Archive for the ‘Australian Bears’ Category


Fideston Bears – Teddy Bear, History, Information

Fideston Toy Factory was the first Australian commercial teddy bear manufacturer and was setup by Richard and Louisa Fiddes in Bunbury, Western Australia. They produced teddy bears and other stuffed toys from 1917 – 1942.

In 1921 Fideston Toy Factory was registered and a factory was established in Perth which mass produced soft toys for stores in Australia. The business grew rapidly and employed 14 members of the family. They made a wide range of toys with teddy bears being the most popular selling over 1,000 a month by 1930.

Typical Features of a Fideston teddy bear include:
Dual mohair plush
Very broad head
Large flat ears
Cone shaped muzzle
Wide forehead
Fully jointed
Humped back
German glass eyes
Wide vertically stitched black nose
Excelsior stuffing
Leather paw pads
Long, tapered arms
Final seam in lower part of torso and between legs


Joy Toys Bears – Teddy Bear, History, Information

Joy Toys started in South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria, in the early 1920’s by Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Kirby. In 1937 the company expanded, gaining the Australian franchise for Walt Disney characters and later opening a factory in New Zealand. They made over 50,000 bears between the early 1920’s and 1960’s, when Cyclops bought the company in 1966. The name Joy Toys is now owned by Toltoys and was last used in 1976. Most of Joy Toys teddy bears were fully jointed, made from English mohair, filled with excelsior and resembled German bears with their slim torsos and limbs. From the 1930’s the bears were more like British bears with most having pointed upturned front paws and were filled with kapok. The nose had two longer outer stitches. Joy Toys bears from the 1950’s were filled with crumbled rubber.

Typical Features Of Joy Toys Bears From The 1920’s – 1930’s
Mohair plush with excelsior stuffing
Nose resembling the Chiltern design

Typical Features Of Joy Toys Bears From The 1930’s
Large nose with a long stitch running up at either end
Short limbs with a large body
Unjointed neck
Curved or pointed paws
Plump thighs and small feet
Straight back
Cotton twill pads
Mohair body
Short muzzle


Emil Bears – Teddy Bear, History, Information

Emil Toys or Emil Pty Ltd. made teddy bears from the mid 1930’s to the 1970’s in and around Melbourne, Australia. Early Emil teddy bears were made from imported mohair, with glass eyes and either a jointed or stiff neck. The paw pads were oil cloth, the front paws are pointed and the filling was a mixture of kapok and excelsior. Emil bears usually had black square noses and shiny Rexine pads. Some Emil bears had black claws. In the 1960’s, the quality deteriorated somewhat with the bears now having stiff necks, plastic eyes and paw pads made of white vinyl. They had either satin or white cloth labels that were usually sewn into a back or side seam and had “Emil Toys” or “Emil Toys Made In Australia” written in script, with a bear sitting, clutching the upright of the capital “E,” or a teddy sitting on the “E,” and “Made in Australia” printed in blue.


Berlex Bears – Teddy Bear, History, Information

Berlex Toys is a Melbourne company founded by Lex Bertrand that produced bears from the 1930’s to the 1970’s. Common features of Berlex teddy bears include luxuriant mohair, big well shaped body and limbs, triangular stitched noses and vinyl paw pads. Labels have either “Berlex,” in script, with “Melbourne” beneath and “Made in Australia” on the reverse, or simply “Berlex Melbourne” printed in capital letters.


Verna Bears – Teddy Bear, History, Information

The Verna Toy Company or Verna Toys was established in Victoria by Eve Barnett in 1941. In 1948 the company changed hands and started to make teddy bears under the ownership of Arthur Eaton. Bears before the 1960’s were mohair plush and fully jointed, filled with excelsior and traditional in shape. Black felt noses were a common feature of Verna Bears as well as blunt muzzles. From the 1960’s foam rubber was used as filling and bears had plastic safety eyes and vinyl pads. In the 1980’s, embroidered labels were replaced by printed labels.


Lindee Bears – Teddy Bear, History, Information

Lindee Bears were made in Sydney, N.S.W. from 1944 to 1976. The name came from a pet name that was used for Mr. and Mrs. Lindenberg. They were made of English mohair, both fully jointed and unjointed, with glass eyes and brown vinyl paw pads. They were labeled with a printed cloth tag bearing a reclining fawn, with the words “Lindee Toys the Prestige Name in Soft Toys,” sewn into the seam of the paw pad. Lindee teddy bears have large noses and mouths sewn in black, some with exaggerated black claws. Lindee bears were made until the company went bankrupt in 1976.

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