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.
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.
As a collector, newbie or seasoned, you get told things here and there. Of course, it’s you job to screen out the lies and only bring with you the hard facts. Myths and misconceptions abound for one main reason and that is misinformation. To battle it out, you need not only do your research but you must also be wary enough of the enemies that lie ahead. That said take a look at the following lies we’ve been told about collectible Steiff teddy bears.
They’re only for the uber rich.
You don’t need to have a six digit salary to be able to own one. With enough diligence, you can actually save enough for one easily. Some of these collectibles can be bought for less than a thousand dollars of course depending on factors like age, rarity and condition. Sure some may be pricey to the point of crazy but you don’t necessarily have to shell out thousands of dollars to get your collection started.
You’ll only score one in an auction.
Years ago this may be the only popular option but with the advent of the digital age, these collectibles are also traded across various platforms like online shops and listings. If you’re lucky and patient enough, you might even spot one at an antique store. If you’ve got destiny only our side on the other hand, you can spot one at a garage sale or a flea market. The chances may be fairly low but it’s not impossible.
They’re old and vintage pieces.
A good majority of them are but definitely not all. Some collectible pieces are newly manufactured and released. They are special edition models manufactured in a limited quantity which often take a particular theme. A few examples would be the Steiff Diamond Eyes bear, the Louis Vuitton Steiff bear, the Queen Elizabeth II bear and the Karl Lagerfeld bear.
You need to have a huge house to display them well.
Not necessarily although that would be awesome. Who doesn’t want a spacious house to fill with memories and knickknacks right? But you don’t need a mansion to become a collector. With smart planning and the use of systematic storage units, you can make do with whatever available space you have to display your precious teddy bears.
Have you been told these lies about collectible Steiff teddy bears too? What did you do?