The tradition of Steiff

We received a two Steiff friends this year to review in addition to the half a dozen we purchased on our own. As always, we fell in love and couldn’t wait to share our love of the brand and the tradition of Steiff.

You may not know Steiff by name, but my guess is that you would immediately recognize their handcrafted bears and friends with the iconic “Button in Ear” {or, rather “Knopf Im Ohr”}. I vividly remember the first time I saw a Steiff display when I was little and was absolutely taken with the intricate details. But, as much as I coveted one, I didn’t own my own Steiff friend until around 2001.

The tradition of Steiff

Because of that love that started when I was young, I knew my kids would all have a special Steiff of their own. Little did I know that our tradition of Steiff for Christmas, Easter, and birthdays would eventually be 13 years strong. In the years we’ve been collecting Steiff as a family, the kids have amassed a large collection of adorable friends that fill me with joy each time I look at them.

2020 Steiff collection

This year, Steiff has outdone themselves. I typically have a half dozen favorites each season and we can easily narrow down our choices based on the children’s interests at the time. This year, however, the list just kept going.

New to Steiff is the National Geographic collection of high-end plush that can be for collecting or playing. With tons of animals both common and exotic to choose from, you are sure to find a few you love. We absolutely love the new National Geographic Magda Masai Giraffe and the National Geographic Fox plush that would be perfect on our collectible shelves.

But, this year we’re focusing on playing. My daughter decided she was going to ask Santa for a real, live cat. I let her know Santa doesn’t deliver real animals because they would mess up his sleigh and make deliveries take too long, so she asked for a special stuffed cat instead. As you can imagine, I was breathing some really huge sighs of relief after that compromise.

The perfect gift for her? The Mizzy cat from Steiff that can either be displayed or played with. I know this is going to be a beloved pet for life, so I’m so glad she’s going to have to share in all the Christmas morning magic. And, trust me, it will be magic.

The tradition of Steiff

The tradition of Steiff

Since 1880, the German company has been a collector’s dream, releasing yearly specials, limited editions, and one-of-a-kind plush that are created mostly by hand. Choose between their classic mohair collection, soft cuddly friends collection, plush toy lines, and limited edition sets.

This year, Steiff is celebrating their 140th Anniversary and releasing some iconic lines of the past. It all started when Steiff’s founder, Margarete Steiff created the first plush toy elephant. Throughout the past 140 years, their commitment to high quality materials, intricate hand craftsmanship, and the signature “Button in Ear” has made them the most iconic brand in plush.

The tradition of Steiff

To celebrate their 140th anniversary, they are releasing the 140th Anniversary Paddy Teddy Bear, a classic teddy bear with a golden-brown coat of the finest mohair, and three different 140th Anniversary Elephants: Mohair Elephant, Little Elephant with Story Book, and Little Elephant with Rattle in honor of the first Steiff toy ever made.

We fell in love with the Little Elephant with Story Book and were so excited to be able to snuggle up with it to read this fall and winter. I love that my kids will have this awesome toy to honor the 140th anniversary and I hope it may always remind them of our family tradition with Steiff through the years.

Toy Industry Hall of Fame

Steiff North America is honored to announce that the Toy Industry Association has bestowed its highest award upon Steiff’s founder. Margarete Steiff {1847-1909} has been inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. Her legacy will be recognized during the TIA’s annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards, known as the “Oscars” of the toy industry, set to be held virtually on February 12, 2021.

Born in Giengen an der Brenz, Germany, Margarete Steiff was stricken with polio at 18 months old and would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. Even though the disease had left her permanently paralyzed, she learned to use her one good arm to operate a sewing machine.

In 1897 Margarete’s nephew, Richard Steiff, joined the firm. He went on to invent the Teddy bear in 1902, undoubtably the most famous toy of all time. By 1907, Steiff was producing more than 1 million Teddy bears a year.

Margarete Steiff joins an impressive roster of 77 toy industry luminaries who have been inducted into the Hall since it was established in 1984, including those who brought to life Mickey Mouse (Walt Disney), Barbie (Ruth and Elliot Handler), The Muppets (Jim Henson), and more.

Find the tradition of Steiff near you

If you’re looking to expand or start a Steiff collection, you should start your browsing at the Steiff North American site. To find a retailer near you, you can check out the Steiff Store Locator here – I will warn you that this is by no means a full list of retailers, since numerous stores near me carry the Steiff animals but only 16 come up on this list for the entire state of Washington. You will typically find Steiff animals in high end retail shops and boutiques, but a large selection can even be found at FAO Schwartz and other retailers online. 

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