Saturday, June 13, 2009

Gone But Certainly Not Forgotten

Steiffgal's ears certainly perked up when she got this nostalgic inquiry from a reader from Toronto. Take a read here, do you know what she is looking for?

Nancy writes...

"I purchased a Steiff pom pom rabbit in the early 70's, as a child. (I saved a while for it.) It has a cream white body, black ears and feet, and partial black face. I never played with it, I kept it safe. When my son was a toddler, he must have been playing with it and dropped it in the laundry basket. I didn't realize until it was too late. I have kept him, but he is a little warped, and his whiskers were wrecked. I have periodically looked for a replacement, but there appears to be a short supply. Do you have any hints as to where to look? I live in Toronto, Canada. Thanks for any advice you might have."

Nancy, your story really brings back happy memories. When Steiffgal was a little girl in the 1970's (she thinks we are about the same age...) she also collected and cherished Steiff woolies as well as the little Steiff "bendy bears", which she would receive for birthdays and special events. Not to make anyone feel old here, but unfortunately neither is being
manufactured today.

Take a look here at this picture of a woolie rabbit from Steiffgal's collection. This model is called "Woll-Hase" or woolen rabbit. Steiffgal believes that this might be the product you are describing in your email. She has felt ears, glass pupil eyes, mono-filament whiskers, a tiny airbrushed pink mouth, a swivel head, and petite pom pom feet. Rabbit was manufactured in three sizes: 4, 6, and 8 cm. This model was produced prewar from 1931 through 1942 and postwar from 1949 through 1984. Postwar, she was produced in all white (albino, with pink eyes), white/beige, light brown/white, grey/white, and black/white.

Please also note the original attached price tag still on the bunny's foot... she was $2.00 at Bloomingdale's in 1967, which translates into about $12.78 today.

Woolen miniatures are a legacy product for Steiff. Many collectors caught the "collecting bug" from them, as their relatively low price made them more accessible than their higher priced Teddy and animal cousins. Six breeds of birds as woolen miniatures made their debut in the 1931 catalog. This introduction proved really successful, and Steiff introduced rabbits, cats, mice, mice, monkeys, ducks, and other popular breeds in 1934. Steiff produced these woolen miniatures through 1943. They began producing them again in 1949; they appeared in the catalog through the early 1980's.

As for finding a replacement for your childhood purchase, the very best recommendation Steiffgal has is to go online and search eBay and other websites that sell vintage Steiff. Steiffgal does not in any way endorse any particular vendor, and cannot give an opinion on service and price. However, she did find this rabbit for sale online (click here to link to the listing); is this your old friend?

Nancy, I hope this information is helpful and gets you a hop, skip, and a jump closer to finding your childhood treasure.

Have a question about one of your Steiff treasures? Let's talk! Click here to learn more.

1 comment:

  1. I have been doing research on these. I grew up in the eighties, and I had a grey one. I didn't remember that the head swiveled. I was wondering if maybe mine was an imposter? Were there Steiff pom pom bunny imitators around the early eighties?


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