Teddy Bear is popular for people all around the world for over one century. Steiff has been the top choice of excellent quality in this one hundred years. The special “golden buckle on the ear“ is well recognized for its symbol and by all Teddy Bear collectors in the world.
Over 130 years – The reputable boutique Teddy Bear
Margarete Steiff GmbH was established in 1880 by its founder Margarette Steiff. From the beginning Margarette Steiff was determined to produce only products with best quality. All sorts of stuffed toys such as gorilla, donkey, pony, and camel were extremely popular. Especially elephant toy designed by Margarete Steiff herself was sold thousands of pieces. It was a remarkable record at that time in Germany.
However, the virtual magnificent age of Steiff Company started from 1902. Teddy Bear of Steiff was created. Margarette’s nephew Richard Steiff, graduating from the School of Arts and Crafts in Stuttgart, Germany, designed a Teddy Bear („Bear 55 PB“) with moveable limbs. The best mohair plush was used as its material. After the Teddy Bear was brought to attend Leipzig Toy Fair, it was a huge hit. An American businessman ordered 3000 pieces of the Teddy Bear and followed year doubled number. However, the sale became very successful after the businessman named the bear toy „Teddy“ after the name of American President Theodore Roosevelt. Since 1902, Steiff Teddy Bear holds the best standard and reputation. Not only it is the best choice of children’s first toy but also the favourite brand of collectors.
The premier material and quality
Since 1902 there are only three types of material when Steiff manufacture its own products-mohair from Duisburg, treasure alpaca hair, and three-dimensional woven technical textiles of web plush.
Each of the material has its own characteristics. Mohair from Duisburg has been the main material used by Steiff because of its excellent spinning quality. Moreover the mohair after dozens of years does not colour-fade, harden, and fall off. This is the main reason why Steiff Teddy Bear is still shining and soft like a new one after many years.
Alpaca hair is considered top of the most luxurious textile material in the world. Steiff toys made with alpaca hair are especially soft and durable. The adorable colour lasts forever. Alpaca hair is usually longer than normal wool. It made Steiff toys further expressive.
Three-dimensional woven technical textile was introduced last half century. It has been the main material for Steiff toys for babies. Textiling with three-dimensional woven makes the toys even more expressive than mohair and alpaca hair. Because the textile was manufactured artificially, the order of fibre is even more regular. Through extremely rigid examination of chemicals, babies can contact with them intimately. There is no worry of any allergic reactions.
Traditional craft- every each stitch
German’s sophisticated production standards are world-famous. Steiff has been the best manufactures as a heritage of 100 years. Most of the factory workers working in Steiff factories are generations of family. The generations inherit not only the techniques of toy-making, but also the cultural history of Steiff. Even in the new Steiff toys Steiff, one can sense nostalgic elements of Steiff’s profound history.
In 2005 Steiff Company established a factory in China to reduce costs. After only four years, they decided to withdraw. Because of the strict manufacture requirements and the relative cost of logistics, the factory in China not only did not save Steiff from costs but due to the low quality of labeling it increased the costs. Paying attention to details is one of the most familiar process in Steiff’s manufacturing. The fast turnover of the factory in China did match Steiff’s concept of management because each new employee must be trained at least three months. As the manager said ”Every millimeter difference of the position of a glass eyeball would make a cute Teddy Bear into silly-looking.”
It is not difficult to tell that the high standards and persistence are the traditional heritage of Steiff’s craft.
Repetitive examination- golden ear buckle
Every single Steiff’s toy, for instance a Teddy Bear, has to go through at least thirty different examinations from design to finished product. Any mistakes such as an extra stitch on the nose fail the examinations. That is why the factory in China had increased the cost of manufacturing instead. Not only the examinations of details, Steiff Teddy Bear must as well, pass various tests like extrusion, tension, and tearing. After all the examinations, a Steiff Teddy Bear is qualified with a tiny golden ear buckle.
Golden ear buckle – the most reputed collection value
The golden ear buckle is the specific patent logo of Steiff, as well as the guarantee document. At the front side, there is the registered patent logo. On the back site, there is information of specific code, produced amount, the quality guarantee year. There are three Steiff golden ear buckle: the yellow tag with red prints meaning it is not limited produced, the white tag with red prints meaning it is limited edition in the world, which on the back states how many were produced in which year, the what tag with black prints meaning it is the limited classic Steiff’s toys and will now re-produce in many years.
This specific golden ear buckle has made Steff’s teddy bear the most popular collection. For instance in 1989, a very rare red Steiff Teddy Bear named Afnor was collected into a museum with a value of 10.21 thousand pounds.
In 1994, a cinnamon colour Steiff Teddy Bear recorded 110 thousand pounds in Christies auction in the world. In 2000, a limited cooperation design by Luis Vuitton made a 213720 Euro record. The same year in December, a black Steiff Teddy Bear (600 made to commemorate Titanic) was sold with a price of 91.75 thousand pounds. Above records have shown how treasure Steiff Teddy Bears is. As an investment, it is the most valuable Teddy Bear. Meanwhile you will find it the most precious Teddy Bear that you would ever have.