Saturday, February 23, 2013

Charlie Bears on QVC UK

Did you get to watch Charlie Bears (William and Charlotte (aka Charlie) on QVC UK last week?  Even though the show does not air on US television, one can watch it on their computer.

The owner of Beacon's Glow Collectibles got the opportunity to watch all except one of the shows and she thoroughly enjoyed it.

Will and Charlie make the most adorable couple as can be seen by the image above.

Here are some interesting tidbits mentioned during the shows:

- Charlie and Will's first date was at a Fish and Chips restaurant.  William took Charlie to the best Fish and Chips restaurant in the UK.  To celebrate their first date, Charlie Bears produced a wonderful trio of teddybears that each represent part of that first dinner together.  The bears are named Fish, Chips, and Mushy Peas.  Each has a unique charm that hangs around their neck.  Fish has a fish trinket, Chips a fish and chips chip, and Mushy Pea a Fish and Chips fork. 
William mentioned that there are currently 200 Charlie Bear stockists worldwide.  They are not able to let any more retailers become stockists as there are not enough Charlie Bears to go around as it is.  They will never produce a bear in a limited edition of more than 500 pieces.

William designs all of the Charlie Bear catalogs and Charlie was very pleased that her 2013 Charlie Bear was featured on the front.  She is an incredible bear and Beacon's Glow Collectibles should be receiving their allocation of these bears in the next week or two.

Charlie Bears began in 2005 and currently stockists span 30 countries.

Charlie had mentioned that she will be producing a catalog of all Charlie Bear plush bears ever produced and it should be ready in November of 2013.  We are definitely looking forward to that.

They have introduced a new line of bears called the 'Bearhouse Collection".  These bears are all 11-1/2 inches seated and have been named after famous British places and castles.  This first collection represents the first 12 produced.  Already, these bears have been quite popular.  The difference between a regular Charlie Bear and a Bearhouse Bear is that a Bearhouse bear is unjointed and is suitable for ages 18 months and up.

Charlie Bears is coming out with some adorable wooden and canvas cloth deck chairs to display your teddy bears (or dolls) in,  They were modelled after some high-end deck chairs from cruise liners.  Beacon's Glow Collectibles will also be carrying these deck chairs so please stay tuned.

Mohair Charlie Bears (mostly designed by Isabelle Lee) are appropriate for ages 14 and above.  These are the true collectible Charlie Bears, and they are made of mohair or alpaca which increases the cost of each teddy bear.

William mentioned that his grandmother's name is Brenda, and they will definitely be making a 'Brenda' Charlie Bear in the future.  Brenda, owner of Beacon's Glow Collectibles was pleased to hear this.

Hope that you find the above-mentioned items as interesting as we did.

Quote of the Day - "A light heart lives long." - William Shakespeare

Monday, February 18, 2013

In Case You Missed It - Background on Steiff Bears

Steiff - Famous hand-made German teddybears with Steiff "Button in Ear"

(Written by Brenda Mize, Owner of Beacon's Glow Collectibles)


Margarete Steiff, the founder of Steiff Bears, started her company in 1880. She beat all odds at the time by building a successful business, as she was wheelchair-bound as a result of polio. During this timeframe it was also unusual to find an aspiring female entrepreneur. Women had few legal rights or social standing during this period. Despite her handicap, she ultimately molded one of the most successful (and enduring) high-quality collectible toy companies in the world. After more than 128 years in business, this company continues to thrive and its products are in as much demand by collectors as they have ever been. This family-owned company makes about 15 million stuffed animals every year, which includes more than a quarter of a million Steiff teddy bears.

Steiff's plush animals are all designed by hand in their factory in Giengen, Germany. Each piece is hand-produced in their same traditional manner which results in the highest quality teddy bears and plush animals. Margarete Steiff's motto, which is still carried on by the company today, was "Only the best is good enough for our children".

Steiff "Button in Ear" Trademark

The Steiff "Button in Ear" trademark truly distinguishes each and every teddy bear and plush animal as a symbol of ultimate quality for toys. The "Button In Ear" trademark was invented in 1904 by Franz Steiff, one of Margarete's nephews, to distinguish Steiff bears from all others. Since 1904, each and every piece that Steiff has produced has the Steiff trademark button attached to its left ear.

To differentiate between Steiff's various collections, each teddybear and animal produced wears a distinctively colored tag as well as metal embossed button. For example:
Original Collection: comprised of a yellow Steiff ear tag with red writing and brass embossed button. Easily recognizable as an authentic Steiff Teddy Bear or Steiff animal.

Limited Edition: comprised of a white ear tag with red writing and gold-plated embossed button. Recognized by Steiff collectors as a piece from a limited edition.
Replica: comprised of a white ear tag with black writing and silver-plated embossed button. These replica animals are reproduced exactly according to Steiff's historic role models from the past.

Materials Used

Steiff Bears only uses the finest materials for their heirloom-quality teddy bears and animals. Two of the most popular materials used are mohair and alpaca. Both retain their long-lasting beauty which allows all of Steiff's pieces to be passed down from generation to generation.

Mohair has been used by Steiff since 1901 to make their teddy bears and animals. Angora goats took their name from the ancient Turkish city of Ankara, which was very close to where they originated. The Turks thought so highly of these special goats that none left the country until the sixteenth century. The first exports landed in Spain and France, but Angoras didn't reach American shores until 1849. The most valuable characteristic of the Angora goat is the value of the mohair that is clipped. The average goat in the U.S. shears approximately 5.3 pounds of mohair per shearing and are usually sheared twice a year – once in the spring and once again in the early fall.

Mohair fleece has always been the superior fabric for making teddy bears. There are many reasons for this:
1) mohair has an incredible luster to it, and dyed mohair resists fading caused by time and the elements
2) mohair is naturally almost non-flammable
3) mohair is considered the most durable animal fiber and is very resistant to hard wearing
4) the natural fibers from mohair have the ability to absorb and release atmospheric moisture
5) mohair is characteristically resistant to soiling
6) mohair possesses great tensile strength - diameter to diameter it is stronger than steel

Alpaca wool, on the other hand, is derived from the alpaca, a domesticated animal species from South America, that resembles a small llama. Alpaca fur is prized for its use in teddy bears, as well as many other items, and comes in more than 52 natural colors. It is light-weight, lustrous, and silky in nature which makes it a perfect medium for teddy bears.

Steiff at Auction

It is a well-known fact that Steiff Teddy Bears are true heirloom pieces, and increase in value as they gracefully age. They continue to fetch top prices among collectors and Steiff lovers. On October 14, 2000, the highest amount every paid for a teddy bear occurred at the Monaco "Teddies de l'An 2000" auction. Mr. Jessie Kim of Korea bought a "Louis Vuitton" teddy bear for 418,000 DM, which equates to nearly $195,000.00 USD.

The next highest amount paid for a Steiff bear at auction was $171,700 in 1994 for a bear named 'Teddy Girl'. This very valuable bear was a 1904 cinnamon Steiff bear sold to Yoshihiro Sekiguchi, founder of the Teddy Bear Museum in Izu, Japan.

Currently the latest teddy bear collector trend is for everyday collectors to buy reproductions of plush animals that are anywhere from 90 to 100 years old. Collectors desire the antique look, but don’t want the actual antiques themselves. Steiff teddy bears fit these requirements perfectly, and delight collectors of all ages by providing a lifetime of pleasure and enjoyment.

Margarete Steiff GmbH All About Your Collectible Teddy Bear’s Mohair, An Overview by Beacon’s Glow Collectibles
Pfeiffer Gunther (2001) 100 Years Steiff Teddy Bears. Koelbin-Fortuna-Druck GmbH: Baden/Germany.
Steiff Website (Germany)
Quote of the Day - "Along with success comes a reputation for wisdom." - Euripedes