gives you some much needed excitement.

We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again. Shopping is fun and exciting. It’s as simple as that. The pleasure you get for buying toys you want to gift yourself or a loved one is beyond words. Add to that the joy of anticipation as you wait for the time to get delivered to your doorstep.

It lets you chill and relax anywhere anytime.

Online shops are open 24/7. You can buy from anywhere and everywhere. You don’t even have to step out of your house to do it. Stuck in traffic? That’s no problem either. All you need is a device and internet connection.

It allows you to travel, figuratively at least.

The toys you purchase via the internet can come from anywhere around the world. They’ve got stories to tell, sewn into every fiber and hem, waiting for you to uncover. In essence, they bring you a sense of wanderlust. You can even travel back in time too if you fancy vintage collectible toys.

It tickles the kid in you.

Who doesn’t love toys? We all do although we can’t deny that we each have our own preferences. Still, purchasing toys is fun and brings out the kids in us. Even if you’re no collector and is simply purchasing one as a present for let’s say your kid, a sibling or a niece, the enjoyment is still the same.

It satisfies convenience.

As previously mentioned, websites operate round the clock. You can be in bed wearing pajamas. You don’t have to step outopening boxof the door amidst traffic nor line up and suffer the long queue at the counter. You can even order from some far away country. If that’s not convenience then we don’t know what is.

It feels like opening presents come Christmas morning.

Opening packages whenever you buy teddy bears online somehow feels like Christmas morning. Even if you already know what’s inside, you still feel giddy and excited once you spot the mailman with your package. Don’t deny it. You do. Everyone does. It’s only the bills we dread.

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Facts You Need to Know About Collectible Teddy Bears

steiff-collectible-teddy-bearIf you notice, people have a knack for categorizing things to the point that at times we unconsciously label ideas the wrong way. We get lost in trying to put everything in boxes that we fail to see the bigger picture. Take collectible teddy bears for instance. You probably have a lot of preconceived notions about them. Take a look at the following lesser known or acknowledged facts. They might just surprise you.

Some of them cost quite a fortune.

Would you believe that the most expensive teddy bear to ever been sold raked up $2.1 million in an auction? The Louis Vuitton Steiff bear smashed records and has been holding the title ever since. Following suit are many other pieces that score hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece.

But not all of them will cost an arm and leg.

Still, not all collectibles are as crazy expensive. Some pieces, especially current but limited releases, are priced for a few hundred to a thousand dollars. It’s still quite up there in the price department but not as hefty as the others.

Not all collectibles are vintage finds.

Most people would assume that all collectible toys are sought after because of their age. Not all of them are in fact antique. Some as mentioned previously are current releases but were only manufactured exclusively. Only a few pieces are made making them truly one of a kind, or well one of a few.

Some pieces come with quite a story to tell.

Some bears have diamonds for eyes. Others are rare collaborations between famous brands while there are those that became sought after because of the story that they hold. Popular examples would be Teddy Girl, the cinnamon bear owned by Col. Henderson which he brought and survived with during the WWII as well as the black mourning bears manufactured during the sinking of the RMS Titanic.

Tags and button in ears can raise their value.

Some toys came with fabric tags and other specific knickknacks. Steiff teddies for example were given button in ears. Their presence can surely increase the value of the toy in the market.

You can score some in auctions.

One of the more popular methods of buying these pieces would be in auctions. You can either go the traditional route or the digital way via the internet. It’s not as hard to look for them as it was before.

But you can also find them in the unlikeliest of places.

Collectible teddy bears may still be found in surprising places although this would mean a combination of luck and hard work. You’d be surprised to know that some collectors scored their toys from garage sales, flea markets and antique stores.


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Mistakes in Caring for Stuffed Animals

steiff stuffed animalsIn order to make them last long and to ensure that they look brand new most if not all of the time, proper care and maintenance must be given to one’s stuffed animals. This is true regardless if the toy is a collectible or not. However, many owners still fail to do this right. The task may sound simple but mistakes are still committed against it. To help you avoid from making the same blunders, we’ve rounded up the most common ones to warn you about them and hopefully get you informed enough to know how to avoid.

MISTAKE: Failure to Know the Toy

AVOID/FIX: One can never really give the right type and amount of care if one does not know the toy. It pays to do your research. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to look at the tags and packaging for care and washing instructions.

MISTAKE: Using Heat in the Cleaning Process

AVOID/FIX: Heat is an enemy to stuffed animals as it has the potential not only to dull the colors but also to melt some accessories and parts. When washing, lukewarm or room temperature is required. Drying must also be done with the complete absence of heat so machines or dryers must be on cool setting and there should be no ‘sun’ drying.

MISTAKE: Allowing Moisture and Humidity

AVOID/FIX: These two encourage mold growth as well as rodent and bug infestation. Choose a space that doesn’t develop moisture or is likely to be humid. Also, never pack your stuffed animals inside plastic bags as they can lock in the moisture and make the toy rot.

MISTAKE: Playing Doctor and Scientist

AVOID/FIX: When something goes amiss or wrong with the toy, immediate repair is necessary to prevent it from getting worse. However, if one has no skill or knowledge to do so then it would be best to look for a professional toy repair shop. Experimenting and playing doctor might do more harm than good. If you do however have the skill and knowledge then go ahead and perform the needed repair.

MISTAKE: Procrastination with Dirt and Damage

AVOID/FIX: The moment that you see any dirt or damage on your stuffed animals, address them immediately. Procrastinating can worsen stains and make them harder to come off. Damages like tears when left for long may grow bigger and even cause for the toy to be at a state of disrepair. Boohoo.

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