Teddy Bears are one of our favorite companions, and despite what some might say, you’re never too old to have a cuddly bear! Their soft, snuggly, and are there for us when we most need them. So, let’s take a trip to the woods today and discover 26 facts about Teddy Bears along the way…
Fact 1: Morris Michtom created the teddy bear. However, when it was placed in the window of a shop it was not known as a ‘teddy bear’, but as ‘Teddy’s bear’. But little did Michtom know another teddy bear maker was on his way… read on to discover who.
Fact 2: The word or name ‘teddy bear’ comes from the nickname of Theodore Roosevelt. He, of course, was a former president of the United States of America. Roosevelt was in office from September 12, 1901, to March 4, 1909. While the president was in office his nickname became ‘Teddy’, much to his displeasure, after a hunting incident. According to sources, in November of 1902, Roosevelt, along with other gentlemen, went hunting. Roosevelt failed to hunt down an animal, so members of his group decided to tie an American black bear to a tree for him to kill – but thankfully he refused! This incident went on to be the subject of many cartoons and was a story that was discussed throughout the country! Which just so happened to be where Morris got his teddy idea from.
Fact 3: Before teddy bears could be sold, Michtom had to get President Roosevelt’s permission to use his name. Which he did and so the era of Teddy’s bear began!
Fact 4: Older teddy bears, that were created in the early 20th century, actually looked like real bears! They had long noses, dark eyes, and were very bear-shaped. Today, we have far more gentle looking bears, that you just want to snuggle up to!
Fact 5: You can get teddy bears that are made from alpaca pelt today. This kind of teddy bear is going to be very soft and expensive!
Fact 6: Merrythought, is a soft toy company in the UK. This manufacturing company makes soft toys but they really love to make teddy bears! Interestingly, Merrythought was established in 1930 and today you can go to their site and explore their museum.
Fact 7: Pooh and Paddington are up there with some of the world’s most famous bears! Pooh, of course, was created by A. A. Milne and Elisabetta Gnone, while Paddington was created by Michael Bond.
Fact 8: When the Teddy’s bear was first released by Morris Michtom, little did he know that a stuffed toy of the same nature was being made in Germany. Richard Steiff designed this particular toy bear and it went on exhibition in 1903. This bear was known as the ‘55PB’.
Fact 9: There is a dedicated magazine to teddy bears. This magazine is called ‘Teddy Bear and Friends’. It has about 40,000 subscribers…
Fact 10: It is likely that original teddies were made from mohair fur! Today, teddy bears are mass-produced in factories and the fur is synthetic. No harm should be caused to any animal in this process.
Fact 11: Mohair fur comes from goats. The goat’s hair is shorn and combed before being used to make hand-made bears.
Fact 12: Steiff now creates collectible hand-made bears that can be bought over the internet! As you can imagine, these bears are not going to come at a cheap price! After all, they are a collector’s item!
Fact 13: A staggering 5,000 artists globally make their money from designing custom made teddy bears, according to the Chicago Tribute in 2020.
Fact 14: Sadly, the story goes that Richard Steiff’s initial batch of toy teddy bears that he created and sent to the US never actually made it there! They think all the teddies might have been subjected to a shipwrecking incident!
Fact 15: Amazingly, of the 40,000 subscribers to Teddy Bear and Friends magazine, 24% of these people claimed that they spend around $1,000 a year on bears.
Fact 16: In 1907, Seymour Eaton wrote the story ‘The Roosevelt Bears’.
Fact 17: There are over 100 ‘Teddy Bear’ exhibition shows in America per year! These shows are where designers, like the 5,000 we talked about earlier, go to show off their work. Teddy Bear enthusiasts attend these shows in their droves to get a glimpse of the next best bear on the market.
Fact 18: ‘The Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ tune, that we all will, no doubt, be singing by the end of this article, was written by John Walter Bratton.
Fact 19: I’m sure we’ve all got a teddy, or we’ve had some contact with a teddy in the past, but what if I told you that the world’s largest teddy bear collection has 20,367 teddies in it! This collection is owned by Istvánné Arnócaki from Hungry, and it has probably grown even bigger since this record was awarded in 2019. Interestingly, Arnócaki never owned a teddy as a child and she vowed that she would have a teddy when she was older… she has a museum’s worth now.
Fact 20: You must’ve seen the giant bears when you go to the funfair. They look pretty big, right? They are nothing in comparison to the size of the world’s largest teddy bear though. At 19.41m in length the teddy from Mexico easily won this record in 2019!
Fact 21: There are about 2,000 speciality bear making stores in America! This does not count stores like Build-A-Bear.
Fact 22: So, if you were wondering how much the most expensive teddy bear in the world was going to cost you, I’ve got the answer for you… $182,550! Okay, so this was in 2000, and some economic stuff has gone on in the meantime, but wow, what a price! The little bear is 45 cm in height and was known as Steiff Louis Vuitton.
Fact 23: We’ve covered the biggest bear out there, now we need to know about the record for the ‘longest line of teddy bears’. This record was recorded in the UK in 2015 by Finaly Church. 15,543 teddy bears were all lined up, and the line measured 2,106 m! I wouldn’t want to be standing in this queue!
Fact 24: The world’s smallest stitched commercial bear, which happens to be called a ‘microbear’ was made in 2003. The winning bear, at 9mm tall, was actually well sought after. So, teddies of this size were made and were sold over the world. You can purchase them in a size between 9mm to 13mm!
Fact 25: The smallest sculpture of a teddy bear was created by Hiromu Morine in Japan in 1999. The tiny sculpture is just 0.04 inches! That’s so small you could easily lose it!
Fact 26: Antique teddies are really sought after by collectors. In fact, the most expensive antique bear was sold in 1994 for £110,000. The Steiff teddy was sold in London to a Japanese businessman.