Stuffed Giant Toys and The Teddy Bear Industry in The US

In the world of soft toys, there is so much to choose from that it can make deciding on which one to pick, a daunting task. That problem should be easily solved when you look to stuffed giant toys as your choice. With these larger than life animals, stuffed giant toys make the pleasure of owning them all the more enjoyable.

The United States was booming in the early 1920s; new businesses popped up every day in a place where both enterprise and innovation were strongly encouraged. Loads of immigrants came to what was deemed the Land of Opportunity. In October 1929, all of this came tumbling down when Wall Street crashed after millions of dollars were wiped off the stock market. Businesses and banks failed and what followed was the Great Depression in which 13.7 million people were unemployed.

Many of the U.S. soft toy manufacturers didn’t survive this period and while they were able to benefit from the embargo on imported German toys that was in place during World War I, the market practically dried up given buying teddy bears and other luxury items were considered a waste of money. Lots of toymakers went out of business, novelty lines of teddy’s disappeared, and cheaper, poor-quality bears became favored by buyers and manufacturers. In 1933, things began to turn around when following the new reforms (called the New Deal) put in place by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, new companies and new designs emerged.

In 1923, Benjamin Mitchom joined his father’s company in New York – the Ideal Novelty Co. In 1928, when his father died, Benjamin took over the company and turned it into one of the world’s leading toy manufacturers. During the 1920s and 1930s, Ideal teddy bears didn’t change very much; during the years of war, the bears were a little thinner as materials were at a premium at that time. A range of small jointed bears were produced in the 1940s which were stuffed with kapok (a soft natural fiber). They had noses that were molded out of resin and actually foreshadowed the machine washable bears that were to come in the 1950s.

Knicherbockers was another U.S. company that was in competition on toy shelves with Ideal. The Knickerbocker Toy Co. was founded in 1850 in Albany, New York State and produced educational toys like wooden alphabet blocks. In the 1920s, they turned to making soft toys. Some of their early bears had triangular-shaped heads that had large, round ears, and flat muzzles. Their bodies were usually thinner than those of European teddy’s that were being made during the same time and there were no humps on their backs.

The Commonwealth Toy & Novelty Co. (which is still in operation today), did everything they could think of so they could outlast the Depression. Established in 1934 by a Mr. Greenfield, it focused on the novelty bear market. In 1937, it launched the ‘Feed Me Bear’ line which was one of their most successful. While not the best looking teddy, children fell in love with him because they could put things in his mouth. When they pulled a string at the back of his head, his mouth would open; food could be fed into his mouth and removed at an opening at the back. This line of bears was used to promote animal crackers by The National Biscuit Co. and they were often put on display in grocery stores all over the United States.

Since teddy bears are as much loved today as when they were first created in Germany in 1902, it seems conceivable that when choosing stuffed giant toys, going for teddy’s would be a wise decision. While there are lots of other types of stuffed giant toys from which to choose, they don’t always seem to conjure up the same things a teddy does: companions that can share in every disaster and every triumph, comfort when times are tough, and finally, share in every great or small adventure.

┬ęCopyright Shelley Vassall, 2010.

Stuffed Toys As a Promotional Tool

Stuffed toys are probably one of the most well-loved toys of all time. It’s easy to understand why everyone likes them since they are cute, soft and cuddly. Most of us had at least one when we were kids and it reminds us of the great memories of our childhood. As we became older, stuffed or plush toys were still a part of our lives as a collector’s item and more commonly, as gifts. From then until now, it’s one of the most recognizable figures of all time.

So it doesn’t come as a surprise that they are being used as a promotional tool. With the popularity of stuffed toys, it’s just normal that people would take advantage of it. So who uses them for promotion? Here are some examples of people who use plush toys for promotional purposes:

1. Toy inventors

Toy inventors can take advantage of its popularity by making it the “face” of their creations. Since most of us can relate to stuffed toys, toy inventors can use them to promote his whole line of toy inventions.

2. Children’s book writers

If you write children’s books, then you probably have main characters that kids adore. You can make stuffed toys of your book’s characters in order to promote your books and to make extra money.

3. Teachers or anyone who helps in children’s development

They promote a different kind of product such as learning. Most kids are visual learners. Using plush toys to promote learning is an interactive and effective way to reach out to children.

4. Business owners

If you own a business, you should be doing things to promote it. A good way to promote it is to give or sell stuffed toys designed to look like your mascot. It doesn’t matter if your mascot is lovable or not. While it will help if it is, the plush toy will give your business personality. You can give it as gifts to loyal customers or you can sell them at your store as official merchandise.

5. Nurses and those in the medical profession

Ever heard of the healing power of touch? Nurses can promote health and recovery using stuffed toys like bears or anything that is cuddly. We practice this unknowingly by giving stuffed toys to our sick loved ones and for good reason.

So you see, plush toys can promote a lot of things. So if you happen to be one of these groups of people or if you have your own idea for plush toys, you can easily use it to promote a lot of things. But the only way that it can be a reality is if you team up with a dependable manufacturer. They are the ones that can turn your idea into a promotional blockbuster. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to use it as a promotional tool for profit or for noble causes. It’s effective at what it does.

How to Find Marx Toy Trains

At the end of Earth War I, in 1919, Luis Marx began a toy company. The firm was called Marx and Organization and was co-founded by Louis brother, David Marx. The company’s motto was to, “”give the customer a lot more toy for much less money.”" The business enjoyed a long run of success, surviving the both the Wonderful Depression as well as the second Planet War, prior to it closed its doors in 1978, six years following Louis Marx marketed the firm to Quaker Oats. Throughout the Fantastic Depression the Marx Business had over $500,000 in arrears, a debt that was additional then covered by its $3.2 million in assets.

Additionally several international plants, Marx had 3 plants inside the United States, two in Pennsylvania, and just one in West Virginia. One of the places that they sold their toys was inside Sears Roebucks magazine.

Some individuals believe that in the course of its heyday, Marx and Corporation in fact sold additional toy trains then any with the other toy businesses. The initial train they marketed was the Pleasure Line, which they sold on commission for the Girard Firm. Shortly soon after his business began selling the Joy Line, Louis Marx arranged for the Girard Company to design and style a toy train specifically for Marx and Organization. Eventually the Girard Corporation was purchased by Marx.

In the marketplace, Marx trains have been visible because they have been generally smaller and less costly then those manufactured by the Lionel Corporation and American Flyer. The Marx Company intended electric toy trains that featured an open frame motor, this motor features a gear that’s fixed to 1 end on the axle from the armature. The business seldom varied from this design and style. Post Earth War II, Marx and Company started out to make trains out of plastic. Far more expensive versions of Marx toy trains included a smoker that heated smoke fluid to produce smoke.

Marx trains commonly have a copper shoe pickup. On a Marx motor, the center rail pickup, is normally made out of copper strip.

Until the late 1950′s Marx built their toy trains with a fat wheel. This fat wheel makes it virtually unthinkable for Marx toy trains to negotiate the switches and crossovers of Lionel tracks.

Older models of Marx trains feature open switches. Marx and Corporation designed their switches so that the wiring was similar to the wiring in two rail switches. 3 wires, red, green, and black, go instantly to the the switch.

Most of Marx scale freighters featured a a low truck with little wheels. Marx used a dovetail design and style for their tilt couplers. Marx tilt couplers are mismatched with Lionel couplers. The tilt couplers have been one single molded piece. In later years, Marx created one particular piece knuckle couplers that need to be coupled by hand.

The majority of the original Marx and Business motors have a metal frame and metal gears. A a couple of their later designs have frames and gears that are supplied of plastic. A few of the less expensive toy trains that Marx created can’t reverse, they can only continue.