The Continued Legacy of Steiff Bears

Steiff BearsIf you see the name Steiff associated with toys, and, in particular, stuffed bears, you should know about Margarete Steiff. Despite having polio and being confined to a wheelchair, she founded the company that bears her family name… and it has become the world’s premier manufacturer of high-end toys and collectibles– a luxury toy brand if you will. But here’s something even more important to know: Steiff (well, her nephew) invented the teddy bear!

The History of Steiff Bears

In 1880, the Steiff company started up, making plush toys and collectibles. Steiff believed in using the finest materials, like mohair, alpaca, cotton velvet and woven fur. Hand-sewn and hand-finished, some 16,000 different designs for various animals would come to be made from the family factory in Germany. In 1902, Margarete’s nephew Richard essentially invented the teddy bear. At first, it wasn’t popular, but thanks to President Teddy Roosevelt not wanting to shoot a bear, it became a “must-have” for little kids all across the USA in that era.

Steiff’s products are often passed down from generation to generation, becoming family heirlooms. They are long-lasting “toys” that have been extremely well-made and tested; they’re safe, beautiful, and realistic. Is it any wonder that some vintage Steiff toys have been sold at auction for more than $100,000?

Some of the teddy bears for sale found at Gigi’s include a line of popular Steiff bears such as Baloo, the SS Passat, and Winnie the Pooh. Looking for Mr. Cinnamon or the rarer black bear? Gigi’s got ‘em here.

Besides bears, Stein also makes other animals. When you’re looking for simply the best stuffed, plush animals, choose Steiff! Gigi’s currently has several Steiff animals for sale, including a walrus, a cocker spaniel, a white mohair poodle, a hedgehog from the 1960s, and a tiger also from the 1960s. Have you been looking for a classic Steiff Coca-Cola Santa? Gigi’s has that, too!

Meanwhile, if you have an older teddy bear that needs repairs, did you know Gigi’s offers teddy bear repair, restoration and replacement services? Email questions to or call 773-594-1540.