Historic Shropshire company unveils giant teddy bear as large as a child to celebrate the 100-year-old inspiration behind Winnie the Pooh
The UK’s oldest remaining teddy bear manufacturer, Merrythought in Shropshire, is celebrating the centenary of Edward Bear, the teddy bear who inspired AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories, by unveiling a giant version of the famous character.
As tall as the average three-year-old child, Merrythought’s brand-new ‘Giant Edward’ is an oversized version of the original bear, who was Christopher Robin’s cherished childhood toy, given to him by his mother Daphne as a first birthday present in August 1921.
Daphne’s husband and Christopher’s father, AA Milne, were so enamoured by the partnership between a boy and his bear, that he began to write stories about their journey through life together, and Winnie the Pooh was born.
Originally created by Farnell in 1921, Edward Bear was brought to life again for the 2017 Goodbye Christopher Robin film after Merrythought, which now owns the Farnell brand, was asked to recreate the bear that featured throughout the award-winning film.
Sarah Holmes, fourth-generation managing director, explains: “The bear has been handmade in the Merrythought factory in Ironbridge using the same traditional skills and natural materials as Christopher Robin’s original Edward Bear all those years ago.
“Now more than ever parents are recognising the value of traditional play, and encouraging children to use their imagination. The teddy bear is the perfect antidote for the digital world and a true companion for life’s journey.”
Featuring a golden mohair coat and sandy-beige pure woollen felt paws, Giant Edward’s deep-set eyes, hand-embroidered nose and friendly smile give him a quintessential charm.
The teddy bear, which is over three-feet tall and weighs 6.5kg, is sold with a complimentary gold-plated keyring that has been specially created to mark the character’s 100th birthday.