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articicle Posts: 119

I'm curious what are people's stance on more mass produced bears.  I think beany babies are cute... I mean some of them at least.  I totally admit that a handmade highly artistic "Art" bear is a treasure but to be honest I don't think I could ever shell out a hundred dollars plus for a bear.  I mean frankly thats a weeks rent and half what I have paid for a car once or twice.  yeah, they were jalopy cars but I got a few miles out of them with tinkering.  So is TY frowned apon?  Just curious


articicle

Delartful Bears Delartful Bears
Australia
Posts: 3,518

Well, I can't speak for other people, but I personally don't frown upon them.  There is a great market for them - they are great for what they are!!  I don't look at mass produced bears or beanie babies or anything else for that matter, and turn my nose up!  We cater for a completly different market.  Beanie babies don't do much for me, but I can see how they would appeal to people.

This is just how I feel though!
Danni

Cleathero Creations Cleathero Creations
Ripley, Queensland
Posts: 1,925

I agree Danni,
There are Beanie BAbies and then there are artistic bears its like trying to compare a bicycle with a rolls royce.  THe bike is nice but a ride in a rolls royce......

They have there spot and other bears have theirs.

psichick78 Flying Fur Studios
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,073

well, if I hated beanie babies, I guess I would have to hate every non- artist bear.

I have like 10 of them, I used to think they were cute untill I discovered artists bears.
maybe after you make a few, you'll understand why they cost so much, and maybe even want to buy your own.

$100 plus, is nothing for an artist bear.

samanthapotter Mary Myrtle Miniatures
Cheltenham, UK
Posts: 800
Website

As a youngster, Beanie babies did a lot for my understanding of the bear market in general.  As a child and teenager I collected loads of beanie babies, at the height of their popularity, and as some were harder to get than others, the thrill of the chase was so exciting!  I even went to beanie fairs looking for the rare pieces!!  I have also always gone to bear fairs, but as a child I couldn't afford the beautiful artist bears that I craved!!  I guess beanies and artist bears cater for two very different groups of people.  I enjoyed collecting the beanies as a youngster, but get to experience that same thrill these days when I adopt an artist bear that I have been looking out for, or has been on my wish list for ages.  I have certainly got a lot of pleasure from collecting beanies in the past.

Michelle Helen Chaska, Minnesota
Posts: 2,895

Oh, I don't mind beanie babies. I have a few (mostly gifts from people). I only bought one and that was a Moose. I had it hanging over my computer screen at work. But alas, my company went with thin screens and well...no room for Moosie....I would not actively seek out to collect them but some are cute..

Michelle

chrissibrinkley Posts: 1,836

No bad words when it comes to fluffy stuffed toys like Ty, Gund, Russ, etc  bear_grin  I figure kids can't have what we're creating and should be surrounded by fluffy huggable toys that they can lug around and then mom can toss in the washer.  I've got some beanies, a gund or two and way too many vermont teddy bears from my hub (when we first starting dating he got a vermont for every occasion..it was really sweet but I had to say "I love them all but have no more room sweetie"  bear_wub  bear_grin  )

There's nothing wrong with and I don't think any artist would frown upon anything that will bring smiles to someone who is buying/receiving.  This industry started with commercially produced bears so there has to be a deep seeded respect for that side of the industry. Artist and manufactured items are pictured side by side in Teddy Magazine Awards.

When it comes to the cost piece I've always thought of my purchases like this... Instead of buying several of one item at a lower cost I can save those funds and put it towards that one piece I will adore.  I've always found that once I add up all the "little" purchases I've almost always spent more than what that one special piece would have cost.  I'm the same way with shoes and/or bags ...I won't buy tons of "cute" ones that are less expensive.  I don't have the room for them all and that cost adds up little by little....so I've always chosen to buy quality basics each year and spend just a little more.  I can buy fast food for lunch 5 times a week or for the same cost go out for one nice memorable dinner on Friday night.
For me, that's how I rationalize the cost part anyway  bear_original
:hug:
~Chrissi


PS (I stopped eating fast food years ago..so that one was totally hypothetical  bear_grin  bear_tongue )

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Hmmmmm  interesting.

I would have to say that collecting something warm and fuzzy and cute fits in with what we are all about here....

Creating-----------Collecting--------------Connecting

so who cares if it is mass produced or hand made?  If it makes you happy go for it.

The only rule we do have is sharing, so share away-  i think some of them are cute too.

Chrissie:  i have a favorite Vermont; The Crazy in the straight Jacket.  The first commercial we saw, The hubs turned to me and said "those are going to be in short supply"

and he ordered right then.

Well they did end up in short supply; several groups complained and they were pulled.  But i got one....and he sits with the artist bears....he's the only one with keys to the assylum, my left over keys from when I worked at the psych hospital- he also has the old whistle.  It was ostensiably to be used to call for help, but no one ever did, because it would get everyone all riled up.

so you see articile, some of us  love both kinds of bears....mass produced and artist produced....each has a special memory and meaning....


Share away!

hugs
dilu

toadbriar ToadBriar
western massachusetts
Posts: 532

Some mass-produced stuffies are really well-made & cute.
Steiff comes to mind  bear_happy

I always liked the zodiac dragon beanie baby but never got him - the
dog would totally steal it anyhow.

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I think Beanie Babies are really cute!  I was just looking at some of them the other day while browsing a gift store for some last-minute Christmas presents.

I also think that in our current situation, we should embrace every single avenue which brings teddy bears attention and devotion, and draws new collectors.  Beanie Babies are an extremely available AND affordable way for retailers to carry teddy bears, and for the general public to view and keep familiar with them on a regular basis -- and to buy them.

I absolutely would never have thought to shell out $400 for an artist bear in the earlier days of my life, and most folks just exposed to artist bears -- especially if out of nowhere -- likely feel the same. 

But if we develop a love of bears from the ground up, with little ones who can snuggle and collect their Beanies (or other mass produced bears) which are more affordable and, let's face it, stand up significantly better to repeat washing and manhandling! (please don't put my POTBELLY BEAR in the washer! Eek!), then we've "hooked" that one more person into our teddy bear frenzy, and hopefully, have created a new ADULT collector in the process, which is truly the only market for the one-of-a-kind bear artist asking $200+ per bear (and rightly so, by the way!)

The only bad words here, Art, are the ones your mom warned you about.

But thanks so much for asking!  Your sensitivity is appreciated.

bear_flower

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

I have all the bear beanie babies if that gives an idea as to how I feel about them!?!  bear_wub  I jumped on the Beanie craze for a while. Then when I'd had enough I could barely GIVE AWAY all the beanies I had! I HAD to keep the bears though!

I'm afraid I don't share in the admiration of Vermont Teddy Bears. They market them as handmade and I have to beg to differ. I've been to their facility, taken their tour, talked to some of the folks who work there. They are mass produced, folks and I'm sure the production floor upon which the tour is held is just one of the places they make these bears. I'd imagine, to meet demands, there is another factory close by that produces the big numbers. I could be wrong of course. Hubs gave me 2... one before I started making teddy bears and Vermont got to be so well known, a second a couple of years into my bear making..... when you are an educated artist you can see just how cookie cutter these bears really are. It's the costumes and themes that are attractive to those who buy Vermont Teddy Bears. They do have cute costumes, clever themes and the packaging.... that's clever too. But I wish they'd market them a bit differently.

As I live near Vermont Teddy Bears many say to me after I tell them I'm a teddy bear artist or make handmade bears: "Oh, you work for Vermont Teddy Bear?" NOT! They are NOT an example of an artist bear and I'm afraid I resent the association. I work so much harder on my bears!!!

But alas, as said before.... manufactured bears of all kinds as well as artist made bears and craft bears... they all have their place and purpose and if they create collectors and lovers of bears that's all that matters!

Any teddy bear that gives a person warm fuzzies is worth buying or collecting!!!

DebbieD Posts: 3,540

:crackup: Daphne, I get a lot of "Ohhh, so you make teddy bears like Build A Bears?"  bear_rolleyes   Soooo I know exactly where you're coming from!  I've tried to explain further a few times, but the conversation fizzles out as I try to explain and they look more and more confused.  Hmmm....maybe if I get some wallet sized pics of my bears to give away....

As for the Question ~ Heck no!!!   bear_wub   As the others have said, the manufactured bears definitely have a place.  So many of the Beanies and other manufactureds are cute, cute, cute!  I sleep with a $10.00 Fred Meyer teddy bear...one of the thousands of Christmas bears that flood the market yearly.  And I love him dearly  bear_wub I'd be lost without a teddy I could massively waller nightly and still be able to drop into the washer when needbe.   bear_happy   

The only thing that upsets me with Beanies is they're what, $5.00??  And yet there were adults that jumped all over the whole 'collector' thing and wouldn't let the kids play with them  bear_shocked  bear_cry   To me, that's just downright awful.  I mean, ultimately a teddy bear or any toy was meant to be loved and played with by a child.

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

Speaking of adults and beanies.
I worked at a high end (fancy/expensive stuff) gift shop at the time the beanie craze was it it's peak. The shop owner wanted a piece of the beanine baby action too so placed a HUGE order and advertised their arrival.  There was a line outside the door 2 hours before the store opened, women has lists in their hands and I ooverheard them bragging about which one they had 'acquired' and for how much. OUI! You should have seen the mothers and others literally fighting over the beanies when the doors opened.

And there was a serious casuality..... one beanie, the last of it's kind in the store, was ripped apart by two grown women who both insisted they'd grabbed it first. In the end they both had to pay for the beanie and got to take the half in their hand home! :crackup:  :crackup:  :crackup:  :crackup:

A little insider info: each beanie, back then anyway, cost the retailer $1.50. They sold them for $5.00... some, like the Princes Di beanie, sold for at least $100 each. Look at all the money the retailers made!!!

Are we, as artists, missing out on some idea that will make our bears irresistable no matter the cost?????

chrissibrinkley Posts: 1,836
Dilu wrote:

Chrissie:  i have a favorite Vermont; The Crazy in the straight Jacket.  The first commercial we saw, The hubs turned to me and said "those are going to be in short supply"

and he ordered right then.

Dilu- I saw that one after the hype.  The concept was not unlike valentines and cartoons that use the same theme a lot, but we're beyond P.C. in this country so I guess it had to be pulled.  Like I said before Hub was buying these teddies for me with every special occasion for the first year or so until I gently said I had no more room!  He's sweet and would have special sayings embroidered on sashes and all of that.  The one I like the best was from Valentine's Day.  The bear holds a stuffed heart  he's wearing jeans and a white tee and has a "love" tattoo on his one arm.  Pretty darn cute and it's a nice lasting sentiment.  Why send flowers or a gift basket when you can send a personalized American made teddy bear for about the same cost ..and like Shelli was talking about it keeps teddy bears in the public attention zone.

:hug:
~Chrissi

articicle Posts: 119

Some of the "marketing", well first I have to just question as healthy... I remember the pokemon craze where  they actually came up with the slogan, "Got to catch em all." I guess you need to sell lots of bears if your getting a couple of bucks a pop for them.  I wonder if long term its really healthy playing on the flaw of greed in keeping up with the joneses or out doing the neibors.


I must admit making just a single bear so far I do look at the beanies a bit different, like their legs and think... gee the legs I make kind of make those look like stumps. 

I have a nice gund I cuddle up to on my futon, and who sees a lot of abuse... somehow ending under the couch or cramed in somewhere.  A beanie or two is scattered about my home... even the cat has a dog for a toy.


I WONDER if balance can be had between the high end and the low end.  I think of bears as art but I also see them as toys.  Its hard for me to see something ment for enjoyment gathering dust on a shelf... yet at the same time for a toy to be unatainable.


I think it goes to values, some people are more focused in hobbie, or as a profession, or marketing as little commonities.  systems amaze me.  like the neopets website, people can earn points by playing the games that they "trade" for digital items that they can display on their webpages at the game site.  I guess it falls to craze collecting and bragging rights to have some items somehow worth like a dozen days of serious playing of games.

what throws me is that these digital prizes, have no tangibility.  now thats a mark-up? 

articicle

Jodi Falk Bears by Jodi
Gahanna , Ohio USA
Posts: 3,463

Article, I had bought a couple beanies a few years ago and some not bears , I think for what they are they are cute. My low end toy bear company I like is by Ganz,Cottage Collectables.I just adore them , they have an old flavor and have allot of personality. You must look them up some where.But I must admit....The artist bear is my FAVE !!! Just wish I had more money to use that way . But I have enough dolls and bears at my house to open a toy store , upper end of corse bear_grin I am really in to  smaller bears now because I have run out of room. Little bears can be stuck in any where and not take up any room bear_tongue

wubbiebear Braille Teddies
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Posts: 671

Sorry, guys, but I have to blow the dust off this thread *cough*.  For me, my bears are like my kids.  I don't discriminate between the few artist bears I have and my manufactured babies.  My Gaither, a Ty bear, not sure if he's a Beanie Baby or not because he's a little bigger and furry rather than that plush or whatever that is that some of them are made of, has a lot of value to me.  As much as I love artist bears, it wasn't an artist bear who was there for me in college and in these recent years, it was a bear that had no label and would probably be sold for a quarter at a yard sale.  I never had an artist bear until a few months ago and I adore them, but in my hug, all the bears hang out together and I love them all equally.  Of course, if I wasn't in the financial situation I'm in right now, I would buy a bunch of artist bears, but I don't think I'll ever stop loving my manufactured bears.  This is partly because I don't have vision, so I'm not distracted by visual beauty.  I've heard people say that regular bears that you would buy at the store seem to have no character, but the way I see it is that to appreciate these bears you need to look on the inside rather than the outward appearance.  Sorry, I'm sort of passionate about my bears.

lovenshire Love and Cuddle Nursery
Missouri
Posts: 945
Website

If a bear apeals to me it doesn't matter if it is "collectable" or not!  I do have dome of the "Beanie Baby" bears that my mother gave to me and my two year old grandson ripped all the tags off for me...he was so proud!  I treasure them because of who they are not because of what they are or are not worth!

wubbiebear Braille Teddies
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Posts: 671

Lenora, I told Gaither about that and he says to tell you that the bears are probably very grateful.  I panicked when his tag fell off because we used to have some Beanie Babies that our Mom literally made us keep in the bag they came in and didn't let us play with them.  They came out of a McDonnald's happy meal, folks, and we couldn't even open them.  I hated it!!!  So when Gaither's tag fell off I freaked out, but Gaither told me he was glad to get the blasted thing off.  I don't know what he would be worth today, but I wouldn't sell him if somebody offered me a million dollars for him.

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

I  was driving 50 miles on an interstate in northern Illinois today - about 10 miles behind a sedan whose back window was FILLED with manufactured mini to small (under 6" or 7") bears! How funny that this thread was revived today! Most of the bears were a bit color-faded, and I'm afraid that I didn't recognize hardly any of the characters (the Grammar Police would be all over that sentence structure!!), but I could see that they were lovingly stacked, they weren't just haphazardly stuffed or piled onto that rear window shelf.

Each one had its little face pointing outwards towards the traffic following the car - you just couldn't help smiling back.
I was wondering if the adult owner did that (there wasn't much room for the driver to get a clear view through the rear view window, which is rather against the law!!) or a child arranged them, but it was positively enchanting!!

wubbiebear Braille Teddies
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Posts: 671

Aww, somebody loves their bears.

Woodbury Park Bears Woodbury Park Bears
Central Coast New South Wales
Posts: 1,033

At last count there are 63 in my house (of course I bought them for my daughter  bear_whistle  bear_whistle )

FenBeary Folk FenBeary Folk
Pointon Fen, Lincolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,234

I have a whole heap of them......................adore them, they were my introduction to the bear world.

I keep telling my husband they will make a come back LOL  bear_whistle

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