The Fascinating Teddy Bear - Not Just For Kids Anymore

by Jerrico_Usher

Most people know what a teddy bear is, but many don't realize where it came from, how long it's been around, whom it was named after, and how it's evolved...

The Teddy bear was invented based on one of our USA presidents Theodore Roosevelt. It was based on a cartoon depicting an actual event where "Teddy" they called him (way before the "teddy bear" was invented), was out hunting and came across a huge black bear that scared the life out of him!

Reporters quickly saw a story and cartoonists quickly saw a great cartoon! The cartoon actually created an entire industry. The teddy bear was used in a campaign to make fun of Theodore but quickly became a lovable toy. Kids loved them right away and they became a safety blanket of a sort. To this day kids are still clutching these soft bears and this bear has, like all people do, evolved substantially as a phenomenon that keeps on going (like ol' Teddy himself!).

Bears With Personality!
Bears With Personality!

Why Making Your Own Stuffed Bear is so exciting

Teddy bears are one of those things that were invented less than 100 years ago but ask anyone young or old and they will tell you it seems like the teddy bear has been around forever.

The teddy bear has evolved into many incarnations over the years and seems as if it has as many unique incarnations and qualities as we human beings do! The teddy bear seems to have taken on a life of its own to the point where now the teddy bear is no longer just a toy.

What are people thinking about when they go to buy a stuffed bear/animal

Most people, when they go looking for a teddy bear, are looking for a virtual custom teddy bear. The people making and marketing the vast majority of stuffed animals try to put out familiar concepts, things people will connect with. We can't help but buy a stuffed bear that reminds us of ourselves or someone we adore.

When we go looking for a stuffed bear, weather were out on purpose or see them while were out shopping for some other purpose, we generally love to find something that mimics some perception that remind us of the person we are giving it to.

If were shopping for something else and see a stuffed bear that reminds us of someone or if it's theme, clothes, etc.. triggers a memory or thought of something pleasant, we will get it while still filled with nostalgia and wanting to show it to someone, or give it to someone as a gift to show we "see" them and thought we'd share our insight.

In many ways this gift is about impressing upon the person receiving the bear how the giver perceives them. One of the laws of nature to being human is we feel wonderful when were acknowledged as the unique person we are. It has always been hard to find "just the right unique teddy bear" to personify someone, simply because rarely can you do this without creating it yourself!

Teddy Bear
Teddy Bear

Children adore stuffed animals because they make them feel safe, and they see it as a real friend

When given to a child the teddy bear is often chosen based on some ideal such as it characterizing one or both of the parents, the child's idea of an imaginary friend, or their favorite character.

The teddy bear has taken on the identity of being safe, and to do that effectively the child (or adult) has to bond with it- build a rapport of a sort. This happens quickly through mirroring something that person finds pleasant, safe, familiar, something that triggers a happy thought place, or event.

The "Bear makers" had been trying for years to predict the market...

As cute as many teddy bears are, they aren't going to cut it for the reason many people give them to their sweethearts, or their friends.

Teddy bears are not just for kids, many people love them because they reflect back to them a time of innocence, a time when they were more purely liberated from stress, working their life away, and living in chaos of most households.

The teddy bear however must have some element of personalization to be effective to the gift recipient. For a child it simply has to be cute, but even later in life when someone gives you a teddy bear it will most likely if possible be something that resembles that bear you so dearly cherished that it fell apart at the seems. That will be the bear style that will be the most powerful to you.


For years the bear makers have been trying to figure out what people want in a teddy bear but because the very way people shop for them is as dynamic as life itself, there has always been a gap leading to the customer settling for something "close" to what they hoped to find- Not anymore.

Now you can assemble your own bear from stuffing to accessories, you can pick every aspect, every stitch of the bear out custom. When I say every stitch I mean you can pick the color of the thread, the shape of the bear, the type of stuffing it's filled with, eyes, nose, mouth, clothing, shoes, sandals, you can even fit him or her with boxers, t-shirts, hats, bandanas, watches, pagers, and much more. There are entire stores filled to the brim with just teddy bear stuff.

The beauty of this is now you CAN build a bear for ANYONE that is so personal they will bond with it instantly and remember you forever just for going to the trouble (they don't know you had a blast building the bear)! It is the most flattering gift ever.

Happy bear shopping!

Updated: 06/08/2012, Jerrico_Usher
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Jerrico_Usher on 05/25/2012

they are great aren't they?

DebbieBrooks on 05/25/2012

Oh so cute.. I love this.. always loved teddy bears.

katiem2 on 05/21/2012

Yea I remember those, nothing beat the original type teddy bear. You should so get a big teddy the next time you see one.

Jerrico_Usher on 05/17/2012

Thank you Katie, it's actually a brilliant example of TR's strength and tenacious spirit. They tried to bring him down but only invented the cutest toys, a security guard for kids during a time when things didn't feel so safe- brilliant!

I saw one of those huge, very soft, teddy bears around valentines day and meant to get one- they are so cool! (remember the my buddy and kid sister dolls from the 80'/90's? They tried but failed to rebrand the teddy haha...(now that song is stuck in my head!)...

thanks for commenting!

katiem2 on 05/17/2012

I remember my daughter doing a report on TR and was surprised to learn this was why and how the teddy bear came to be. Interesting, glad you shared this as many, I'm sure, don't know. Glad it turned out to be a positive as Teddy R. was a very significant part of our developing country. We have traveled far and wide with the one common thing being all the fun places to build your own bear. My daughters both adore teddy bears. You can't go wrong when it comes to teddy bears. In fact I'm setting in bed typing this leaning back near my very large teddy bear. My daughters brought me this teddy when I had an appendectomy years ago. It's been to the hospital twice since then as the girls brought it to me both time I've had other surgeries. My teddy sleeps with me every night and I can't imagine life without him now, he's a keeper. Great article.

Jerrico_Usher on 05/17/2012

How ironic is it that the "Teddy" bear was invented as a way to ridicule the man (TR) but became the most lovable and cool toy a kid (or adult, especially on valentines day) could want? It was also supposed to "shake" Theodore's self image/security and it had the Teddy effect (TR was unshakable, well other than dat der grizzly that started the whole thing).

teddletonmr on 05/17/2012

Great stuff here, the loveable Teddy Bear is a trusted loyal friend for many a kid young and old, OK older :).

Jerrico_Usher on 05/15/2012

Thank you Tolovaj! My first teddy bear was bigger than I was :)

Tolovaj on 05/15/2012

Great overview on one of most popular toys of all time. I still remember my firs teddy bear, he was filled with straw and his name was - Tedi:)

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