We all love a rare find, don’t we? Even in toys, many people have a penchant for the vintage pieces and limited edition designs. Apart from their rarity, it’s the story and symbolism that they often hold that draws people in. Take for example the Steiff bears. This toy has taken the world by storm ever since the German company manufactured the very first stuffed animal in the likeness of the aforementioned animal.
If you happen to be a seasoned collector or even one who’s still in the baby steps of it all, we’ve got a list of pro tricks to help you out on your quest. Get your pen and take down notes!
- Know your bears. – It is important to acknowledge that many of these toys were manufactured across various decades for the past century, each one varying not only in the design aesthetic but also in terms of materials used. Research is the number one key to help you find the authentic ones in the market. Check out www.steiffteddybears.co.uk.
- Behold the button in ear. – Also known as the “knopf im ohr”, these button in ears are a signature trademark of the Steiff brand. It is attached to one of the toy’s ears and is one of the three identifiers of authenticity. Like the toys themselves, the knopf im ohr has evolved in design and material over the years so if you want to determine the bear’s age, this would be a huge factor. Moreover, limited editions are often given button in ears made of special materials, gold and Swarovski for example.
- Check the fabric tag. –Details that come with it are the term “made in Germany”, the Steiff logo, EAN number and edition number. Limited editions made specifically for a customer, collaboration or a commemoration come with a white tag that bears red fonts. White tag with black lettering are replicas of old designs from the company’s archives while yellow tags with red font are those manufactured in bulk and have no limitation as to their run. Keep these in mind when you shop.
- Research on the sellers. – When buying limited edition Steiff bears, it is important to consider the quality offered and trustworthiness of the shop or seller. This way, you will be more confident that the toy you are getting is indeed in good condition and legit so don’t procrastinate about this. Read reviews and ask around.