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Steiff Teddy Bears

Famous for teddy bears

Steiff Teddy BearsThe German-based soft toy company, Steiff is one, if not the most famous teddy bear and toy makers in the world. Founded by Margarete Steiff in 1880, the company originally made toys in a variety of animal designs, yet they are particularly well known for their high quality Steiff teddy bears.

How it all began

The foundations for Steiff were first laid when Margarete Steiff created a pin cushion in the shape of a small stuffed elephant.

Diagnosed with child paralysis following an illness when she was only 18 months old, Margarete Steiff’s story is one of remarkable determination and courage. Against the odds, Margarete finished school and trained as a seamstress, before founding her own felt clothing business in 1877.

In 1879, Margarete created the elephant pin cushion, which soon became popular as a child’s toy. A year later, Steiff manufacturing was founded to respond to the demand for Margarete’s stuffed toys, which soon expanded beyond elephants.

Only the best

From the beginning, Margaret’s motto was ‘for children, only the best is good enough!’. It is a philosophy that has been observed throughout the company’s history. Today, Steiff is known throughout the world for the incredibly high quality of its soft toys and teddy bears.

The famous Steiff trademark

To set their high quality products apart from other would-be toy manufacturers, Franz Steiff created the famous sign – the ‘Steiff – Button in Ear’. This unmistakable brand is still seen today, with every Steiff teddy bear and soft toy wearing the button tag in its ear.

Sadly Margarete Steiff died in 1909 at the age of 61, but her nephews took over the company, maintaining its reputation and focus on quality. In the 1980s the Steiff museum opened in Giengen, which has evolved over the years into today’s ‘experience’ museum, ‘The World of Steiff’.

Steiff collectibles

Original Steiff bears remain extremely collectible. In fact Steiff bears have been sold at auction for many thousands of pounds, including the 1904 Teddy Girl, which was bought by the Japanese Izu Teddy Bear Museum for £110,000 in 1994.

To celebrate its 125 anniversary, Steiff also created the most expensive, brand new teddy bear for sale. At £43,000 the teddy bear had eyes made of emerald and diamond, a solid gold mouth and fur of spun gold.

However, it’s possible to own an original Steiff teddy bear without spending so much money! Take a look at our range of Steiff teddy bears, Steiff animals, Steiff Baby bears and Steiff teddy bears in suitcases. Alternatively view all Steiff teddy bears.

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