Teddy bears are among the oldest toys children, but always appreciated by our children, who like to play and sleep with them. What a pleasure to see our little one clinging with all his might to this tender bear cub that protects him every night from darkness, ghosts and all these terrible little spirits that he takes with him each night.

Haven't you bought one from him yet? What are you waiting for?

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There is no date of birth for each child's favorite toy. Nor the name of a hypothetical inventor who created the extraordinary world populated by animals (but not only) loved by all ages.

An object of minimal practical value but of gigantic symbolic and above all affective significance, difficult to place at the level of space-time precisely because its distribution has increased over time. And although slow and gradual, its constant development has made it one of the most popular games for children, and not only.

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This, of course, in the last century. But it suffices to go back in time to find ancient forms of enjoyment which reproduce the profile of animals then known. Think back to medieval times, when the wealthiest kids started spending their afternoons playing with some kind of prototype plush that depicted the appearance of bears and other animals.

Constructed, however, from a rather stiff and rather eerie-looking material (the most frightening, violent and terrifying details of the reproduced animal have been brought out), we are still a long way from our cuddly friend.

Closer to the classic image of the teddy bear to hold and hug is the one Margaret Steiff offers us at the end of the German 19th century: her greatest passion? The making of teddy bear pillows, which immediately spread like wildfire, was a huge hit with children.

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But you know, magic is an integral part of the children's world and that's how what were only shaped cushions became real teddy bears that appeared to the whole world at the toy fair in Leipzig. in 1903. From here to their industrial production and large-scale distribution (even abroad, in the United States), the step was very short.

The twentieth century was not only the scene of catastrophes, human tragedies and civil dramas, but a golden corner sees the light in this devastated century. Soon, a space dedicated to the pleasure of the little ones was cut out and thus the created soft toys were innumerable and of a most absurd appearance.

Or stolen from the realm of fantasy where each child is the prince and the undisputed ruler in office. In short, today, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to furry little friends and that thanks to our children and grandchildren who, despite the burden that history has placed in them and the mistakes made by fathers , grandparents and ancestors, continue to dream without being discouraged.


Not an ornament that will get dirty over time, nor an unnecessary trinket to give or throw in the first old chest. Every man, I hope for him, has shared his childhood with the most beloved toys.

And how many would have the courage to shed it just beyond that uncomfortable threshold that everyone continues to call adulthood? In short, why repudiate this friend who has kept us company for many nights, to whose hairy ear we have confided secrets, desires and fears. Why treat it like any other object when it is not only a part of our past, but also of our own life?

How many memories are tied to this time-worn teddy bear staring at us like that, head bowed and soft eyes from the shelf in his bedroom? Let's not be fooled by conventions and overwhelmed by clichés. The stuffed animal does not belong "to the children". It belongs to all those who lived it and thanks to whom they were able to overcome certain situations and fears.

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Because maturity is not counted by the number of books read, academic titles acquired or trophies won, but by the number of experiences made and metabolized. And the plush, as the friend of every child who, more than any other creature, needs confirmation, certainty and hope, falls fully into this category. And not only every child's favorite play and life companion, but an item loved by older children as well.


How many of those who, in panic, boredom or discontent, surrender to a warm embrace with their old and dear friend, immediately ready to welcome and comfort them? Many also are those who, if they move, absolutely must take it with them, many also are those who cannot do without them during a trip, of varying length. Don't be ashamed, there is a child in all of us. And a plush that still dries her tears and alleviates her pain and suffering.


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