Friday, July 20, 2012

An International Steiff Unboxing Celebration!

Everyone loves a surprise package - especially when the contents are most certainly made by Steiff!  Steiffgal recently had the pleasure of receiving a big brown shipping box full of goodies from overseas.  Take a look here to witness firsthand the "unboxing" of several "button-in-ear" treasures... which is YOUR favorite?

It's easy to see why the first item could cause "panda" - monium with some collectors.  Here we have Steiff's beloved 35 cm five ways jointed early postwar panda.  This particular model was made in 15, 22, 28, 35, 43, and 50 cm from 1951 through 1961. He is made from black and white mohair and has an open, peach colored felt lined mouth.  His face is detailed with brown and black pupil eyes and a black hand embroidered nose; the black circles around his eyes are airbrushed.  It is interesting to note that with this particular model, the 15 cm sizes have a black mohair upper back area; sizes larger than 15 cm have upper back areas that are made from white mohair that are airbrushed black.  Additionally, this panda was produced with grey felt paw pads from 1951 through 1956 and suede-like grey rubber material paw pads from 1956 onward.  This particular panda, with his felt feet, was produced in the earlier part of the production time frame. 

Hopefully you listened closely to the description of the second "unboxing" treasure.  This is a 25 cm version of Nipper, the Elektrola Fox, one of the early logos behind the media company now known as RCA. Nipper was produced by Steiff in 12, 17, 25 centimeters from 1968 through 1974. He was also made in a rare 45-cm display size studio piece in 1968 only.  This precious pooch is sitting and unjointed. His body is made from white dralon which is punctuated with a few brown and black spots. His ears are brown mohair; one is supposed to be down while the other is playfully and purposefully pointing upward.  His face is detailed with large black and brown pupil eyes and a sweet black hand embroidered nose and mouth.  His head is tilted off slightly to the side, as if he is listening to something... yes, that would be "his master's voice!" 

Although Nipper as a logo debuted more than 100 years ago, and is only used today as part of the marketing behind HMV stores in Europe and the UK, this cute canine is almost universally recognized and is considered to be one of the top 10 famous brands of the 20th century. 

The third treasure in this unboxing adventure is certainly a charmer.  Of course, here we have a precious and toddler-esque proportioned 50 cm Steiff Zotty.  Zotty was one of the first new bear designs introduced after the Second World War, in 1951. He has appeared in the line, in one form or another, almost continuously since then. The early 1950's were an amazingly busy time at Steiff, as the company looked to rebuild its pre-war reputation for quality, while at the same time introduce new, innovative, contemporary designs to an expanding global marketplace. Zotty’s debut was one of the most significant efforts towards those goals. The original, mid-century Zotty was primarily made from brown tipped mohair and was five-ways jointed. He was produced in nine sizes, ranging from 17 through 100 centimeters. To “qualify” as a Zotty, a Steiff Teddy bears needed these three things: an open felt lined mouth; a front insert bib made of a complementary colored mohair to his body; and of course, be made from very shaggy material.

Zotty was an overnight success, and became an extremely popular Teddy bear amongst European youngsters from the mid 1950s onward. His design and endearing facial expression proved irresistible and comforting; many European toy manufacturers introduced copycat Zotty-looking Teddy bears as a result of his sales success. As Zotty’s popularity grew, so did his range in the Steiff line. Steiff seized on his appeal and created him in many forms over the next 20 years, including a sleeping animal, a playful floor friend, a pajama bag, and a long legged lulac animal, called Zolac, among other items. In 1960, a white mohair version in 28 and 35 cm was introduced, but only stayed in the line for one year. 

Steiffgal hopes you have been able to contain yourself in regards to this international "unboxing" celebration. 

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

1 comment:

  1. I think I posted over a year ago...wish I'd kept all those wonderful Steiff...and Zotty...thanks for sharing SG...wonderful...


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