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The Teddy Bear Creator Story

The Teddy Bear Creator Story

Posted by Angela on 16th Jul 2022

In 2022 Steiff are celebrating the 120th birthday of the Teddy Bear. 120 years ago was when the world's first Teddy bear was created by Steiff in southern Germany and this is how if happened.

Richard Steiff was the favourite creative nephew of Steiffs' founder Margarete. He attended the School of Arts and Crafts in Stuttgart and studied in England before joining the still small company in 1897. He was often found in what was then Nill's zoo, where he was inspired by the brown bears and drew them. From these drawings and sketches, Richard developed the world's first Teddy Bear with movable arms and legs in 1902, which was called the "Bear 55 PB".  The technical-sounding name was intended to be quite pragmatic: for he was 55 cm high, made of mohair and was movable.

Margarete was not convinced at first, but allowed Richard to exhibit the "55 PB" at the Leipzig Toy Fair in 1903. There it initially attracted little attention until an American dealer saw the potential in the little plush bear with the moving arms and legs. In one fell swoop, he immediately ordered 3,000 bears. 

This is how the World met the Teddy Bear, who continues to bring joy and comfort to this day.

In 2022 The Year of the Teddy Bear, Steiff are pleased to present a new collectible version of this iconic and historic "55 PB" Bear. The contemporary update features the latest eco-friendly materials, including a silky-smooth bamboo coat, plant-based paw pads, and a stuffing material made from corn fibers.

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