Seeking info on a stuffed bear I had as a child
I want to thank you for offering this service. I want to be honest in saying that the bear I'm referencing is not of true vintage stock and would likely have little to no value in the collector market. So for that reason my inquiry has nothing to do with trying to determine value or estimate it's salability.
Instead I'm hoping other bear lovers out there might have some info on a lost bear I had from childhood. Obviously I don't have the physical item to offer a true detailed analysis, I don't even have pictures since any it may have been in were lost to the same house fire that the bear perished in 20 years ago or so.
I'm going to describe from memory and hopefully it rings a bell with someone, I realize it's a long shot considering my bear was likely a mass marketed side company no one has heard of and I fully understand that but wanted to give this a try. All details are from memory but I loved the thing like a best friend and my recollections of details are very vivid in my mind
My bear would not be considered true vintage. I received him around 1980 perhaps a little later, as a Christmas gift and he would have been purchased new from a retail store at the time I have to assume. We were not a wealthy family so Christmas gifts were usually what were on sale or items marked down and being circulated out, so his manufacture could just as likely be l970's than early 80's. I remember the Christmas morning and I don't recall any kind of packaging, but most larger stuffed animals don't have those anyway.I also do not recall a separate hang tag but I was pretty little. I do know he did not have a sewn tag of any kind, was unmarked by company.
My bear was roughly 18 inches tall perhaps 20 inches He was covered in synthetic fur that was not the more modern plush, but rather the old fashioned kind that tends to get somewhat rough with age. His fur was black but had "grizzling" in that it was peppered with grey strands. His muzzle, his inner ears, and his paw pads (on his feet only... not his hands) were all made of a beige/tan or possibly grey fabric, (I'm colorblind, I always saw it as beige but have learned through life that I'm often wrong on certain color shade families) the muzzle/ear/pad fabric was not faux fur but did have a very subtle 'pile' and it was coarse like a polyester blanket.
His body construction was fully sewn, he was not a jointed bear. However it was a somewhat unique construction in that his body and legs were
sewn without separation as if he was always standing. what I mean by that is that while he had defined legs and feet they were made as part of the sewn pattern extending from the main body without separation, rather than the standard bear legs being independent limbs attached to the torso at the hip seam the way a stuffed toy usually did, allowing it flexibility to "sit" my bear couldn't sit so he always stood. The legs were finished at the feet with paw pads in the fabric mentioned earlier.
His arms were also a part of the main body as if the pattern was cut in a solid piece. However this wasn't fully obvious until closer inspection as a seam was sewn in where the arms met the torso and in doing that they were made floppy and flexible and more poseable. His arms up to the hand were fully fur and did not have a finishing paw pad.
Another construction uniqueness that isn't always on every bear was that he had a tail. The construction in back was sewn in such a way that it came to a rounded point where his 'behind' would be,like a little bear tail. Again, like the rest of the construction, it was made into the solid pattern and wasn't a separate piece of fabric sewn in at the seam.
His face had the standard plastic molded bear nose and the faux glass eyes with a medium brown colored iris blob. With the exception of his plastic nose, his muzzle was blank, he had no stitching or printing to indicate a mouth. His ears were smallish and rounded and had the previously mentioned fabric on their interior. The styling of the head was more realistically shaped vs the rounded whimsical bear head styles.
Because of the bears more realistic styling and how he was proportioned, as if perpetually standing on his back paws like a Grizzly would, somehow it got in my head it was a Grizzly Cub, and so I named him Ben after the bear from Grizzly Adams which was in reruns everyday still at that time, the fact that Grizzlies aren't black didn't really matter I guess. haha.
That's pretty much all I have, the only other possibly identifying factor I can mention is that one time a girl who was in my grade but in another class brought her similar bear to school and had it at recess. It was my same bear but the fur was much lighter and brown but with the same muzzle fabric color. I've scoured the internet trying to find it or at least a bear that reminded me of it to no avail. If anyone has any tips I'd love to hear from you.
Thank you for reading my novel.