Versatility is a characteristic that makes something valuable. It makes them more than what’s expected, what they’re worth in cash. And really, don’t we all want the best value for our buck? Not a lot of things can fall under this category but luckily such is the case for teddy bears as presents.
We can all agree that gifting can be particularly tricky. That’s because not everyone wants the same things and most items aren’t exactly applicable to all. There’s no one size fits all. But teddy bears are a great option for many if not most. Why? Allow us to expound.
First of all, most people have an affinity to them. As children, a lot of us can attribute these toys to a memory, an emotion or a point in time. There’s an emotional connection that makes us feel a bit nostalgic and even excited when we see one. They trigger happy memories.
As for kids, these cuddly wonders are nothing short of perfect. They’re a toy to begin with and one that serves more than just fun. Believe it or not, teddy bears also have mental and emotional benefits. First of all, they help introduce the basic senses to toddlers and even aid in the improvement of motor skills. They’re an effective tool to help provide relief from negative emotions, fear, anxiety and even trauma. They’re even considered a friend and believe us when we say that many adults still keep theirs from childhood.
The designs come in an assortment of options and it’s hard to run out of choices. Is this a good thing? Well pretty much because this means there’s bound to be a teddy bear fit for everyone which makes it easier for us to gift the right piece. Aside from style, the toys are also made of an assortment of materials each with their varying perks from the type of stuffing to the outer fabric to the eyes the snout and all the other accessories.
Their charm never really fades. Teddy bears are a timeless toy. They’re not deemed classic for a reason. Their more than a century’s worth of existence is proof enough that they are everyone’s favorite piece of plush animal. They have swooned the hearts of people then and now across the globe among all genders and age groups. Doesn’t this spell versatile? Can you name anything else like it?
Humans have a penchant for being sentimental and it’s not surprising to see someone with a stash of stuff they love. How about you? What do you love collecting? For some that would be collectible teddy bears.
Now how different are they from regular teddies? Simple. These toys are rare either because they are vintage or because they are limited edition designs. In the rarest of cases it can be both.
Becoming a collector does have its pros and cons and if you are considering to start your own stash of collectible teddy bears then here is a list of pros and cons to consider.
They’re cute and cuddly. These alone says a lot about how adorable they are. Simply put, they bring happiness and joy to whoever owns them. Whether you stare or touch, they’re a bundle of joy.
They are valuable. Many famous collectors consider these toys as investments and they truly are in all sense of the world. Their collections can easily fetch millions of dollars, that is if they ever decide to sell. Not bad eh?
They are historical keepsakes. Many vintage toys aren’t just items of the past. Some of them were manufactured during significant points in history for example during the commemoration of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. Others were even owned by prominent men and women we can only read in books.
Nobody else has them. If any, they’re only available to a select few. They are rare after all. Some are one of a kind in the most literal sense possible while others come in only a few pieces. There’s a weird sense of fulfillment that comes with that for a lot of collectors.
They can be tough to maintain. Vintage pieces need extra care and caution when handling as some of them may already be sensitive. Other limited edition pieces may need special storage and cleaning as well particularly if they are made of valuable materials like precious stones and metals.
They come with a price. Being valuable is a double edged sword. As much as they can be an investment of sorts, collectible teddy bears cost a lot. While some are more affordable than others. Most can easily fetch at least a thousand dollars. Sometimes they can even reach seven digits. No kidding.
They can be addicting. Once you start amassing collectible teddy bears, it can be hard to stop. Trust us. We’ve been there.
A lot of things get old with time. We all do. But just because the numbers pile up doesn’t mean that it has to show. Sometimes, even the old can still look brand new or at least younger than they really are. Possible? Yes, but with the help of proper care and maintenance. Such is the case for stuffed animals.
These childhood friends may not exactly grow up physically like we do but they can age as time goes by. Wear and tear can show its effects but not if we can help it. Here are ways on how you can preserve and keep those cuddly stuffed animals looking spanking brand new you could even pass it on to your children’s children.
1. Keep them well stored. Some stuffed animals are for play while others are more for display as is with the case of collectibles. Regardless, proper and adequate storage create a huge impact in ensuring that they retain their quality over time. There are many options out there from standard cabinets to open shelving to toy boxes to glass door cabinets and so on and so forth. Choose one that best suits your pieces.
2. Stir clear of moisture. Avoid spots that tend to pack on humidity. Never store stuffed animals inside plastic bags either. When moisture builds up, it encourages the growth of molds which can rot the toys and damage them for good.
3. Avoid heat at all costs. Heat comes in many forms. There’s direct sunlight or warm water for cleaning to name two. They may not initially pose as a threat but they can actually cause serious damage to the toys. For one, they can melt or soften certain accessories like buttons or loosen up their adhesive making them fall off. But in most cases, heat dulls the color of stuffed animals.
4. Keep them clean and pristine. Make sure to wash them accordingly and as per the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Generally all you’ll ever need is lukewarm water, mild detergent with no traces of bleach and a mesh bag or pillow case to stuff the toy in when machine washing. Keeping them clean ensures that dirt is removed and there are no traces of bugs.
5. Repair damages stat. If you see any damages like a loose hem or a broken limb, repair the stuffed animals immediately to avoid the issue from getting worse.
They say if you’ve got a problem, one of the best things to do is to talk to a six year old. They’d give you the most unexpected, unfiltered and innocent life advice that’ll blow you away. With such thought in mind, we then tasked ourselves to do the same but instead of talking about an adult issue we decided to show them pictures of collectible and highly valued Steiff bears. Here’s what they had to say.
“My mommy will let me play with it if I ask her properly.”
Let’s be honest here. Many collectible teddy bears are vintage finds and some of them are too fragile or expensive for usual play especially in the hands of a child. They’re more for display to say it simply. When we told one of the five year olds about this, he insisted that he could play with them only if he asks his mom nicely. How cute and innocent!
“I want her Tiara!”
As Queen Elizabeth II surpassed the late Queen Victoria and became the longest ruling British monarch of history, Steiff designed a special bear to celebrate the event. The Schulte mohair bear was dressed in a royal blue coronation robe with spotted edging. It even had a matching crown. Of course, no child would let this go by and seriously wonder if they too can have one of those crowns.
“Is she hard then?”
The Diamond Eyes teddy bear was made to celebrate Steiff’s 125th anniversary. Only 125 pieces were made, each with a price tag of $84,000. It’s got golden thread for fur, a golden snout and eyes made of diamond and sapphires. Because of that, one of the children wondered if the toy is actually hard instead of cuddly. No worries, kid. It’s the latter.
“I hope she didn’t get hit.”
Teddy Girl is a cinnamon Steiff teddy bear from 1904. It was once owned by Colonel Bob Henderson, a member of the British army who fought in World War II with the toy tucked to his side. The richly documented history made it truly one of a kind and one of the most expensive Steiff bears to date. When shown to one of the kids, he was so worried to know that the toy went to war and wondered if it got any injury. It didn’t. It was passed on to Colonel Henderson’s daughter as an heirloom before it was sold off in an auction.
With the dawn of the digital era comes the ease and convenience when purchasing just about anything. A simple tap of a button can send a parcel straight to your doorstep. But before you even click the checkout button, there are a number of things to read and peruse before you go ahead and buy teddy bears online. Read up and discover what they are.
Guide when you buy teddy bears online
Product Details – Photos may speak a thousand words but sometimes visuals can be a bit misleading especially in terms of dimensions. This is why when shopping for toys online, make it a point to carefully read and understand the product details and description. When in doubt, ask.
Return Policy – In the event that the wrong item is shipped or is damaged, you’ll want to return the toy and get either a replacement or a refund. But policies can vary from one shop to the next. This makes it crucial to read the return policy ahead of time.
About the Shop – A fair amount of research has to be done in order to assess not only the viability and legality of the online shop but also to identify its level of quality. Aside from the “about us” page on the site, look them up on the internet too. Run a background check.
Shipping Rates and Terms – Online shopping is fun and convenient but there are times when it isn’t especially when you realize that the shipping rates and terms aren’t exactly reasonable or are far out of your league. There are even cases when the shipping fee is more expensive than the teddy bear itself so before you hit that check out button, read about this first. Also, find out how long it will take to have the item delivered.
Customer Reviews and Feedback – As you buy teddy bears online, you will realize that reviews and feedback shall serve as your weapon when it comes to identifying the level of product and service quality. Since you won’t be seeing the product firsthand until it gets delivered, these shall serve as your guide.
With the dawn of the modern age, we’re presented with more ways of doing things, shopping toys for instance. Depending on our needs and preferences, we can either go traditional or buy teddy bears online each of which has its own advantage.
What’s great about buying toys directly from a physical store?
You see them for yourself. – If you’re someone who prefers the satisfaction of an instant gratification then this is for you. Traditional shopping means you get to physically go to a shop and see the available toys (and examine them of any defects) which bring us to our next item.
There’s the element of touch. – Some people just need to feel and touch their purchase. How soft and huggable are they? What material are they made of? Are they light enough or are they too heavy? Is the stitching any good?
Bring them home stat. – Not a fan of waiting? This option lets you buy and bring home the teddy bear all in the same day.
Simply put, it is so much fun. – For many of us, shopping is therapeutic even if that means having to walk all day. It’s cardio after all.
How about purchasing teddy bears online?
The platform is convenient. – The ease that online shopping gives is groundbreaking. You can be anywhere. You don’t even have to switch clothes and put on pants because you can buy from your bed. It negates the need to drive to the mall and line up on queues. Plus, most websites run on a 24/7 basis.
It makes oversees purchase easier. – Do you want a particular teddy bear but the seller is elsewhere on the globe? Online purchases make these transactions happen. You can purchase from anywhere and have the toy sent to your doorstep. No need to hop on a plane.
There are more options. – A few clicks and the right keywords on the search bar and you’re bound to a seemingly endless list of options. You can go as general or specific as you want and the internet will provide you with choices. Lots and lots of choices.
Likewise, it’s a lot of fun. – Let’s face it. When you buy teddy bears online, you also feel a sense of fun. It may be different from when you shop physically but it’s enjoyable nonetheless.
We all love a good shopping spree, case in point presents for your children, your nephews, nieces, siblings, godchildren and a kid special to you in general. But there’s more to shopping for toys and stuffed animals than meets the eye. The chore may sound simple but it comes with a whole lot of responsibility.
You see, safety must always accompany every item that’s given to a child. They are after all not the most practical of beings, at least at this point in time. You need to think for them. You have to be responsible. This is why we’ve made a rundown of the various reminders to take note of when shopping toys and stuffed animals for kids.
Keep it age appropriate. – There’s a reason why the items in shops are labeled. Oftentimes, you’ll see a tag that suggests the age bracket to which the toys are intended for. Just because something is labeled as a plaything doesn’t mean that it’s meant for everyone. Think about it this way, would an item for a ten year old be enjoyed by a two year old and vice versa? Will their size and weight be proportional?
Be aware of their interests. – Children can be quite the picky bunch. They’re pretty straightforward too so they’ll voice out their opinion regardless if it hurts your feelings or not. If you want your present to be appreciated, it helps to look into the child’s likes. For example, what colors do they prefer? What other toys do they already have?
See to it that they’re non-toxic. – Look for the label that says that the item has passed the safety standards and are toxic free. Some companies do not uphold quality and safety as others do so you need to be vigilant on your own. It also pays to research about the product as well. This shouldn’t be as hard anymore given the internet.
Avoid choking hazards. – Kids love to put everything in their mouths without any regard. This makes it all the more important to stay clear of stuffed toys that pose any choking hazards. For example, easily detached buttons and eyes and unsecured ribbons or laces that are six inches or more in length.
Always go for what’s durable. – Children aren’t the most careful of beings. They’ll drag, carry, hug, squish and pretty much do everything they can with the stuffed animals all day. Wear and tear is bound to happen but go for the toy that’s the most durable. They’ll last longer.
Collectible Steiff bears are all the rage and why not? They’re cute, interesting and have quite the story to match. You’d be surprised and really curious about some of these much coveted pieces. Have you ever heard of a toy that fought alongside a World War II survivor? How about a diamond and sapphire eyed bear? Or perhaps a $2.1 million teddy decked in a full on Louis Vuitton ensemble?
See, these collectibles have quite the punch to them. Sure some may be skyrocket pricey but others are quite reasonable and won’t cost a newbie collector a fortune.
Then a question bubbles up in your head. Where exactly do you buy them? We’ve rounded up some places for you to begin your search.
Toy Shops – It’ll be particularly difficult to impossible if you head to the mall’s department store. The bears you’ll find in there are the mass produced models. If you want a collectible then you’re better bet is at toy and specialty shops. Many of them carry rare and limited edition pieces.
Garage Sale – You’ll be surprised to know that treasures can be found in other people’s old stuff. Sometimes, people don’t know the value of the things they have or they’re simply not interested enough. It may take some patience and an ounce of luck but it’s not a bad place to look. Likewise, you might end up finding gold at flea markets too.
Antique Shops – The items you’ll find here may seem odd and mismatched but don’t be afraid to look. Ask if you must too. The shop’s caretaker could lead you to the teddy you’ve been looking for. After all, many collectible teddy bears are of the vintage kind.
Online Stores – With the power of the internet, what’s there to stop you from online shopping? It’s convenient and fast at a click of a button. Searching is easier too with the right keywords on your search engine. Just be cautious though and avoid transacting with shady sellers.
Auctions – If you’re in for the real deal then auctions are for you. Many of the best and most prized collectible teddy bears are auctioned off from all over the globe. Although others are still done the traditional way, online auctions have become a thing too. But if you’re not yet up for that much action, you can begin bidding at Ebay auctions.
Almost anything can be bought online nowadays and that includes toys. However, a lot of people still prefer not to buy teddy bears online no thanks to the various misconceptions that hound it. What are these myths you may ask? Here, take a look.
Misconception #1: “It’s not safe.”
Misconception #2: “It’s all a scam.”
Although it’s true that some sellers are bogus, not everyone is. If you think about it, even physical stores can still be counterfeit so at the end of the day it all boils down to being a smart shopper. Again, it is important to only buy from trusted websites. Come to think of it, buying online wouldn’t grow this big if it wasn’t effective or convenient.
Misconception #3: “It gets expensive.”
Most companies today actually maintain both physical and online shops to cater to the varying needs of consumers and customers. In majority of cases, the prices of items are the same regardless if you buy it at an actual store or online. The extra fees, if any, would be attributed to shipping costs. Would that hurt? Not really considering that you got the parcel delivered to your doorstep without going into all the trouble of commuting or driving and spending on gas and parking. Plus, online shopping makes it possible to buy from a seller from another city or country. Moreover, it makes it easy to compare prices from one site to another with only a few clicks of a button.
Misconception #4: “It’s not an avenue for rare finds and collectibles”
On the contrary, it actually is. You’d be surprised to discover that even auctions can be held online. A lot of vintage teddy bears and limited editions are being sold by virtue of the World Wide Web. With international sellers at the tip of your fingertips, the possibilities are endless.
Toys are often bought for purposes of play but apart from the entertainment they give, it’s the functional aspect of it all that truly separates the versatile from the not so. Today, we’re here to discuss about one of the highest selling toys in the world and what other benefits they render apart from fun. With the team at Steiffteddybears.co.uk, we give you the following perks of owning and playing with stuffed toys.
It provides for sensory introduction. For babies and toddlers, a lot has to be learned regarding mobility and the senses. Stuffed toys are not only soft and cuddly but they too come in various colors, patterns, sizes and textures which aid in a child’s being accustomed to smell, touch, taste, sight and sound.
They aid in word and sound familiarity. Since most stuffed toys come in the shape of animals, they help in making kids recognize words like dog, cat, elephant, bear and the like alongside the sounds they make. This is one of the early stepping stones to language development and education.
It practices empathy and helps develop values. Kids can be taught the value of empathy and certain values with the help of their favorite stuffed animals. Simple things such as not throwing them as well as acts of endearment like hugging can be introduced. Plus, they are able to develop and associate feelings and emotions. Remember how we all have a favorite bear that we talk to, dress up and hug every night?
They encourage role play. Humans learn through imitation. Take speaking for example. We imitate the sounds we hear from our parents and our surroundings. The same is true for walking, writing, drawing and the list goes on. These silent friends are a means for children to play pretend which enables them to learn not only motor skills but also foster imagination and creativity.
It’s a friend. Many children talk and share their day to their cuddly friends. Stuffed toys are like pets in a way. This makes them a really effective de-stressing tool for kids. Research even shows that many children are able to calmly and effectively release stress and negative emotion with the help of these items.
They boost IQ and EQ. Because these toys help foster imagination, creativity, empathy, healthy emotions and understanding among others, it helps give children develop better IQ and EQ levels as they grow up.