"Toots" the Doorstop Bear from Outback Queensland

by Therese
(Goulburn, NSW, Australia)

Toots in action as a door stop

Toots in action as a door stop

I recently bought "Toots" from an outback Queensland opportunity shop. He was in the shop window and had a $4 pricetag. I was drawn to him by the odd angle of his head - before I understood that he is a door stop bear and needs to hold his head at this angle to look around a bit - otherwise he would just be staring at the door. He is about 19 inches (48cm) tall. He is mounted on a wooden wedge and has a wooden rod going through the soles of each foot, up his hind legs and into his tummy. He is very stable and does a great job as a doorstop. Written on the base of the wedge is 'STRATTON' DOOR STOP BEAR '93. He has a faded cardboard tag which advises that he was designed by Keith Hamilton, and also says "Toots", which I am presuming is his name. He has a little white fabric tag with red writing sewn into his side seam, just below his armpit. The tag shows "oots" (perhaps the T is inside the seam, and so really says Toots). I think his eyes are glass, black with orange rims. He wears a blue neck tie which feels like velvet. He has a cute little tail, a stitched on black nose and mouth. His fur is soft but he is stuffed very firmly and stands rigidly so has not been made to cuddle - he was definitely designed to be a hard working door stop bear! He is in good condition and I have not wanted to damage him to see what he is stuffed with, however he does not feel crunchy. His arms feel as if they might be reinforced with wire. His tummy is very rounded, and his head seems a little misshapen but that might just be because his head is turned. Although I have only had him a short time I have already grown very fond of him as he is such a character, a bit sad, a bit puzzled looking, yet seems to take his role as a door stop very seriously. I would love to know more about dear Toots. Toots also deserves to know more about his background and we would both appreciate any information from readers. Thank you very much.

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