Many of us had a Teddy bear when we were younger, but very few of us had a Steiff bear. The Teddy bear is a little over one hundred years old and the craze was al started by American President Theodore 'Teddy' Roosevelt back in 1902 as a result of his refusal to shoot a bear when he was out hunting. A newspaper cartoon of the event gave Morris Michtom the idea of producing 'Teddy Bear' toys for kids and the whole craze took off from there. Steiff, a German manufacturer, took up the idea and it is their bears that have become the most collectable and the most faked. A genuine Steiff bear has the following characteristics.
• A small button in one of other of the bear's ears
• Sometimes the button is missing but a hole will remain.
• Their bears have long curved limbs with felt pads and out-turned paws and ankles
• They have a seam from ear to ear across the top of the head
• A pronounced hump in their back
Most fakes don't smell old and this is a key test of originality along with the fact that modern materials feel very different. Look out for a lack of wear from years of being cuddled by their young owners.
The enduring appeal of model trains is clearly on display at a sale in Yorkshire on 20 August. Tennants have a toys, models and comics sale on that date at their Auction Cebtre at Leyburn in Nortn Yorkshire and included in the sale are over twenty lots of model trains, mostly Hornby, inclding one lot of 'A Large Collection of Hornby Dublo Trains and Accessories' - this includes twenty five locomotives, forty eight coaches, eighty four wagons, buildings, power units and a large quantity of track, plus a railwayman’s cap and certificate, in eight boxes; the estimate is £400 - £600
There are blogs on just about every subject and it’s surprising how many there are on collectables. A friend just sent me this link to a blog about Star Wars Lego. A recent post concerns what would be the most sought after piece of Star Wars Lego and it is, apparently, the Boba Fett character from Cloud City Set. You learn something new every day...
We all know that anniversaries are a somewhat arbitrary reminder when it comes to collectables, but they do have the advantage of focusing the market on a particular genre or examples. So let’s remember Superman, the first action hero, that started a whole genre of collectables – he’s seventy years old this year.
As a character Superman dates from 1933 when two high school students wrote him into their science fiction fanzine, but to begin with he was a bald baddie! It wasn’t until the summer of 1938 that Action Comics featured the super hero that we kno
w and love, with his shorts over his trousers. This was a reflection of the fashion for belted swimming trunks in the late 1930s. If you ever stumble across a copy of the first issue of Action Comics in near mint condition it will be worth around £1/4 million.