Collecting Vintage Teddy Bears On A Small Budget

People are often not aware that collecting vintage teddy bears is not as expensive as they think and it is quite possible to put together a nice collection on a small budget.  Only a handful of bears will be sold at auction for six figure sums and the bear must be in perfect condition or come with very important provenance.  The majority of old teddies sell for much more modest prices and are often not much more expensive than a manufactured limited edition piece.

Many collectors of bears start with the modern, limited editions of Steiff.  Everyone has heard of the name and is aware of the history and the quality.  A really early Steiff, even in poor condition, would cost hundreds of pounds but, fortunately, there are cheaper alternatives.  The Zotty, one of Steiff’s most popular designs in the post war era, is constantly overlooked by collectors and can usually be found in good condition at affordable prices.  Zotty was introduced in 1951 and with his eager, open-mouthed appearance was designed to appeal to children.  He was a huge success and Steiff made him in varying styles and sizes well into the 1990s.  Collectors tend to go for the earlier examples, such as the 11inch (28cm) one and if you are lucky you might be able find one for under £100.

If Zotty isn’t your thing there is another cut-price vintage option, an Original Teddy, introduced by Steiff in 1950 and made in large quantities and a variety of sizes and styles.  The Original Teddy was made from high quality materials and that is one of the reasons why so many are still found in good condition. Continue reading “Collecting Vintage Teddy Bears On A Small Budget”

Collecting Steiff Animals

While Steiff Teddy Bears can sell for several thousand pounds Steiff animals are a lot more affordable and it is quite possible to pick one up for around £20 – very affordable for the smaller purse and also a good start for a collection.

When Steiff first started in business they made soft toy animals rather than teddy bears and Margarete Steiff started with a pattern for a toy elephant in 1879.  Initially they were produced as pin cushions but she soon discovered how popular they were with children, who preferred soft, cuddly toys to the usual wooden ones.  Margarete Steiff was so successful that she was soon able to form her own company.

Not many of these early models have survived due to wear and tear of children playing with them.  From 1903 onwards the teddy bears dominated the Steiff production, but during the 1920 and 30s and 1950s and 60s many toy animals were produced and many of them can be found nowadays.  Steiff animals are superior to any others produced because of their attention to detail, fine materials and very tight quality control.  Really only the English company Merrythought could rival it. Continue reading “Collecting Steiff Animals”