Stuffed toys are an integral part of any child’s life. We’ve all had one at some point and we bet many of you still keep theirs for memory’s sake or have handed them down to their children. But what may seem as an item for fun as entertainment at first is actually a very potent tool that can impact their future and today we tell you exactly how and why.
The dictionary defines stuffed toys as items with an outer fabric sewn from a textile and then stuffed with a flexible material. They are referred to in various terms all over the globe such as plush toys, stuffed animals, plushies, snuggies, stuffies, snuggled animals, soft toys, cuddly toys and a few other variations. They’ve been around for more than a century with the earliest ones made at home up until 1880 where the first commercial manufacturer and designer opened shop in Germany.
As to how they impact a child and their future is one that’s more than meets the eye. A lot of people would categorize them as items for fun and leisure but they also contribute to skills development and even emotional and mental health.
For toddlers, they are able to introduce the concept of the basic senses and motor skills. Their varied textures help teach touch while their colors, patterns and designs teach vision. Some of these toys come with music and sounds which satiates the sense of hearing.
Stuffed toys have also been seen as a healthy mechanism in helping kids cope with things like trauma, fear and nerves. How many times have we asked for our favorite teddy bear to accompany us to sleep because we’re afraid of the dark? They’re also a great tool in easing negative emotions like anger, sadness, disappointment and failure. They’re always a hug away which brings us to our next point.
They trigger the release of happy hormones. The thing with stuffed toys is that they are very cuddly and huggable. One cannot help but lock them in a tight embrace and as science has proven, hugs release a happy hormone in the brain. Ever wondered why those warm embraces feel addicting? This applies whether or not you give or you receive the hug.
Additionally, stuffed toys help in nurturing a child’s creativity and imagination which are essential qualities that will prove useful as they grow up and go through with life.
Gifting is a whole lot of fun both for the giver and the recipient. Also, it can be particularly tricky given that people like many things and the search for a truly versatile present can be a lot of work. Well, not if we are talking about Steiff teddy bears.
The over a century year old brand has proven time and time again why it has been named the best in terms of stuffed toys. With more experience than any other plush toy company in the market, it’s no longer a surprise why Steiff’s teddies have got it all. But just in case you’ve been living under a rock or you’ve just been minted into the teddy bear realm, here are a few of the hundred and one reasons why they’d make the perfect present all year round.
They’re cute and adorable. These plush toys have been known to melt hearts, young and old alike. It’s hard to see one without at least cuddling it because they’re that good and soft and huggable! Need we add more adjectives?
They’re good for you. Steiff teddy bears are more than just a toy. Studies show that stuffed animals help toddlers develop motor skills and introduce them to the basic senses. They are also utilized for mental health as they show benefits in helping ease negative emotions, trauma, fear and anxiety for both children and adults.
You’ll never run out of options. The brand curated a number of designs all year round and for over a century at that. There’s bound to be something for you in all shapes, sizes, colors, designs and even price and exclusivity. Steiff happens to churn out limited edition pieces and not to mention height coveted vintage items are traded in the market too, often at auctions.
They’re extremely valuable. We don’t mean just figuratively, we’re downright literal here. Limited edition and vintage pieces can pack quite the amount from a few thousand dollars to millions. And no, we’re not even kidding. Don’t have that much? No worries because quality toys still await you with their regularly released mass-produced designs. There’s always something for everyone.
They last at least a lifetime. Steiff teddy bears are extremely durable. The quality by which they are made is extreme by industry standards so you know you get good value for your money for years on end. Find out more at http://www.steiffteddybears.co.uk/steiff-classic-range/.
Steiff bears have established themselves as a true icon and pioneer. The brand, having first designed and manufactured the toy more than a century ago, has the bragging rights in terms of its origin. Add to that their quality and unique designs, they make quite a covetable item both for play and display. Even with so many competitors in the market over the years, they remain to be original and special in the hearts of both kids and kids at heart.
But with popularity comes a few setbacks too. We are often told that impersonation is a form of flattery but when it comes to Steiff toys, this can be pretty detrimental not just for the brand but also for its customers and patrons. As the bears continued to sweep the world like a storm, more replicas and fakes have sprouted here and there. Sadly, they aren’t just made of substandard materials but they are also traded as if they were original ripping not just the company of its name and sales but more so of consumers for their money. Both are just equally awful.
This has led the brand to device means by which its customers can more easily identify authentic products from fakes regardless if they are vintage finds, limited edition collections or regular releases.
The button-in-ear is perhaps one of the most popular trademarks there are in the toy industry but did you know that Steiff bears also have a special fabric tag? Moreover, they come in many variants and can mean different things. Curious enough? Here take a look and find out what they mean.
Yellow Tag & Red Text
This tag is used for designs found in the normal product range (e.g. Cuddly Animals, Pets and Farm Animals and Wild Animals). The Steiff logo, the European Article Number (EAN) and other information such as materials can be found printed on the tag.
White Tag & Black Text
These piece have been manufactured using designs from the Steiff archives and are therefore considered authentic replicas. However, they are not as expensive as the vintage pieces they have been molded from. This type of fabric tag also contains the total number of articles produced, the limited edition number and the year of issue on the reverse side of the tag.
White Tag & Red Text
This type of fabric tag is given to rare edition Steiff bears including limited edition designs, as well as toys that have been manufactured for specific clients or certain countries. The limited edition number, the total number of articles and the year of issue are also printed on the reverse side of these tags like the previous one.
It may seem like we’re stating the obvious but believe it or not, a lot of people are still in the dark about collectible teddy bears. They may have heard of them but not enough to truly understand what they’re all about. To fix that, we’re dishing out some hard facts on what it means to have these coveted cuddly wonders.
#1: They’re historically valuable.
Collectible teddy bears can either be vintage finds or limited edition designs. In some cases, it can be both which only further escalates their value historically and fiscally. Many vintage pieces can be hard to find especially if we’re looking at items in great condition and those that were made for more than a century ago. Richly documented histories like that of the Teddy Girl or Steiff Alonso make them very desirable.
#2: They’re financially valuable.
They could fetch prices at auctions that’ll make your eyeballs pop out of their sockets. Although some may be more affordable than others, there are a few that aren’t only extremely rare but also made out of the most precious of materials. Take the $2.1 million Steiff Louis Vuitton Bear bought and owned by South Korean Jessie Kim. It features a light fur Steiff bear dressed in a complete LV gear with a signature luggage. There’s the Diamond Eyes Teddy too with its golden thread for fur and eyes made of sapphires and diamonds each retailing at $84,000 a piece more than a decade ago.
#3: It takes a lot to own them.
And we don’t just mean money. Having a collectible teddy bears stash comes with a lot of responsibility. They need regular care and maintenance and unlike the usual stuffed toys, they will press for more in terms of caution, storage and of course financial resources. We can’t just wash or repair them on our own. We’ll need special tools and supplies and in many cases trips to a professional toy repair shops. They are no child’s play.
#4: They necessitate knowledge.
Purchasing, owning and trading collectible teddy bears not only require passion and interest. It also calls for adequate knowledge about each piece. Research has to be done even if it means scouring not just the nooks and crannies of the internet but also of public libraries if need be. This is to better provide the right care, as well as be able to identify authentic from fake.
Just because something is fun doesn’t mean it is any less rewarding. Stuffed animals for instance may be seen as a mere play thing but what others don’t realize is that there is more to them than meets the surface.
As a matter of fact, stuffed animals can play an integral role in the growth and development of a child. Let’s start from the very beginning.
Even before a child is born, the nursery is often filled with stuffed toys from the excited parents, their family and friends. Since the baby is often exposed to it, they get better acquainted to vision through it. The colors and patterns allow them to familiarize the environment they see.
As the baby moves about more often, the toy now serves to help better acquaint them with the other senses. Stuffed animals are soft and often come in different textures which aid in touch. Some have musical features to it which aid in sound and hearing. And believe it or not, there’s smell and taste too. We know kids will always want to sniff and bite into anything they can get their hands on. Moreover, they help them in developing their motor skills as they eventually learn to crawl, walk and run.
Now a toddler, the stuffed animals are more than just a toy. They become friends which most kids tend to bring into their adulthood. A lot of us still have our favorite toys for safekeeping for memory’s sake and for others to pass onto people they love.
They can help in reducing, minimizing and eventually eliminating anxiety, anger, negativity and sadness among children or even fear such as when they’re always hesitant and scared to sleep on their own. They can also encourage happy thoughts because they imbibe positivity with the use of attractive, colorful and comfortable design aesthetics. In fact, a lot of therapists and psychologists make use of stuffed animals in treating kids who have emotional problems, anger and fear issues or even trauma.
You see, stuffed animals are more than just toys. They can be a friend too and one that teaches a child so many things from simple movement to a color to making them feel better on a gloomy day. How many of us remember hugging our toys when we scraped our knees as a kid or when we were feeling down because we missed someone?
We’ve got a digital world ahead of us and with the dawn of the smartest of computers to date, what was once deemed impossible is now a reality. Online shopping for toys for instance will have any parent in the Middle Ages go scratching their heads. But even as someone who thrives in the modern era, should we really buy teddy bears online? When should we go for it and when should we opt out?
GO FOR IT
Go for it because of convenience. Perhaps the biggest reason as to why people not only prefer but also enjoy buying teddy bears or any other stuffed toy online is because it is convenient in its core. First of all, one need not budge to be able to do it. We can be anywhere even in the comforts of our bedrooms and pajamas while doing it. All it takes is a press of a button or a tap on a screen. Moreover, it allows us to skip the trouble of long queues at the cashier, throngs of people at the mall or shop and even the ever pestering traffic.
Go for it because it offers a bigger basket. In other words, it opens up to a bigger market. Aside from allowing us to buy wherever we are, it also allows us to shop from wherever around the world. This is great news because a good lot of people may want to buy toys that are not available locally where they live.
OPT OUT OF IT
Opt out when the site can’t be trusted. Part of buying online involves caution. Although the same applies to traditional shopping in general, an extra layer of consciousness should be present. When dealing with shopping sites, make it a point to research and read customer reviews and feedback. This allows us to garner an idea about the quality of both products and services of a particular seller. Should there be considerably plenty bad reviews and should the site and/or seller smell fishy, opt out for safety reasons. Better safe than sorry, right?
Opt out when it ends up being more expensive. As much as opting to buy teddy bears online can be convenient and even cost efficient, there are cases when it isn’t. This is particularly true in cases where it involves hefty shipping fees, taxes and custom duties. It is important to calculate all costs first, not just that of the toy, before hitting the checkout button.
Toys are fun and endearing which is why collectible teddy bears have become a thing over the years. You’d be surprised that a lot of people will fight over, at least in auctions, for these pieces. Why? Allow these five adjectives to enlighten you.
When you hear the word collectible, what first comes to mind? For most of us, it’s the value of exclusivity. It’s no question that in order for something to be deemed collectible, it must be either rare or unique and in some cases it can be both. These toys come in small numbers (e.g. Diamond Eyed Teddy Bear) with others even being deemed a “one and only” piece (e.g. Teddy Girl and Steiff Louis Vuitton Bear).
Many, but not all, collectible teddy bears are antique or vintage finds. These are those that have stood the test of time and lived for more than at least one lifetime or several decades. What makes them truly interesting is that they hold stories and bits of history neatly tucked in within every fur and button which brings us to our next adjective.
These toys are truly interesting because they hold a story in them. More than your average toy, they come with rich and lavish tales which further heightens their collectible value. For instance, a toy’s previous owners can make it a certified collector’s item (e.g. Steiff Alonzo previously owned by Princess Xenia of Russia in 1989). Some are made for special people in society and history (e.g. Queen Elizabeth II Bear) while others were manufactured to commemorate certain events in time (e.g. Black Mourning Bear for the tragic sinking of the Titanic in 1912).
Without a shadow of a doubt, these toys are beyond ordinary and we don’t only refer to their stories, uniqueness, rarity and quality. These pieces are so valuable that some of them can reach up to thousands of dollars apiece. The most coveted ones can easily strike five to six digits in auctions. As a matter of fact, the most expensive collectible toy to date was one sold in a 2000 Monaco auction that fetched $2.1 million. It was a classic Steiff bear decked in an all out Louis Vuitton ensemble from head to toe.
Last but definitely not the least collectible teddy bears have a sense of charm and endearment to them. We can help but be drawn and fall for these cuddly wonders. There’s just undeniable magic there.
Sisters refer to a broad set of women who hold a special place in our hearts. It’s not a word solely dedicated to a sibling but also to a friend who embodies the definition of family, a sister from another mister as today’s youth calls it. If you’re here looking for gift ideas to give them, we’ve got you covered from Steiff bears to matching jewelry to thoughtful knickknacks. Take a look at this list.
Accessories are a classic and if you want it all the more sentimental and memorable then get them by the pair. You can swap this for bracelets instead if they’re not the neck bauble type. For added flair, you can even get them engraved.
A Pretty Journal
Journals, planners and doodling in general have seen a wide resurgence today so why not help them hop into it? It can bring out the artistic side of them plus help them jot down memories or even help them organize their day. Add a fancy fountain pen if your budget allows it or even some brushes and a pan of watercolor.
If there’s an accessory that never goes out of style and fits any occasion then that would be the wristwatch. They’re pretty versatile and quite the functional and fashionable piece at the same time.
A Favorite Lippie
Women in general love a good beauty product so you might as well shop a nice lipstick shade for them. Get one that they love or buy something they may have not tried yet. You can even level this up and gift them with an entire basket of beauty goodies.
It may sound cheesy but thoughtful presents like a scrapbook that highlights your time spent together will always be one for the books. What makes this a cool present is that it’s made from the heart.
Speaking of presents from the heart, how about some cakes or cupcakes? Cookies perhaps? Everyone loves food and the fact that you made them makes this present extra special.
There are days when we want our sisters to feel our love and warmth. But reality and “adulting” doesn’t make this possible all the time so in times when you can’t be physically present, there’s a Steiff bear for them to cuddle and hug.
Taking care of one’s stuffed animals is essential to their survival. Adequate and proper upkeep will help ensure that wear and tear is slowed down and the toys are kept at their best shape in as much as possible.
Care and maintenance for these toys is not rocket science. It’s simpler than what one would initially assume. In fact, here are a few easy tricks that will serve as your guide as you give those stuffed animals their much deserved TLC.
A handheld vacuum cleaner can do the trick. For toys that aren’t too dirty and would only require a few dusting, a good old vacuum can be pretty handy. Just make sure that it’s not placed at the highest setting to avoid damaging the fur or hair of the stuffed animal.
Small stains may be spot treated. Let’s say that your juice accidentally soaked a small part of the toy’s limb. You don’t have to throw it in the wash just yet especially if the stuffing wasn’t drenched. A damp cloth can easily fix the dilemma. Just make sure to use a clean and white one to avoid transferring colors or staining the toy.
One has to wash their toys every so often. A regular schedule should be part of their care routine. This can be done by hand or machine. In both cases, use lukewarm water and mild laundry detergent. Avoid bleach at all costs. If the latter is preferred, place the toy inside a mesh bag or a pillow case for added protection. Dry using a handheld dryer or a machine.
Never expose them to direct heat for prolonged periods. This applies both in storing and even in washing and drying. High temperatures may cause their colors to fade or some accessories to melt.
Keep them in a cool dry place that’s away from moisture. Open shelving, toy chests and even cabinets are great options. But make sure to do away with areas of the home that tend to develop a lot of humidity. The moisture can encourage the development of molds and even attract insects and rodents.
Make it a point to brush their hair. Over time, they can get tangled and frizzy too. To keep one’s stuffed animals looking as pristine as ever, use a wide toothed brush or your own hand to comb through the toy. Easy-peasy right?
Online shopping has seen a sudden boom over the last couple of years and the numbers are only getting higher. With technology on the rise and the demand for convenience, more and more companies have offered sales of their goods through cyberspace and that includes toys. But the question is: should you buy teddy bears online? What’s in it that’s not available the traditional way?
Yes, because all it takes is a tap of a button.
Okay perhaps a few swipes and scrolls too. It constitutes a lot of ease. No more having to get stuck in traffic or waiting over long queues at the counter. Black Friday or Christmas? No need to battle and writhe yourself amongst the crazy shoppers and the baskets or carts they haul around the store’s aisles. You can be lying down in bed with the comfiest of pajamas and get to shop!
Yes, because you get to purchase from anywhere.
Sometimes, there’s a toy you’d like to get your hands on but it’s not available anywhere near you. There’s no need to mourn because you can buy from anyone anywhere around the globe.
Yes, because nobody has enough time to shop around.
There are days when you’re just too busy to get your butt to the mall. Other times, you completely space out and forget to buy your niece a present for her birthday. Don’t panic! You can go over to the internet and have the toy delivered right away. You can be on your bus on the way home or in your office cubicle and get the job done.
Yes, because it’s easier to canvass online.
We all want to get the best bang for our buck and so we tend to look around and compare prices. Imagine the work it entails to hop from one store to another just to canvass. It’s easier to do it online, again, with a few clicks of a button.
Yes, because they’re convenient.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to convenience. This is the very charm of online shopping. You get to buy teddy bears online without all the hassle and inconvenience that would otherwise befall you. You get to miss the traffic, the long queues, the crazy shoppers and all that. Doesn’t it sound so inviting? It is so we won’t blame you if you head over and start your shopping stat!