What kind of toy comes to mind first when you hear the words “teddy bear”? Of course, the famous Teddy Bear!
It looks like an ordinary grey soft teddy bear, but in fact, it is the most expensive teddy toy in the world. Not only little girls dream about it, but young girls – after all, such a thing will serve as a perfect decor for any “female” room.
How Teddy the Teddy Bear could conquer the whole world and after whom it is named – read more in our article.
It all started with hunting
It was 1902, America ruled 26th President Theodore Roosevelt. One day he had to make a business visit to Mississippi State. After resolving all the issues, he decided to treat himself to hunting in the local area. But, unfortunately, all the bears that day seemed to hide from him. Roosevelt was about to leave the hunt with nothing, but his assistants intervened. Deciding that in this way they might deserve the praise of their boss, they caught a tiny bear cub and tied him to a tree to allow Roosevelt to take what he had come to hunt for.
However, the humane president did not appreciate these efforts. Outraged that his assistants had abused the poor little animal so much, he ordered the bear to be untied and released. Two days later, the story flew all over the media, and the prestigious publication The Washington Post published a cartoon depicting Theodore Roosevelt along with a cute bear.
This case has not been overlooked further. For a long time, there were good jokes on this subject among the American population, which strengthened people’s love for both bears and their president. Theodore Roosevelt himself even skillfully used the bear image in his next election race.
This hunting story could have been safely forgotten, but one businessman, Maurice Mishtom, an immigrant from Russia, intervened. He successfully owned his small business, a gift shop in Brooklyn. It occurred to him to put up for sale a souvenir dedicated to this presidential hunting story. Maurice’s wife made the first teddy bear toy. Theodore Bear first appeared in the showcase – that’s how Maurice signed the souvenir and also attached a printed cartoon from The Washington Post to it. These toy bears were a huge success, though they were not something special then. The whole secret was that Maurice skillfully played a story in the life of the president, which was then spoken about by almost all of America.
Later, Maurice decided to shorten the name of the toy bear and called it just “Teddy.” These bears were all bought and bought, so that Mishtom decided to close his souvenir shop forever and open a whole production of toys, “star” of which, of course, became Teddy bears.
Teddy Bear in England
The English audience played a big part in the success of Teddy bears. England was one of the first countries where Teddy bears came on sale. There they were a little different to the touch than in Germany – softer and more pleasant. English Teddy’s bear face was a little cuter and cuter too. Thanks to the great popularity of this toy in England, in the ’20-’30s began to appear numerous parodies and imitations of Teddy bears – it can be seen in the artistic and artistic art, in circus activities and not only.
Teddy bear conquers the world
Teddy bears began to be copied by other manufacturers. They did it so subtly that there were no copyright infringements (at least there were no loud scandals, successfully). For example, entrepreneur Wendy Boston made a teddy bear that could be easily washed in the washing machine and not spoil the quality of the toy.
Teddy bears have been collected by many people around the world. Moreover, serious and wealthy people were doing it. At first, they collected ordinary Teddy bears, which were sold in stores. But then, as in any type of collection, the most valuable were rare specimens. It was especially important to have one of Teddy’s earlier versions of the original design in your collection. Manufacturers quickly realized where they should focus their attention, and began to periodically produce a limited edition of Teddy collection bears with a unique design. In the mid-1980s the first museum in England was opened, dedicated to Teddy Bear.
Over the years, Teddy’s teddy bear collectors have gotten bigger. They even came up with a special name for them – arctophiles (in Greek “arktos” – bear).
That’s how it turned out that the same bear was produced in different modifications by different companies. And not just release it, but even dress it up in designer clothes. For example, the company Steiff in 2000 released a limited edition Teddy Bear in an elegant coat from Louis Vuitton.
Teddy’s special bears have repeatedly become lots of serious auctions. The most expensive teddy bear sold at auction was a bear made of mohair in 1929. It was sold at auction for $90,000 to one of the collectors.