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TEDDY BEARSS

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TEDDY BEARSS                                                          TEDDY BEARSS
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Once just a nursery toy relegated to the attic, teddy                 Once just a nursery toy relegated to the attic, teddy
bears are now among the most popular of all                           bears are now among the most popular of all
collectibles, and prices are without a doubt on the                   collectibles, and prices are without a doubt on the
                                                                                                 3 undoubtedly
increase.                                                             increase.
                                                                                          4       exactly
No two teddy bears are the same, and each one has a                   No two teddy bears are the same, and each one has a
personality all its own, as collectors will quickly tell you.         personality all its own, as collectors will quickly tell you.
                                                                Run       5
                                                                on
Although none will be strictly antique until 2003, when            Although none will be strictly antique until 2003, when
the very early teddy bears will reach the ripe old age of          the very early teddy bears will reach the ripe old age of
100, they are now being treated with the reverence                 100, they are now being treated with the reverence
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usually associated with fine objects d'art. Teddies most        NP usually associated with fine objects d'art. Teddies most
likely originated in Giengen, Germany, at the stuffed toy          likely originated in Giengen, Germany, at the stuffed toy
factory of Margarete Steiff. The idea for modelling a              factory of Margarete Steiff. The idea for modelling a
cuddly toy on bears came from Steiff's nephew,                     cuddly toy on bears came from Steiff's nephew,
Richard, who often sketched bear cubs at Stuttgart Zoo.            Richard, who often sketched bear cubs at Stuttgart Zoo.
The prototypes, made in 1902, were the very first Steiff           The prototypes, made in 1902, were the very first Steiff
toys to have moving limbs to make them more realistic.             toys to have moving limbs to make them more realistic. 7

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They were christened 'teddy' bears after the then                     They were christened 'teddy' bears after the then
American President, Teddy Roosevelt, who had                          American President, Teddy Roosevelt, who had
appeared in a famous cartoon in the Washington Post                   appeared in a famous cartoon in the Washington Post
refusing to shoot a bear cub while on a hunt in                       refusing to shoot a bear cub while on a hunt in
Mississippi in 1902. From then on a bear became his                   Mississippi in 1902. From then on a bear became his
mascot, and he was soon linked with the latest                        mascot, and he was soon linked with the latest
children's toy.                                                       children's toy. 9

The new Steiff teddy bears were sent to the United                 The new Steiff teddy bears were sent to the United
States and Britain in 1903 and people there quickly took           States and Britain in 1903 and people there quickly took
them to their hearts. By 1907, the peak of what has                them to their hearts. By 1907, the peak of what has
become known as 'the bear years', Steiff's production              become known as 'the bear years', Steiff's production
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has risen to almost a million bears a year and, by 1910,           has risen to almost a million bears a year and, by 1910,
the teddy bear had become Britain's most popular toy               the teddy bear had become Britain's most popular toy
by far.                                                            by far.

In America, dozens of other competitors sprang up.                    In America, dozens of other competitors sprang up.
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Almost all of these very early companies didn't last, with            Almost all of these very early companies didn't last, with
the notable exception of the Gund Manufacturing                       the notable exception of the Gund Manufacturing
Corporation. Gund made its first bears in 1906 and is                 Corporation. Gund made its first bears in 1906 and is
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still making teddy bears today.                                       still making teddy bears today.

Teddy bears have never lost their popularity. Today the               Teddy bears have never lost their popularity. Today the
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current record price for one teddy bear, Teddy Girl by                current record price for one teddy bear, Teddy Girl by
Steiff, is $176,000; that bear was sold at Christie's                 Steiff, is $176,000; that bear was sold at Christie's
auction house in 1994.                                                auction house in 1994.
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