Saturday, January 30, 2010

The 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Steiff Style

The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver are just around the corner and soon the world will be captivated by the magic that comes with this international sporting event and all its pageantry. Steiffgal has many fond memories of watching the winter Olympics on TV when she was a little girl. She recalls with great pleasure (and so will readers of a certain age) watching ice skater Dorothy Hamill charm the world with both her athleticism and haircut in 1976, the US Hockey Team's "Miracle on Ice" in 1980, and Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean's "perfect" ice dancing duet in 1984.

As they d
o for most major events, Steiff has created a special 2010 Teddy in honor of the Vancouver games. "Skater Girl" teddy is 30 cm, five ways jointed, and made from soft brass color mohair. She is dressed for the rink in a lovely lacy dress, short underpants, and perfectly scaled skating shoes. She has the words "Vancouver" and "2010" embroidered on her felt soles. Skater Girl is being produced as a limited edition for Japan in an edition size of 1,000. For English speaking friends, she can be special ordered through the web retailer Bear Attack; she is also featured in Japanese on the website of the Steiff Shop Ginza for readers in Asia.

To help get into the upcoming Olympic spirit, let's take a lo
ok at three prize worthy sports themed vintage Steiff athletes that could easily win medals in a global collectibles contest! Each of these jocks is designed for an actual designated winter Olympic event. So let's let the games begin!

Bronze medal
winner: Hockey has been played at the Olympic level since 1920 and is the event of national pride for many countries participating in the winter games. "Check" out this sporty Hockey Spieler Baer or Hockey Player Bear. Wouldn't you select him for your team?

Teddy is 30 cm tall and made from dolan, a synthetic fiber. His face, paws, and feet are brown. His face is rather "Zotty"-like with its prominent nose and open mouth which is lined in peach felt. Teddy's body is blue, and made to look like he is wearing an athletic uniform. His upper arms have red and white trim around them, much like a hockey sweater. (Steiffgal believes that the number "3" on his sweater was added by a previous owner - maybe in tribute to a favorite "real life" hockey hero - professional or perhaps familial.) He also dons removable red felt shorts that are detailed with blue and white trim - much like his arms. Hockey Player Bear was produced from 1972 through 1975.

Silver medal winner: Snowboarding is a relatively new Olympic event, having made its official debut in 1998. Steiff honors this modern sport with this rather contemporary Fulda Snowboarder.

This bruin has it all
- winning looks and a "conquer the mountain" attitude. Snowboarding Teddy is 18 cm and made from jet black mohair. He is five ways jointed, has brown pupil eyes, and the most handsome silver-grey nose, mouth, and claw stitching. He even has a tiny horizontal stitch in a slightly darker grey color across his nose, reminiscent of the nose treatment on Steiff's well known Jackie bear. Snowboarding Teddy wears a matching red and black microfiber jacket and pants set, which is detailed with numerous Steiff and Fulda patches. (Fulda is a German tire manufacturer that has done numerous outdoor and winter-themed projects with Steiff.) He comes compete with a fast and furious black and white Fulda-branded snowboard. Teddy was produced as a white and red tag limited edition of 1,500 pieces in 2003.

Gold medal winner: Olympic skiing sports include alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, cross country skiing, and Nordic combined events. This snow bunny gets Steiffgal's vote for Steiff's best winter Olympian - even though his specialty is most likely Apr├Ęs-ski!

Here we
have Rico Hase or Rico Rabbit. Rico is 43 cm tall and five ways jointed. His head and ears are made from short white mohair, while his hands feet, and tail are made from long mohair. His body is constructed from red dralon made to look like an all-in-one skisuit; this is detailed with white and blue felt striping on the edges. Rico has a cheerful, goofy face; he has a smiling open mouth lined in peach felt, blue and black googly eyes, a pink, "V" shaped embroidered nose, and mono-filament whiskers. He is detailed with a matching blue felt scarf and hat. The hat is finished with a large white pom-pom which has the density and consistency of one of Steiff's woolie birds or bunnies. Doesn't he look like an athletic version of Steiff's beloved Lulac rabbit?

Rico as you see him here was produced from 1972 through 1974 for the worldwide market; he was also produced with a pair of wooden skis exclusively for the US market in 1972. A Rico in mint condition with his skis sold for 300 euro (approximately $420) at the 2005 Steiff Festival auction in Giengen, Germany.

Steiffgal hopes this Steiff themed Olympic overview has pumped you up for 17 fabulous days of top-tier international competition and breathtaking performances - as well as the opportunity for global brotherhood and goodwill.

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

1 comment:

  1. I was so thrill that I could go to those Olympics, they were spectacular, some amazing athletes were there, it was an amazing experience. sv77


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