The Zoo Factory

  • Highlighting Antique Teddy Bears

    Here at The Zoo Factory, we love teddy bears. We also love learning and reading about rare, antique teddy bears. We recently found an article distributed by Highlighting Antique Teddy BearsAntique Trader highlighting some incredible vintage teddy bears. These bears have contributed to the history of the teddy bear brand and paved the way for teddy bears as we know them today.

    Antique Trader explained that teddy bears likely originated well before President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, although many people believe they were invented because of him.

    However, there is information that could support the existence of teddy bears as early as the 1800’s.

    Rod Bear

    Steiff (located in Germany) is often credited with creating the first ever teddy bear in 1902. The oldest Steiff bear, which can only be found today in museums and private collections, was known as the “Rod Bear.” The rod had internal iron rods that held the stuffing in place. Some of these special bears also had a button inside of their ear that had an elephant symbol on it. These bears now sell for $10,000 to $30,000 today.

    “Doll” Size Bears

    In 1907, Steiff sold about one million teddy bears on the Atlantic City boardwalk. The company created a smaller version of the “Rod Bear” that was 10 inches long. The bear was intended for little boys that had sisters who loved to play with dolls. The bear allowed boys to play with their sisters using small teddy bears instead of dolls. This bear, along with its concept, became extremely popular. They now sell today for about $500 per inch so the bigger the bear, the bigger the price tag.

    Talking Bear

    In 1912, Heinrich Mueller started his own business. He had previously worked at a toy company before deciding to branch out on his own. In 1920, he introduced the first “talking” bear. His “Schuco Yes-No” teddy bear had a mechanism that shook the bear’s head up or down. By tugging the bear’s tail, the person holding the bear could make him say “”yes” or say “no.” This bear was especially popular in schools, and librarians loved to use them in order to tell stories.

    If you’re inspired to start building your own collection of priceless teddy bears, visit The Zoo Factory today.

  • What the Color of Your Teddy Bear Means

    A teddy bear can symbolize a variety of things such as love, loWhat the Color of Your Teddy Bear Means yalty, faith, growth, and happiness. A teddy bear can serve as a “get well card” or a heartfelt romantic gesture. Teddy bears come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, and believe it not, the color of a teddy bear typically has a specific meaning associated with it.

    Although we’d encourage you to simply pick the teddy bear simply you like the most, it’s fun to know what the color might mean:

    Green

    Shades of green often symbolize things such as growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. Green represents a very strong emotional connection and is perfect for an expectant mother or someone that you have built a strong relationship with that you are hoping to develop into something more.

    Red

    A red teddy bear is a bold declaration of love, and if you want to make a statement about how much you love someone, a red bear is a sweet way to do so! The color red is representative of passion, desire, and never-ending love: a red teddy bear does a great job of showcasing that.

    Brown

    We absolutely adore a brown teddy bear. A brown teddy bear is the “go-to” classic teddy bear color which represents stability, support, and protection. If you just want to simply show someone that you care about them or provide a sweet source of comfort to a little one, a brown teddy bear is guaranteed to make someone smile.

    Orange

    An orange teddy bear is extremely unique and vibrant, and it stands out against most other bears. The color orange typically indicates happiness and enthusiasm. If your goal is to make someone smile, an orange teddy bear will give them instant energy and joy.

    White

    The color white is typically symbolic of peace, purity, innocence and good spirits. For someone that is seeking a new beginning, a white teddy bear is ideal. However, a white teddy bear is rumored to indicate that a relationship is just a friendship and nothing more, and usually does not indicate a romantic gesture.

    Hoping to get someone special the perfect teddy bear? Visit The Zoo Factory for a variety of animals, outfits, and extras.

  • The Importance of Teddy Bears to Police Officers

    When most adults think of police officers, we think of strong, brave men and women who spend their days and nights protecting us and maintaining the law.The Importance of Teddy Bears to Police Officers

    And in the eyes of our children police officers are the individuals that can provide you with help in any situation.

    Whether a child gets separated from their mother at the park or is in the back seat of their parent’s minivan during a fender bender, it is almost always a police officer who is there to console them and make sure they are ok.

    In situations like these, the tools that brave officer uses are rather different than the ones they carry on a day-to-day basis, with one of the most important ones being a teddy bear.

    According to Brunswick Police Captain Angela Smith, “When a child is caught up in a tragic situation, a teddy bear can distract and calm them,” which is why the Brunswick Police Department and so many others across the country keep teddy bears and other stuffed animal on hand to help comfort children in the midst of frightening situations.

    This January, the Brunswick Police Department was lucky enough to receive the generous gift of 250 teddy bears; each packed neatly in its own gift bag.

    Donated by local resident Doris Carter and the insurance firm she represents, this gift will go far in helping both local children and officers.

    We at The Zoo Factory are incredibly touched by this sweet story, and thankful for all the brave men and women driving through their town with a teddy bear tucked in the trunk of their police car, ready for a child in need!

  • Teddy Bears Bring Tears this Holiday Season

    If you spend any amount of time on social media throughout the past week, you probably saw a lot of heart-warming stories.

    One of our favorite “feel good” stories this holiday season involved, you guessed it: a teddy bear.

    One story that took the world by storm last week was the story of Mariana and Sarahy Ramos, two little girls that received a teddy bear that brought them to tears minutes after pulling them out of their packaging. Their older sister recorded a video of them receiving the gift and shared it on Twitter, and the post went viral within minutes.  The video now has over 100,000 likes and 69,000 shares.

    The Ramos girls lost their grandfather, Florencio Jimenez, last year under tragic. The girls Aunt Andrea purchased the two teddy bears for the girls as their Christmas gifts this year.

    Both teddy bears contained an audio message that their aunt had pulled from a video recording of the girls grandfather before he passed.

    The audio message inside of the bear was an inside joke that the girls had with their grandfather, following the sound of his laugh.

    Their aunt wanted to give them something to remember their grandfather by and a cuddly teddy bear playing the the sound of his voice did the job.

    When the young girls opened the gift on Christmas morning, they were immediately brought to tears Warning, you will be too after watching this clip.

    The Zoo Factory also offers this feature, where you can record your own message to put inside of your bear of choice with a small recording device.

    This is a perfect gift for a loved one for a birthday, a holiday, an anniversary, or just because.

    Whether you are a young child saying “I love you” to your grandmother, or a grandmother saying “I love you” to a young child, it will be a priceless keepsake to your loved one.

  • Hockey and Teddy Bears are the Perfect Pair

    Hockey and Teddy Bears are the Perfect PairHockey is rough, aggressive, competitive, and strenuous sport. Teddy bears are soft warm, cozy, and sweet stuffed animals.

    If you tried to list the similarities between hockey and teddy bears, you probably wouldn’t come up with much at all.

    However, hockey and teddy bears have been making the perfect pair for decades.

    Many minor and junior hockey teams in United States and Canada have made teddy bears a focus of their team during winter months.

    Many hockey teams hold a “teddy bear toss” at one of their games during the holiday season.

    Minor and junior hockey teams typically select one game where they encourage anyone attending to bring a teddy bear with them to the game. When the hockey game is finished, win or lose, the fans are encouraged to throw all of the teddy bears over the boards and onto the ice. The teddy bears are collected by the players and coaches and given to a good cause.

    The teddy bears collected are donated to children at hospitals, local shelters, or charities in honor of the holiday season.

    The teddy bear toss tradition has been going since the early nineties and it is still going throughout North America. Teams manage to collect hundreds to thousands of teddy bears during this event.

    Below is a video of the Calgary Hitmen, a major junior ice hockey team out of Canada, receiving 17,601 teddy bears after a win at home.

    The teddy bears collected during this even were able to be donate to 60 different local charities.

    If you’re going to a teddy bear toss sometime soon, make sure you get your teddy bear from The Zoo Factory.

  • A Teddy Bear Commercial Has Taken the World By Storm

    If you have recently watched television, you have likely seen a commercial with two adorable teddy bears dressed as an elderly couple that are strolling hand in hand through a bustling airport. The teddy bear commercial was recently released and has already taken the world by storm.

    Whether you are the one traveling or you are waiting for someone to travel to you, traveling is a huge part of the holiday season.

    We all look forward to seeing our loved ones during the holiday season and this commercial uses that feeling to their advantage.

    The commercial is titled “Coming Home for Christmas” and was distributed by London’s Heathrow Airport. It was the first Christmas commercial that airport has ever put out and it was certainly successful. The ad was filmed at the airport over the course of three days while the airport was operating.

    The commercial, regardless of it being just a minute long, has received over three million views.

    It is sweet, warm, and fuzzy, similar to the adorable bears that we follow throughout it.

    We watch the bears get off of their airplane, get their passports checked, conquer an escalator together, and struggle reaching their baggage. They are portrayed as a well-dressed older couple, supporting one another in the attempt to travel without issues. The ending is guaranteed to pull on your heart strings.

    Check out the commercial below:

    Jonathon Coen, the commercial’s director spoke on the commercial saying, “We love the film and hope the bears’ journey through the airport captures that excitement you feel when walking through Heathrow arrivals into the arms of your loved ones at Christmas.”

    We think the commercial is adorable and we can see why it has gotten international attention, cute teddy bears usually do.

    If you are looking to give a teddy bear as a gift this holiday season, visit The Zoo Factory.

  • Open Heart Surgery Patients Get Teddy Bears

    If you have recently visited the cardiac unit of a hospital, you have likely seen teddy bears sitting beside patients on their bed and walking hand in hand with surgeons. Many hospitals have rooms full of teddy bears for patients that get cardiac operations, such as open heart surgery.

    The patients are given these teddy bears as a part of their recovery process. These bears are extremely firm and relatively heavy, serving a very important purpose. The bears are used as a chest brace for the patients.

    After an operation, cardiac patients struggle with severe pain from their stitches. WheOpen Heart Surgery Patients Get Teddy Bears n patients need to cough, sneeze, or laugh, they hug the bear against their chest. Patients struggle after surgery to open the air sacs at the bottom of their lungs which causes frequent and painful coughing spells. Pressing the teddy bear against their chest eases the pain and holds the stitches in place. Patients keep the bear at their side throughout their hospital stay and the bear eventually goes home with the patient, serving as a keepsake for the patient.

    The bears do not shed which ensures the cleanliness of the stitches. The bears are also a full-sized teddy bear which allows patients the ability to easily grab a hold of it and find it. It can easily be found when a patient is lying in bed. If the bear falls out of bed, it can be easily grabbed by an arm or a leg. Many hospitals used to use towels or pillows as a brace which were not as effective and not as cute!

    These bears also become a companion for the patients. After a week or so in the hospital, patients get lonely, itching to go home to their family. These bears provide some company for patients, but most importantly, help them heal appropriately and comfortably. If someone you know just had a major operation, consider getting their cardiac bear a friend from The Zoo Factory.

  • Choosing the Perfect Stuffed Animal for Your Little One

    The holiday season is quickly approaching and soon, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles will be searching for gifts for the children in their lives. In most cases, you can never go wrong with a stuffed animal. But how do you choose the right one for each of the special children on your list?

    Classic Style

    Think back to the childhood stuffed animal you shared all of your greatest adventures with. Chances are it was a classic teddy bear or another soft and snuggly animal like a rabbit or a dog. We recommend choosing a similar stuffed animal friend for your little one.

    Sure, all of our children love the fun characters they watch on T.V., but it is unlikely that their adoration for this particular character will last. This is why a classic stuffed animal makes such a perfect gift. They will never go out of style, giving them the potential to remain your child’s best friend for years to come.

    Neutral Color

    Not sure what color stuffed animal your child will love most? Instead of choosing a bright color or wild pattern, opt for a neutral, natural color like brown or tan. This way, your child will be able to make their own choices with the stuffed animal, dressing then in fun costumes and clothing that match their own personal style.

    Cuddly Soft

    Another important factor when it comes to finding the perfect stuffed animal is how soft it is! Your child will want a stuffed animal friend that they can hug and snuggle when they need some extra support. And with a Zoo Factory stuffable animal, you will be able to choose exactly how much stuffing you use to create that cuddly feel!

    As the holiday draw near and you start your shopping, head to The Zoo Factory to select the perfect stuffed animals (and outfits) from our online selection. We have everything you need to make this holiday season a special one for the children in your life.

  • How One Teddy Bear’s Message Made This Grandmother Smile [Video]

    When it comes to gifts, there is nothing that you want more than for the one you purchase to bring your loved one joy. And that is exactly what this teddy bear did for Mrs. Walters, a woman who lost her husband to lung cancer 11 years ago.

    During their marriage, Walters’ husband had gifted her an adorable teddy bear with a sweet message recorded inside; “You’re the best girl in the world for me.”

    Eventually the sound recording broke, which is when her granddaughter began searching for a company that could have it repaired.

    Mrs. Walters now suffers from dementia, so her family wasn’t sure how much of a reaction the teddy bear would receive, even when its sound box was fixed. No one could have expected a reaction as joyful as this one when Walters heard her late husband’s voice again for the first time in years.

    While our stuffed animals are typically purchased as gifts and party favors for children, a stuffed animal can make an incredible gift for anyone you love, especially when they are purchased with one of our customizable sound boxes.

    These ten-second sound recording provide just enough time to tell someone how much you care, or to give them some sweet words of encouragement.

    Whether you are looking for the perfect way to tell your partner, “I love you” or want to say, “I miss you” to your grandchildren living far away, a stuffed animal with your voice inside is a wonderful surprise that will be cherished for many years to come.

    Shop online with The Zoo Factory to find a cuddly stuffed animal for your love one, and don’t forget to include a recordable sound box with your order for you to record when it arrives!

  • Stuff Animals Can Cheer Up Those Suffering From Depression

    Teddy bears and toy stuffed animals are usually our first fuzzy friends. We are given them as toys when we are small and they bring children comfort, joy and a cuddle buddy. But can stuffed animals be more than just playthings?

    According to a study done by the UV University of Amsterdam, people with depression, anxiety and low self-esteem may benefit by owning a teddy bear or two to cuddle with.

    Stuff Animals Can Cheer Up Those Suffering From Depression

    Sander Koole, a lead researcher from the university, reported cuddling with a teddy bear for example can soothe existential fears and can give some sense of existential significance.

    It’s not just UV University of Amsterdam that believes teddy bears can help those feeling extra down. A researcher at Boise State University has been doing research among those with dissociative identity disorder and teddy bears. Rose M. Barlow of the Department of Psychology at Boise State wanted to see if stuffed animals would serve clients equally as well as live animals.

    Barlow surveyed a sample of high and low dissociative female college students and those with dissociative identity disorder (DID) about attachment to live and stuffed animals. She found that the DID women had significantly stronger attachments to both live and stuffed animals than any of the other women. She also found that those with high dissociation and those with DID reported higher levels of attachment to stuffed animals than live animals when compared to the low dissociative group.

    The idea of using stuffed animals to cure depression is not new. Stuffed dogs, cats and teddy bears have been given to children during wartime around the world.

    Tel Aviv University has been using stuffed animals on children from war-torn countries with post-traumatic stress disorder to help them cope. Some children started to express themselves through the stuffed animals, which helped their teachers and parents provide better care for them. A study based on parents’ testimonies showed that 83 percent of the children suffered from stress, separation fears, aggression, excessive crying, nightmares and other issues.

    Just three weeks after receiving the stuffed dogs, children showed improvement. Two month later, 71 percent had lost their severe stress reactions. This is twice as many as the children who didn’t have stuffed dogs.

    A stuffed animal can bring comfort and joy to those who might need a friend but are still wary of stepping out into the world and meeting someone new. Just having something soft to cuddle with can help create a safe space for those who need a little extra help.

    So what do you think?

    Could it be possible that a child’s favorite stuffed animal can help him from feeling depressed or anxious? If nothing else, we know that the bond our sons and daughters can form with these fuzzy friends can be tough to break! Let us know what you think about these studies in the comments section below!

Items 81 to 90 of 184 total