As you know we are big Teddy Bear fans over here at Bears4U and we feel so lucky we have been able to send out so many wonderful personlised gifts in the past few weeks, especially at this difficult time. However, it’s not only plush bears that we have been sending, we’ve seen many people adopting our other lovely animals such as rabbits, monkeys, giraffes, pandas, soft unicorns and even rainbow coloured sloths.
Cuddly and huggable, our stuffed animals provide a very welcome treat when we can’t get out and do our usual everyday activities. Gifts for Grandmas, special gifts for children or even a gift for a friend, we think that any person, old or young, would be delighted to receive a lovely cuddly friend through the post.
Now, we know all about how the stuffed bear came about, read our blog about The History of the Teddy Bear right here, but how about stuffed animals?
First let’s look back to Roman times when children played with stuffed ragdolls and animals made from hessian and sticks, these toys would have been stuffed with straw and hay and made by hand. Children also played with animals made from clay, wood, and wax and they would have been a welcome treat in a world where childhood would have been mostly about chores.
The Victorians championed the beginning of a commercial business in stuffed animals when in 1880 Margarete Steiff made a stuffed elephant from a magazine pattern.
Whilst these were originally sold as pincushions she soon realised that children were also taking a liking to these stuffed creations, that included pigs, dogs and cats. After her success with stuffed animals Margarete began manufacturing her own designs eventually introducing the iconic Steiff Teddy Bear that we all know and love. You can read more about the history of the Steiff here.
Teddy Bears rose in popularity Steiff still continued to produce other stuffed animals as well, and with other toy companies riding on this success the toy industry boomed.
Popularity of stuffed animals increased and by the 1950s there was a dramatic increase in the choice and variety of stuffed toys available. Companies like Dean’s Rag Toys and Merrythought revelled in the new technology of this era with Merrythought taking it a step further and buying a stuffing machine and Chad Valley creating Sooty and Sweep toys based on their TV success.
Modern Manufacturers of Stuffed Toy Animals
Many of the popular soft animals we know and love today come from ideas and designs from years ago. The adorable stuffed cat, Hello Kitty, dates back to 1974 whilst the ever popular ‘Beanie Babies’ were launched in 1993 with a selection of stuffed animals including; Legs the Frog, Squealer the Pig, Spot the Dog, Flash the Orca, Splash the Whale, Chocolate the Moose and Patti the Platypus.
In more recent years Jellycat, who were founded in 1999, have provided our youngsters with a huge selection of diverse animals to choose from – cuddly Lobster anyone? Then in 2008 the ever popular Me to You Bears released ‘My Blue Nosed Friends’ which included Patch the Dog, Kittywink the Cat and Dilly the stuffed Duck.
Personalised Animals Make Great Gifts
We feel so happy that we are able to offer, not just a wonderful collection of special Teddy Bears for your loved ones, but also a huge variety of soft toy animals and cute Cubbies as well. We stock popular brands such as Moulin Roty, Jomanda, Mary Meyer and Wilberry and we can personalise all our cuddly toys to make them just that extra bit special. Why not have a browse?
From Bears4U HQ, Head Bear, and the rest of the gang we are sending you lots of love and hope that we are able to be reunited with our loved ones soon.