How to identify Steiff teddy bears

How to identify Steiff teddy bears
Image credit: Steiff

Steiff teddy bears are very popular for collectors. Their quality finish and special features make them great for collecting. There are also lots of fake ones that try to capitalize on Steiff’s originals.

Steiff has been around since the late 1800s. It is also viewed as the creator of the first teddy bears. The company also makes quite a large selection of teddy bears with premium materials and realistic looks.

It also adds a few special features to distinguish its toys from the rest. Thus, iyou should know what to look for, when buying a Steiff teddy bear from someone claiming it to be 100% original.

All Steiff teddy bears feature a metal button attached onto the left ear. These have been used for the toys since 1904. Currently the company is using brass. But over the years it has used iron, nickel and even gold-plated buttons for limited edition teddy bears. If the button is nickel and the lettering is not raised, it points to an early Steiff teddy bear.

Steiff also adds cloth tags to the teddy bears. They should be either in one of the ears or in the chest area. They usually feature the logo of the company and possibly model numbers although that is not always the case.

Also take note of the materials the toy is made out of. Earlier Steiff teddy bears use mohair. The current collectors’ edition teddy bears the company offers are also made out of mohair. The cheaper regular ones, can be made out of synthetic materials.

Older teddy bears and their current original Steiff replicas are also stuffed with wood shavings. They use glass eyes. The first teddy bears used shoe buttons for eyes. Now plastic is the material of choice for regular editions. Newer teddy bears are stuffed with synthetic stuffing.

Most Steiff teddy bears feature immovable arms and legs. Especially the early ones. Some of the newer ones can feature joints.

Also Steiff as a company is always very detailed in their descriptions. They describe as much of the toy as possible. If you can’t find any information about it, then you are either dealing with an incompetent seller or possibly a fraud.