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A Brief History of Modern Stuffed Animals

From the enormous choice of stuffed animals available today~currently available~on the market today} you’d think that the stuffed animal craze has been going on for generations.But the serge in popularity of stuffed animals only started in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s with the stuffed bear. Most mass-produced stuffed animals only have been available since the early 1950’s.

Today, virtually every young child has a stuffed animal they consider one of their best friends. Many children have several, possibly even dozens upon dozens of stuffed animals! Although most stuffed animals are created to be a comforting friend for children, many lines of stuffed animals are getting to be collectable and can move up in value over the years. This had made them entertaining and collectable for adults as well.

The stuffed animal craze began in the usa with the Teddy Bear named after president Teddy Roosevelt and an infamous hunting trip he made.

One of the first companies to sell stuffed animals was Steiff. Started by Margerete Steiff as a hobby in the late 1800’s they have become one of the most recognized manufacturers of top quality stuffed bears. Steiff now produces well over one million stuffed animals a year. You’ll know a Steiff when you see it by the signature “button” ear.

Since that time lots of other companies have started making stuffed animals of various kinds from dogs, cats and horses, to plush dolls, as well as sock monkeys. Along with conventional stuffed animals, you’ll now see dinosaurs, dragons, unicorns, monsters, even microbes are now on the scene.

One of several leading manufacturers of stuffed animals in the US is GUND. GUND was founded by German immigrant Adolph Gund in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1898. GUND was one of the first companies to create and produce teddy bears in the early 1900’s. Today, the company manufactures an extensive collection of unique characters and licensed plush under the GUND, GUNDbaby and GUNDKids brands.

Other United states companies making stuffed animals are Douglas Cuddle Company which is a family owned and operated business since 1956. Douglas produces realistic looking stuffed animals and several other unique designs. Ty Stuffed animals were started by Ty Warner in 1983 and is the creator of Beanie Babies. Beanie Babies started showing up in stores in 1994 at a price of $5 and brand new ones were released every 6 months by 1995 Beanie Babies had stared a collection frenzy and dealers were having a hard time keeping them in stock.

One of the newer stuffed animal companies on the scene is Jellycat. Jellycat was established in London in 1999. Jellycat produces and distributes very unique, sophisticated high-quality soft stuffed animals as well as other soft toys. They’ve got interesting names which include bunglie, junglie and truffles. They use materials and patterns motivated by the fashion scene.

Today there are literally thousands of stuffed toys to choose from and several materials that are being used to make them, from man made to organic. There are even many lines that are produced specifically for animals themselves for instance cat and dog toys!

Stuffed animals are perfect gifts for any age. Boy or girl, young or old, they are sure to warm your heart.

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