We all love a good collection story and although cars and jewelry may sound pretty neat, we prefer collectible teddy bears as the topic for the day. And we don’t see why not? Just because they’re toys doesn’t make them any less of an interesting pick. Plus, a lot of them even rake up as much value as real estate property.
To tickle your curiosity and interest even more, we give you the following facts you need to know about collectible teddy bears!
The world’s most sought after collectible bears, most of it at the least, were manufactured by a German company called Steiff. The same brand is the pioneer for teddy bear design and production and was established as early as 1880.
Not all of them are antique or vintage. Manufacturers have been releasing current collectible pieces in small numbers, often relating to or paying a nod to certain people, themes, events, literature and movies.
The most expensive teddy in the whole world cost a whopping $2.1 million. It was purchased at a Monaco auction back in the year 2000 by a certain Jessie Kim from Korea. It is the Louis Vuitton Bear manufactured by Steiff and was decked out in clothes and accessories with the ever popular ‘LV’ monogram. At present, it is being displayed at the Teddy bear Museum in Jeju Island in Korea.
A diamond and sapphire eyed teddy bear exists. For its 125th anniversary, German brand Steiff manufactured 125 pieces of this toy. It had diamonds and sapphires for eyes, golden thread for fur and a mouth pure of gold.
The first few models of the toy originally came with five joints. These are considered to be one of the rarest collectibles to find and coming across one in excellent condition is even more uncommon making them quite the hot item in auctions.
Black mourning bears were manufactured in 1912 to grieve the tragic Titanic incident. The toys came in black through and through from head to paw.
Colonel Bob Henderson fought alongside a toy he nicknamed ‘Teddy Girl’ during the Second World War. It was an 18 inch tall Steiff cinnamon centre seam teddy bear with thick curly mohair, black boot button eyes, pronounced clipped snout, black stitched nose, mouth and claws, swivel head, elongated jointed shaped limbs, shaped paws, large ‘spoon’ shaped feet and hump and believed to have been manufactured in 1904. Today, it is one of the most famous collectible teddy bears around the world.
Stuffed animals are perhaps the most popular toy among children then and now. They are cute, adorable and even provide emotional, mental and physical development and benefits. They are in a way a marriage of fun and function. This is also the most obvious reason as to why parents, relatives, friends and pretty much everyone prefers them as the best gift option.
Now, buying stuffed animals for kids isn’t exactly as chill as it seems. A lot of thought and careful consideration must be had to make sure that the item picked are the best for the recipient. To help everyone with such task, we came up with the following set of reminders. Take a look.
Beware of the choking hazards. Kids are known to put almost everything inside their mouths. Why? Babies first learn the sense of taste all thanks to the milk they drink from their mothers and so they tend to get acquainted with things using taste up until they learn better. Knowing that they like to put things inside their mouths, it is of massive importance to pick items that are safe. They must not contain toxic chemicals than will do the child wrong should they lick the toy. Also, it has to be huge enough that it won’t fit in their mouths.
Do away with blunt parts. Some toys come with accessories. Make sure that all of it is free from sharp edges, spikes and similar parts that may cut or puncture the child. Accidents are best avoided rather than fixed.
Always make it age appropriate. Not all stuffed animals are suited for all age groups. A combination of various factors like size, material, features and the like will spell whether or not a particular toy is suitable for a certain age group. Besides, you can’t expect a one year old to enjoy something that a ten year old would and vice versa.
Read the label. Apart from the cleaning instructions, do check if there are toxic materials used on the toy. Paint for example must be lead free. Also, it would be best to do your research too. Have there been any recalls on the product? How about the reviews? What are other consumers saying about it?
Consider longevity and durability. Kids are not the most cautious of beings so it is highly necessary to opt for stuffed animals that are extremely durable, are easy to clean and will stand the test of time and play.
Shopping for Steiff teddy bears is fun. That’s no doubt but then again it comes with its challenges too particularly if one is aiming to get hold of vintage pieces and limited edition releases. To up your game, we’ve listed down some dos and don’ts when you buy teddy bears online, to serve as a guide.
Do familiarize yourself with models. Throughout the years, the Steiff brand has released a number of various designs and each one is unique not only in terms of features but also in structure and materials used. Knowledge is power so make sure to gather your weapons.
Don’t buy without validating. Many replicas and fakes are available in the market because these items are not only valuable but they too come with a high demand. Arming yourself with knowledge as stated earlier will make it easier to spot and authenticate these toys.
Do scrutinize the seller. Don’t buy from just about anyone. Apart from validating the toy, also check up on the shop or person you are purchasing from. Look out for reviews and testimonials from the internet to have an idea regarding a particular store.
Don’t make do with bad conditions. Toys that are in bad shape or are infested with bugs are best left alone. Don’t risk it and think that you can operate on them and find a fix. It could be costlier in the long run and worse the item may not be salvageable after all. Always seek quality and optimal condition.
Do remember the button in ear. The design and material can vary depending on the year that the toy was released and whether or not it is a limited edition variant. Its presence can add a significant increase in the teddy bear’s value and is one of the signs of authenticity. There are pieces that no longer have the button in ear and instead leave a whole where it should have been. Their values are deemed lower without the said trademark intact.
Don’t forget about maintenance issues. Make sure to only purchase and shop for Steiff teddy bears that you are capable of taking care of. Not all of these toys can be treated alike because as we have said, they are made of various materials and come in different conditions. Apart from adequate and proper storage, cleaning will also be an issue to take a look at.