How many bears is too many?
Have you ever looked in your child’s bedroom and thought that you have more teddies than Build a Bear? Well, spare a thought for the family of Istvanne Arnoczki. Who, according to the Guinness Book of Records, has 20,367. This was listed in 2019 as being the world’s biggest teddy bear collection. Now that would certainly fill a few beds!
Incase you didn’t already know, a bear collector is known as an Arctophile. This originates from the Greek word ‘Arcto’ meaning bear, and ‘phile’ meaning a person that has a fondness for something in particular. There are thousands of Arctophiles worldwide who collect teddy bears of all shapes, sizes, age and value.
Why do People Collect Teddy Bears?
Well, people have all sorts of reasons for collecting these lovelable cuddly creatures!
Some people just love these cuddly creatures! From a young age, when they are gifted their first teddy, they fall in love with their fluffy companion and thereafter develop a true love that leads them to a huge collection of cuddly soft toys.
2. In it for the Money?
Others collect teddies to try and make a penny or two. Wheeling a dealing with some of these cuddlies can actually make quite a bit of money. With the world’s most expensive bear selling at £130,000 you may be able to imagine why someone would want to get involved.
Most people think of Steiff when it comes to a valuable collectors item, but surprisingly some of the more modern collectible ranges have hit the big numbers too. If you can remember Beanie Babies from the 90’s that almost every child had a few of, then some of these are fetching around £25,000! So if you have a few in your attic it may be worth retrieving them to see if you have a winner!
3. Just for Fun
Collecting bears for fun became popular in the 1970’s when they were not just considered a toy. There have been many fads with collectible soft toys since then, Care Bears, Blue Nose Friends and Boo Buddies are a few of the crazes that won people’s hearts.
How Do I Know if My Collection is Valuable?
Of course, your collection will be valuable to you! But will it be worth anything in terms of money? Well, the world’s most expensive cuddly soft toy comes in at a whopping £125,831, so you can imagine how much your collection would be worth with this fella in it!
If you want to find out if your Grandma’s tatty old teddy is worth anything you will need to take it to a dealer who specialises in this field. Sadly most are only worth their sentimental value but there is always the odd one out there that was a Limited Edition , that will fetch in a handsome sum.
Best Bears to Collect
It goes without saying that this is down to personal choice but there a few ways that you might want to consider:
Many people choose a specific brand such as Suki, Steiff, or Merrythought and then stick to that collection. There will be regular releases of new products for you to add to a collection. Keeping the labels on and keeping them boxed will help if they do become valuable in the future.
You may choose to go for Limited Edition ranges. There are plenty of these around and they are all issued with a certificate advising how many there are in the range and what number your bear is. Always keep the label on. Some of these can be quite expensive and keeping up with the releases can be fairly costly. If you are starting a collection for a child you may prefer to go with a Limited Edition Paddington Bear or Jemimah Puddleduck.
If you prefer, you can just go for a specific type of teddy bear from a range of manufacturers. Choose a style you like and just add to your collection when something takes your fancy. You can read our blog about some famous teddy bears here, which might give you a few ideas to start your collection.
Whatever you decide, we hope you enjoy your collection, whether you have one or a hundred! If you want to add to your collection or start one for someone else then head over to bears4u.co.uk where there are plenty of loveable, cuddly creatures to choose from.