Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Great Steiff Bedtime Story

Steiffgal hopes this post doesn't put readers to sleep, but she just needed to share a very special Steiff treasure she recently welcomed to her collection!

On her Steiff "dream list" since forever, Steiffgal was fortunate enough to "adopt" this unusual vintage walrus Steiff pajama bag over this past summer! This delightful and functional collectible is 45 cm nose to tail; is made from short brown mohair which has been carefully airbrushed on its face, flippers, and tail; and is lined in blue colored silk material. He has a zipper up his belly and is "hollow", meaning that you could indeed store your adult sized pajamas inside of his belly!

Perhaps the most impressive thing about this rarity is his gorgeously detailed face - much like Steiff's classic and well known "Paddy Walrus" but on a very large scale. His fantastic details include googly large pupil'ed plastic eyes, a pink vertically stitched nose detailed with black airbrushing, a copious and fuzzy string beard, and two white wooden tusks. According to the Steiff Sortiment book, this walrus pajama bag was supposedly made from the synthetic dralon, but Steiffgal's is most certainly pure woolen mohair!

This item
was produced from 1962 through 1972 as an exclusive for the high end toy retailer FAO Schwarz. Additionally, this toy store chain had a 20 cm Steiff mohair walrus hand puppet (identical to the pajama bag, just scaled down and in hand puppet form) as an exclusive product in 1962. The pajama bag - (and the puppet, and all other FAO Schwarz/Steiff exclusives at the time) - would have been sold with a small red wooden tag, in addition to their original Steiff identification, stating this exclusivity.

Pajama bags are not produced currently and have always been considered a "novelty" item for Steiff.
However, they were launched in the line almost 80 years ago and have made a few appearances over the years. This first series was produced from 1930 through 1937 and were called "night dress bags". These bags measured 30 cm x 30 cm in size. Square in shape and made of m
ohair, each had a zipper, velvet lining, and featured the head of a famous (at the time) Steiff character sewn onto the corner of the piece. These included Teddy Baby, Bully the Bulldog, Charly the King Charles Spaniel, a Scotty, Molly the Puppy, and Siamy the Siamese cat.

Steiff pajama bags made their next appearance in the 1960's with Zipper Cockie (a cocker spaniel) Zipper Zotty (a Zotty bear) and Zipper Nauty (a polar bear). All were 30 cm, had hollow bodies, were lined in plain cotton material, and closed with a zipper on their bottoms. Cockie and Zotty were made from tipped mohair while Nauty was produced in white dralon. Nauty features long grey felt claws. All were produced in the 1964 through 1966 time frame. Nauty (don't you just love that name, Steiffgal does!) and Zotty are pictured to the left.

As far as Ste
iffgal can tell, pajama bags made their final appearance in the Steiff line from 1970 through 1976. Three models were produced: a Zotty bear, a panda bear, and a rabbit. All were made in washable dralon, had hollow bodies, were lined in plain cotton material, and closed with a strip of Velcro on their bottoms. The panda pajama bag is pictured here to the left. The actual "bag" volume associated with the 1960's and 1970's versions is really quite small - enough to hold the tightly folded nightwear of a toddler!

Readers, that's the end of the bedtime story for now. Thanks for burning the midnight oil and tucking into this review of Steiff pajama bags. Pleasant Steiff dreams, all!

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1 comment:

  1. Since I was a little kid, I dont know why I wasn't able to sleep with toys or puffy bears next to me or in my room, to this date I still cant, my wife sometimes as a joke, leave some things just to make my night a living hell.


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