Thursday, June 25, 2009

Doesn't Take Much To Bug Steiffgal

Ladybugs are considered really auspicious, and that's the way Steiffgal felt when she received this inquiry from a reader concerning one of her family treasures. Take a look at this note from Paula, who writes from Brooklyn, NY.


I would like information on age/value of my Steiff ladybug pull toy. It measures approx 22" long and 16" wide, all four wheels are marked Steiff 80, it has glass eyes and plastic antennae. There is the remnant of a tag, but it doesn't have any writing on it. There is some wear to the top but none anywhere else.

I know you can't appraise, but I would really appreciate a "ballpark" valu
e if possible.

Thanks for your time.


Paula, your question literally "transports" Steiffgal to a long ago time and place. What you have here is called Reit-Marienkaefer, or Riding Ladybird. This well known toddler toy is made from red, black, and white mohair. It is quite solidly built for hands-on play with a metal frame and black grip handle. He has footrests and a pull-type front steering. Post war, this model was produced from 1950 through 1990. Riding Ladybird has rubber type tires from 1950 to 1966; from 1967 onward he has plastic tires. Your model, with rubber tires, dates your particular piece in the earlier production time frame.

Steiff has featured ladybirds, or ladybugs, in their line since about 1914. As a matter of fact, the earliest reference Steiffgal can find to ladybirds in the Steiff catalog is a 15 cm felt ladybug on wheels that doesn't appear all that much different than your piece under discussion, just smaller. Your postwar piece is almost identical in size and appearance to a ride-on ladybug that Steiff produced from 1939 through 1941, except for slight differences in the wheel construction.

Paula, you requested a ballpark value for your Reit-Marienkaefer. As always, Steiffgal is not an appraiser and strongly believes that something is "worth" what someone else will pay for it. Additionally, poor economic times tend to favor buyers over sellers. That all being said, Steiffgal recently saw a similar item sell at auction for about $100.

Thanks for rolling along with Steiffgal concerning this lovely ladybug; she hopes that this information is helpful moving forward!

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  1. Hey Dear,

    I am from Germany and I really like your page.
    I want so much a Ladybug Pull Toy, do you know if and where I can get one?


  2. Hey it's me again. Maybe you'll have an idea where to get one. It would be very nice if you let me know. My Mailaddress:


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