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Steiff Stuffed Animals – Toys to Love for a Lifetime

Steiff Stuffed Animals – Toys to Love for a Lifetime

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Like so many German kids, I was lucky enough to have a few stuffed Steiff Stuffed Animals & Plush toys. A  small Dog with a blue collar and a bell, an Owl, and a Goldfish. One very memorable Christmas, I found a Steiff Bear sitting in the branches of our Christmas Tree. The Owl is still with me today, it sits on the table next to my chair and watches me read. The little dog lives in my daughter’s room, the collar and bell gone, but the dog is still loved. The Goldfish makes an occasional appearance.

When my kids were born, they received Steiff animals from family in Germany… a bear, a lamb, and another bear.

Unlike so many things today, these lovely stuffed toys were designed to last a lifetime, and be enjoyed by generations. These are toys that kids love and remember.

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Steiff Classic 1920 Teddy Bear Light Brown 10Steiff Classic 1920 Teddy Bear Light Brown 10Steiff Classic 1920 Teddy Bear Light Brown 10

A Little Steiff Teddy Bear History

Margarete Steiff was born in Giengen on the Brenz in 1847. As a child, she contracted Polio, and although she lost the use of her legs, and had constant pain in her right hand,  she never slowed down. Her parents and family encouraged her to be strong and independent, and she leaned to get around despite the wheelchair. She initially trained to be a seamstress with her sisters, but found the work frustrating because of the limited strength in her hand.  Undaunted, she took up the Zither, and got good enough to give lessons. All of the work on her beloved instrument helped her overcome the hand weakness. She and her sisters pooled their money, and bought the town’s only sewing machinedj, adjusting it, so that it worked well for her needs. Together with her sisters, they started a tailoring business that grew successful enough so that her father build her own little shop in the family home.

Margarete sewed clothing, and established a business specializing in pieces made from felt, like coats and underskirts. And her little shop thrived.

The first Steiff animal was an elephant. She found a pattern in a sewing magazine that she thought the children would love it as a toy, so she made a few for Christmas presents. Although, it was just a hobby for friends, that first year, 1879, she sold 8 of them (I wonder if those elephants are still out there…?).

Steiff Stuffed Animals Plush Toys

Margarete Steiff- Public Domain

By 1880, Margarete began sewing other animals from patterns in the Modenwelt magazine out of Felt and Mohair, and the Steiff company was founded.  Her toy line included a monkey, camel, donkey, parrot, poodle and of course, a bear. Her brother saw the opportunity in her talents, so he took a sack of her elephants to a market in Heidenheim, and sold out. Orders came in, and by 1886, she had sold 5000 of her little elephants!!

The business was growing like crazy! By 1887 they had 30 employees, and were selling tens of thousands of stuffed toys. Their success meant that there were plenty of imitators, so to prevent confusion, in 1904 her brother Franz trademarked the famous line Steiff- Knopf im Ohr (Steiff- Button in the Ear), and from then all each original Steiff came with a button. Business EXPLODED!

Steiff Button

This Steiff button is on my Owl’s foot

The Steiff Teddy Bear

Margarete’s nephew Richard Steiff went to art school, and his designs were used for many of the stuffed toys. Then in 1902 he sketched out a bear with moveable arms and legs. These extra cuddly bears were covered in soft mohair. Despite her skepticism, they went ahead with the project and took the new bear to the Leipzig Toy Fair. An American buyer bought 3000, and took them to America, where he introduced the bear as “Teddy” Bear, named after President Theodore Roosevelt. After this Steiff became internationally famous.

Sadly, Margarete Steiff developed a lung infection and passed away in 1909.

Steiff Company Today

The Steiff company uses environmentally friendly materials that are tested for allergens and toxins. They weave their own materials to insure quality. “Only the best is good enough for our children” is a motto the company stands by. When you buy a baby toy from Steiff, you can be assured that it is safe and durable enough to last a lifetime…. and maybe even their child’s lifetime.

You can read more about Margarete Steiff and her incredible story on the Steiff Website… 

Sadly my bear was accidentally donated away… (My poor dad may never recover from the tauma of that mistake). Today, I’d like to think that somewhere a child is enjoying it, and that it’s not just sitting on a shelf somewhere… A Steiff Bear is for loving.

In 2015, the Steiff Jubilee Bear celebrated 135 years of Steiff…. The bear holds the original Elephant!

Steiff 135 Year Jubilee Teddy BearSteiff 135 Year Jubilee Teddy Bear

Other Steiff Jubilee Bears

Rare Steiff Bear Limited Edition EAN 665325 The Toy Shoppe and Steiff Teddy Bear Breakfast 2003 Exclusive with Ear Tag and BannerRare Steiff Bear Limited Edition EAN 665325 The Toy Shoppe and Steiff Teddy Bear Breakfast 2003 Exclusive with Ear Tag and BannerRare Steiff Bear Limited Edition EAN 665325 The Toy Shoppe and Steiff Teddy Bear Breakfast 2003 Exclusive with Ear Tag and Banner1997 SIGNED LTD. ED. German Steiff Brown Jubilee 150th Anniversary Bear1997 SIGNED LTD. ED. German Steiff Brown Jubilee 150th Anniversary Bear1997 SIGNED LTD. ED. German Steiff Brown Jubilee 150th Anniversary BearSteiff - Jackie 50 Years Jubilee -1988 Limited EditionSteiff – Jackie 50 Years Jubilee -1988 Limited EditionSteiff - Jackie 50 Years Jubilee -1988 Limited EditionSteiff Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Bear EAN 691393 No. 832Steiff Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Bear EAN 691393 No. 832Steiff Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Bear EAN 691393 No. 832

 

Steiff Stuffed Animals & Plush Toys

Looking for the perfect Steiff Bear?

For Your favorite Child? Or maybe yourself? (I miss my 1920 mohair bear….)

Steiff 14Steiff 14Steiff 14Steiff Classic 1920 Teddy Bear Light Brown 10Steiff Classic 1920 Teddy Bear Light Brown 10Steiff Classic 1920 Teddy Bear Light Brown 10Steiff Luca Teddy Bear 12Steiff Luca Teddy Bear 12Steiff Luca Teddy Bear 12Steiff Mini Teddy Bear 4Steiff Mini Teddy Bear 4Steiff Mini Teddy Bear 4

 

Steiff Vintage Teddy Bear - Soft And Cuddly Plush Animal Toy - 12Steiff Vintage Teddy Bear – Soft And Cuddly Plush Animal Toy – 12Steiff Vintage Teddy Bear - Soft And Cuddly Plush Animal Toy - 12

More Steiff Stuffed Animals & Plush Toys

It isn’t just BEARS… there are so many Steiff animals to choose from…

Steiff Flaps Penguin - Big 28Steiff Flaps Penguin – Big 28Steiff Flaps Penguin - Big 28Steiff 63770 Soft Cuddly Friends Octopus TurquoiseSteiff 63770 Soft Cuddly Friends Octopus TurquoiseSteiff 63770 Soft Cuddly Friends Octopus TurquoiseSteiff 064623 Kango Kangaroo Plush Animal Toy, Beige Tipped 16 inchesSteiff 064623 Kango Kangaroo Plush Animal Toy, Beige Tipped 16 inchesSteiff 064623 Kango Kangaroo Plush Animal Toy, Beige Tipped 16 inchesSteiff 075742 Tuhin Tiger Plush Animal Toy, WhiteSteiff 075742 Tuhin Tiger Plush Animal Toy, WhiteSteiff 075742 Tuhin Tiger Plush Animal Toy, White

 

Steiff JOGGI Hedgehog Plush Animal Toy, BrownSteiff JOGGI Hedgehog Plush Animal Toy, BrownSteiff JOGGI Hedgehog Plush Animal Toy, Brown

Steiff Toys for Babies!

Special Extra Soft and Cuddly

Steiff Baby Teddy and Me Teddy Bear Girl with Pajamas, Beige/PinkSteiff Baby Teddy and Me Teddy Bear Girl with Pajamas, Beige/PinkSteiff Baby Teddy and Me Teddy Bear Girl with Pajamas, Beige/PinkSoft Cuddly Friends Fuzzy LambSoft Cuddly Friends Fuzzy LambSoft Cuddly Friends Fuzzy LambSteiff Soft Cuddly Friends Tilda Rabbit, Pink, 45Steiff Soft Cuddly Friends Tilda Rabbit, Pink, 45Steiff Soft Cuddly Friends Tilda Rabbit, Pink, 45Steiff Soft Cuddly Friends Girta Giraffe #068157Steiff Soft Cuddly Friends Girta Giraffe #068157Steiff Soft Cuddly Friends Girta Giraffe #068157

150 Jubilee Assortment!

To celebrate the 150th Birthday of Margarete Steiff, the Steiff company created a special collectible box made up of stuffed animals like the ones she made when she handled each one personally. (Including that adorable elephant!)

Steiff Jubilee Assortment - 150th Birthday - Margarete SteiffSteiff Jubilee Assortment – 150th Birthday – Margarete SteiffSteiff Jubilee Assortment - 150th Birthday - Margarete SteiffSteiff Jubilee Assortment of Animals for the 150th Birthday of Margarete Steiff, EAN 400285Steiff Jubilee Assortment of Animals for the 150th Birthday of Margarete Steiff, EAN 400285Steiff Jubilee Assortment of Animals for the 150th Birthday of Margarete Steiff, EAN 400285

Vintage Steiff Bears

Ohhh… now I’m even sadder about my bears vanishing!! Some of these are really expensive!
These bears look like they’ve gotten a lot of love.

Antique Steiff Bear,1905 to 1933, Steiff Button, German made antique Bear.Antique Steiff Bear,1905 to 1933, Steiff Button, German made antique Bear.Antique Steiff Bear,1905 to 1933, Steiff Button, German made antique Bear.Antique Vintage Collectible Steiff Original Germany Teddy BearAntique Vintage Collectible Steiff Original Germany Teddy BearAntique Vintage Collectible Steiff Original Germany Teddy BearUS Zone Tagged Early Vintage Steiff Original Teddy Bear w/ IDs, 1950-1953 Art and Collectibles Toy 13US Zone Tagged Early Vintage Steiff Original Teddy Bear w/ IDs, 1950-1953 Art and Collectibles Toy 13″ T, Mohair, 5xJointed, RARE !US Zone Tagged Early Vintage Steiff Original Teddy Bear w/ IDs, 1950-1953 Art and Collectibles Toy 13

 

 

Vintage Steiff Animals

Steiff made a lot more than just bears…I had a bird, a fish and that little doggie!…
LOok! MECKI!!

Steiff Vintage LARGE 28cm Mecki Hedgehog FatherSteiff Vintage LARGE 28cm Mecki Hedgehog FatherSteiff Vintage LARGE 28cm Mecki Hedgehog Father

Vintage Steiff Miniature Cockie the Cocker SpanielVintage Steiff Miniature Cockie the Cocker SpanielVintage Steiff Miniature Cockie the Cocker SpanielSteiff Cat Tabby with ID 1965 to 1971 vintage 4 inches tallSteiff Cat Tabby with ID 1965 to 1971 vintage 4 inches tallSteiff Cat Tabby with ID 1965 to 1971 vintage 4 inches tallOriginal Steiff cuddly toy / plush toy Bully bulldog, 17 cm. Material: mohair plush. 1952 - 1974 Made in Germany. VINTAGE toy collectibleOriginal Steiff cuddly toy / plush toy Bully bulldog, 17 cm. Material: mohair plush. 1952 – 1974 Made in Germany. VINTAGE toy collectibleOriginal Steiff cuddly toy / plush toy Bully bulldog, 17 cm. Material: mohair plush. 1952 - 1974 Made in Germany. VINTAGE toy collectibleSteiff Cat Bandsman with Drum Golden Age Of The Circus Limited Edition 012219 #193Steiff Cat Bandsman with Drum Golden Age Of The Circus Limited Edition 012219 #193Steiff Cat Bandsman with Drum Golden Age Of The Circus Limited Edition 012219 #193Vintage Steiff Giraffe with Original Tags and Button on Ear, Made in GermanyVintage Steiff Giraffe with Original Tags and Button on Ear, Made in GermanyVintage Steiff Giraffe with Original Tags and Button on Ear, Made in Germany

 

 


Steiff Stuffed Animals Plush Toys

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