FAO Schwarz Bears – Teddy Bear, History, Information

FAO Schwarz is one of the oldest and largest toy retailers in the world and opened their first outlet in 1862. Many of the F.A.O. Schwarz teddy bears are commissioned from other leading manufacturers like Steiff and American bear artist John Wright who was granted the exclusive rights from the Walt Disney Company to make Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin and Piglet in a limited edition of 250 for FAO Schwarz in 1994 called Wintertime Pooh and Piglet.

Other well known FAO Schwarz bears include The Golden Gate bear developed to commemorate the opening of F.A.O. Schwarz’s new store in San Francisco in 1989. Another is “Truffles” made of synthetic fur made to resemble old mohair.


Plummer Wandless & Co. Bears – Teddy Bear, History, Information

Plummer Wandless & Co. was formed by Daphne Plummer and her husband John in 1944 after she took apart a toy rabbit to see how it was made. She began making bears for a little extra money and was quite successful. After her husband got out of the Army after World War II, he saw the potential in making bears and quit his job in the furniture trade. Along with his friend Dudley Wandless, they started their business in 1946. They were producing around 24 different designs within 10 years. The teddy bears were made from John’s designs using pastel dyed sheepskin with a silky gloss. The first toys were hand stitched but later they used machines. By 1967, they were producing around 70,000 bears. The business was sold in 1971 after Daphne died.


Pixie Toys Bears – Teddy Bear, History, Information

Pixie Toys was founded in the 1930’s by the wives of two glass manufacturers in Stourbridge. To earn a little extra money during hard times, they started a soft toy company with the first bears being made at home and later at their husbands’ glassworks. They hired a designer, Mrs. Elizabeth Simmonds who used to work for Norah Wellings and Merrythought. Her influence can be seen in the webbed claw stitching. When the family retired at the end of the 1930’s, Elizabeth Simmonds bought the company along with her business partner, Major Brittle. The company went into decline and was took over again in 1955 and later closed in 1962.


Cimarron Lang Bears – Cimarron Bear Collection Teddy Bear, History, Information

Cimarron Lang is a teddy bear artist from Wellington, New Zealand and makes bears under the name Cimarron Bear Collection. All of her bears are handmade, original designs. The most common size is 16 inches but they can range from 6 inches to 35 inches. Typical Cimarron Lang bears are made of mohair, have traditional glass eyes, wooden joints, felt pads, embroidered noses, with a hump on its back. Most are filled with wool flock or pellets and dressed in historical costumes. She has created a number of character bears and also produced a number of teddy bear scenes including “The Painters and Decorators”.

One of Cimarron Lang more popular bears is the award winning “Captain Cook,” which is a fully dressed bear, holding a map and standing in front of the New Zealand flag.


Mayumi Watanabe Bears – Mammie Teddy Bear, History, Information

Mayumi Watanabe is a teddy bear artist from Tokyo, Japan and makes bears under the name Mammie bears. She began making teddy bears when she was only 17 years old and still in high school in 1990. Her designs are based on vintage bears but uses some personal touches working a long time on the face. She has won many awards for her bears in both the United States and Japan. Typical Mammie Bears have long limbs, are made with antique mohair fur, ribbon and eyes and stuffed with wood wool or excelsior and usually come undressed with few accessories. Mammie Bears are also produced in very limited numbers.


Miyuki Wada Bears – Miyuki Teddy Bear, History, Information

Miyuki Wada is a teddy bear artist from Ashiya City, Japan and makes bears under the name Miyuki Bears. She started making bears in 1983 after her husband returned from the United States with a bear for her. She made her first bear for her baby, with the body of yellow toweling and wooden buttons for its joints and a small music box in the tummy. To date, she has created over 400 designs that she works on late at night while her children sleep and each new bear spends it’s first night with her children. Typical Miyuki teddy bears are made from European mohair and cotton plush and come with clothes and accessories. Two of her more popular teddy bears are “Popo”, and “Percy”.


Mary Kelly Bears – Teddy Bear, History, Information

Mary Kelly is a teddy bear artist from Cape Town, South Africa and opened her own shop, Bear Basic shop in Simons Town in 1990, which she runs with her daughter and a close friend. They specialize in making old fashioned teddy bears based on traditional designs. They design and make all their own patterns. Typical Mary Kelly bears are made from a velour cotton upholstery fabric and imported acrylic golden fur pile and sometimes mohair. They’re available in different sizes, have movable joints, sewn through glass eyes, hand embroidered mouths and claws, and felt paw pads and noses.


Vera And Verena Bears – Teddy Bear, History, Information

Vera and her daughter Verena are teddy bear artists from Neunkirchen, Germany. Vera starting making and selling bears at small doll fairs after taking a course in bear making in Germany. Verena was badly injured in an accident and since then has been making bears for a living. Along with her daughter, they have made hundreds of bears selling them at fairs and markets and attending competitions. They also sell their bears via their mail order business. Typical Vera and Verena bears are one of a kinds using high quality materials and come dressed in lavish costumes and often with little toys.


Ineke Teddybaren Bears – Teddy Bear, History, Information

Ineke is a teddy bear artist from Munich, Germany and makes bears under the name Teddybaren. She started making bears in 1990 after a bear making course inspired her to create her own bears. She usually creates her own designs and clothes as well. Typical Ineke teddy bears are hand sewn, made of quality mohair or plush, have black hand blown eyes and black embroidered noses. Each bear is a limited edition with no more than five of one design ever made and no two are exactly the same.


Heidrun Winkler Bears – Drune Baren Teddy Bear, History, Information

Heidrun Winkler is a teddy bear artist from Schwalbach, Germany and makes bears under the name Drune Baren. She has collected teddy bears since she was a child and wanted to make teddy bears once her mother in law started making them. She designed her first pattern in 1992 and has created many shapes including short and long noses, small or big feet, bent or straight legs, all with happy faces. Typical Heidrun Winkler bears are made of English mohair, German cotton plush, alpaca and sometimes synthetic materials. Paws are made of felt, Ultrasuede or leather and the eyes made of glass. She’s also experimenting with growlers, musical boxes and movements. The bears are usually limited editions between five and twenty. Drune Baren can be found in Germany, Europe, Australia and the United States. Two of her more popular bears are “Sunny”, the first bear she ever made and “Kasmir”.

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