Cast your mind back to your childhood, sunny days spent in the company of your best friends. And who was the best friend of them all? Thats right, your teddy bear. No matter where you come from, London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Belfast or any other part of the UK, it is almost a certainty that at some point you will have had a cuddly teddy bear friend.
We are all familiar with teddy bears, most of us will have been fortunate enough to have owned one or more and the really lucky ones may even have owned a Steiff teddy bear or soft toy animal. The teddy bear really is a staple member of many a childhood dream and teddy characters such as Winnie The Pooh, Paddington Bear, Sooty & Sweep, among others will bring back many a fond memory. Teddy will have been your best friend, your confidante, your comfort.
Since the beginning, teddy bears which sought to imitate the form of real bear cubs and teddies have greatly varied in form, style and material. Many teddy bears have have become sought after by collectors, with older and rarer teddies appearing at public auctions. Steiff teddy bears are particularly sought after, largely due to the top quality materials used in these hand made teddy bears and soft toy animals. Teddy bears are among the most popular gifts for children and are often given to adults to signify love, congratulations or sympathy. There can be few among us who have not at some time owned or given as a gift a treasured teddy bear.
The name Teddy Bear comes from former US President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt when on a bear hunting trip in Mississippi declined to kill a trapped bear, saying instead 'spare the bear'. Thereafter toy bears where named Teddy Bears in memory of this incident.
Some of the oldest and greatest teddy bear manufacturers still survive today, names like Steiff the luxury German manufacturer, and Merrythought, the oldest British maker of hand-made teddy bears and soft toys are still thriving even in these days of electronic toys and games, a true testimony to the quality and longetivity of the humble teddy bear.