Soft and lovable stuffed toys are the most favorite toys of kids of both genders. They are usually the first toy a child gets. Made up of very soft material, they are filled with wool or cotton to give a more soft feeling. There is not a child in the world who wouldn’t like a stuffed toy. Stuffed toys are often made up of cartoon characters and animals. The most famous and adored stuffed toy is the “teddy bear”. The first ever stuffed toy was launched in 1880.
The German Steiff Company launched the first batch of stuffed toys. They got the idea from upholstery used to make seat cushions. Initially the toys were made from scrap material and had a rough surface. Later, in 1903, Mr. Richard Steiff started using plush fabric to make the toys soft and cuddly.
The same year the “teddy bear” was introduced by Morris Michtom. The teddy bear was inspired from a picture made of President Theodore Roosevelt, nicknamed Teddy, which described his bear hunting experience. The teddy bear became the first toy bear that felt gentle and with its innocent looks not only attracted children but also older people.
Adults do not admit their love for a stuffed toy easily but from history we know that they do indeed love them. Many famous people have come forward and accepted the fact that they love their stuffed toys. A famous British poet, Sir John Betjeman, held his teddy bear in his arms as he died and his poetry often consisted of songs of his teddy bear. Many political figures such as Queen Elizabeth and Earl Mountbatten confessed their love of their childhood teddy bears.
In 1993, the beanie babies brand was introduced in the market. This brand contained stuffed animal toys with a huge selection of beanie babies which became an instant hit with the kids and went on for several years. They were introduced at a very low price to promote sales and the name. The production of some beanie babies was stopped and were made collectors item.
In 2005, Ganz created stuffed animals with the name Webkinz. Every stuffed toy by Ganz comes with a special code which allows access to a virtual version of the toy for online play at the Webkinz website.
Next come the Pillow pets. They are a line of folding stuffed toys. These toys can be converted to pillows and back to the stuffed toy using the attached straps or buckles.
The cute cuddly stuffed toys that we know vary in material and design. The design ranges from cartoon characters, animals, creatures to humans. The materials are either cotton or wool, covered with a soft and smooth cloth with a fur-like feeling. In the early years these toys were made by very few manufacturers and there were very few designs. This meant that price was high. But today more and more toy manufacturing companies have introduced themselves in the market, giving more variety at affordable prices.
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