Saturday, December 30, 2017

Welcoming 2018 With These Once In A Blue Moon Steiff Rarities


You've probably heard the expression, "once in a blue moon." This phrase is meant to indicate that something happens extremely infrequently, and specifically refers to periods when two full moons occur in the same month. Well, 2018 greets us with two full moons in January, hopefully signaling auspicious things on the horizon for everyone on the cusp of the new year.

To celebrate this special occurrence, and to welcome 2018 in the warmest way possible, please say hello to five "once in a blue moon" Steiff finds. These characters are quite unusual (at least to Steiff enthusiasts here in the United States) and demonstrate Steiff's enormous talents in bringing fictional characters to life. Perhaps they will send you over the moon as well! 

You can't help but dig this first "blue moon" find. Here we have Max Mole. He is 15 cm, standing, unjointed, and made from brown woven fur. His feet are flat, cardboard lined, and enable him to stand. They are made from brown faux leather, much like the soles on the feet on Steiff's standing Zooby the circus bear. He has four felt claws on each hand. His prominent snout has been slightly sheared, then painted a salmon pink. His nose is made from felt, and he has simple black button eyes. He dons a yellow plastic "hard hat" emblazoned with a DB logo; it is visually secured to his head via a black painted strap. This hard working mole was produced in 1999 only as an advertising specialty for Deutsche Bahn, the German railway company headquartered in Berlin.

All that glistens is not gold - but in this situation - it is "Goldi." This petite treat is 15 cm, standing, unjointed, and made from soft plush. Her fabulous and largely scaled head is made from SEVEN different materials, including five colors of short plush, one color of long plush, and felt - for her prominent teeth! Her eyes are simple black buttons and she has black whiskers. Goldi is dressed to the nines in removable clothing including a teal velour shirt and yellow cotton overalls featuring the Commerzbank logo. This precious gem was made in 2007 for Commerzbank, a global financial services company that was founded in 1870 and has its headquarters in Frankfurt. 

It is interesting to note that Steiff also produced a 32 cm Goldi the Hamster in 1978-1980 for Commerzbank. This happy hamster is best known as the mascot of Germany’s “Kinder-Verkehrs-Club” or “Children’s Traffic Club” which was sponsored by Commerzbank over time. This countrywide program was launched in 1976 and ran until 1997. The goal of the program was to help parents of three to six year old children teach their youngsters about road and traffic safety.

Things are twice as nice with this next pair of rarities. Here we have two very playful Steiff dragons. They are both sitting, unjointed, and made from soft yellow plush. Their bellies are white while their wings, back scales, inner ears, and open mouths are orange plush. Their blue tongues are made from felt and their cartoonish eyes are machine embroidered. Each has two sets of arms. The larger one stands 26 cm tall, while the smaller one, which has a keyring attached to it, is 14 cm tall. They bear the GVS logo and are the company's natural gas mascots. Given their form and IDs, this dragon duo was most likely made within the last few years. GVS is short for GasVersorgung Süddeutschland GmbH; they are one of Germany's largest gas companies. According to their website, they "supply natural gas to public utilities companies, regional gas suppliers, industrial customers and power stations both within Germany and abroad."

Next in this monster-mashup is this fine green hand puppet, also in the form of a dragon. This lean green machine is 35 cm tall and made from trivera velvet. His body is green, his wings are pink, his ears are blue, and his mouth is peach colored. He is detailed with green felt back scales, grey faux suede "hair", and oversized black and white google style plastic eyes. You can open and close his huge mouth from inside his hollow body. This playful puppet was made in 1991 as a promotional item for the printer Oldenburg, which is now part of the De Gruyter group. This large publishing house is headquartered in Berlin and has a company history that goes back over 260 years!

Now for a refreshing change, please consider this last "blue moon" Steiff selection. Here we have a very chubby, cartoon looking 30 cm unicorn called "Fritz Horn." This name appears on his yellow Steiff ear tag. His unjointed body is made from white velour and his feet are made from black fabric. His tail and back mane are made from black spotted white velour. His eyes, nose, and mouth are machine embroidered in black. And what's that thing on his head? Why it’s a black velour "fritz-kola" bottle horn, of course! This black and white beauty was made in 2016 for the Hamburg based Fritz Kola company, which was started in 2002 by two childhood friends. This quirky, playful European specialty brand is "mainly known for its high caffeine content (about 25 mg per 100 mL) and its strong lemon flavour as well as its distinctive glass bottles," according to its website.

Steiffgal hopes this review of "once in a blue moon" rarities helps your stars align for a very happy and healthy 2018.  

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

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