Modern Teddy Bears
The worldwide economic recession of the 1970s caused the teddy bear industry to slip into temporary hibernation. When teddies reemerged in full force, they had taken on two distinct forms.
One form is synthetic, cuddly, safe for children and all their wear and tear, and, when the day is done, fully washable. It's produced, for the most part, by multinational roy companies who play the biggest role today in the production of child-safe toy bears.
The second form of the modern teddy bear is less a plaything and more a work of art. Growing numbers of teddy bear artists create these art bears for the burgeoning collectors' market. And in true teddy
bear style, there's a story behind how this second form came to be.
In the late 1960s, British actor Peter Bull began championing the rights of teddy bears everywhere (and penned the first real survey of teddy bear history, The Teddy Bear Book).
He encouraged adults to come clean about the fact that many still owned their childhood bears (or deeply regretted that they didn't). His celebrity brought his cause plenty of attention and helped set the stage for a generation of adult collectors. By about a decade later, thanks in great part to his efforts, a new art form had emerged-teddy bears designed and created not as toys, but as objects of art (not to mention adult affection), Some are based on traditional styles and are made using authentic methods and materials. Others build on the basic form
in wildly creative ways.