We love our teddy bears here at QVC, so to celebrate the launch of the new Sweep bear from Steiff, we spoke to the toymakers to find out a litte more. We also managed to get a few words with the infamous Sweep himself!
What makes Steiff different from other toy companies?
Steiff were the first and therefore oldest, soft toy company in the world! Founded in 1880, Steiff invented both the soft toy and the teddy bear! What a different place the world would be without either. Still based in Giengen, southern Germany, we remain in the original buildings where the first teddy bears were made over 100 years ago.
Why did you choose to create Sweep?
In British culture, there are some wonderful teddy bear characters that are just iconic. Sweep is such a great character and when you think of him you can't help but smile. Steiff are very proud to have been granted the opportunity to work with Sweep, Sooty and the gang, it is a great collaboration which is pure fun! Besides, Sweep has the best catch-phrase ever and I am sure everyone remembers it! All together now, "Izzy, wizzy, let's get busy!"
What is unique about Sweep?
Sweep reminds us all of our childhood. We can all recall seeing him on a grainy black and white television set or at the Christmas pantomime show. Sweep reminds us of our own childhood and magical memories from yesteryear wondering what the gang would get up to next next. It usually resulted in Harry, Matthew or now the wonderful Richard Cadell, getting very wet or very messy…… or both!
What makes a good teddy bear?
Steiff only make great bears and the essential ingredients are love and caring! Every Steiff teddy bear is hand-made every step of the way, from first design drawingsj to the finished bear. This means everything is done by hand, the stitching of every seam, the filling of every part of every bear, the shaving of the muzzle, the hand stitched nose and mouth, the placing of the eyes and then the final touch, the button in ear! Only with the personal touch of every Steiff artisan does a true Steiff teddy bear come to life! And we've been doing it for over 100 years!
Now as a QVC exclusive, we managed to get a few words with the man, or rather the puppet dog, himself with some quick-fire questions!
Always know where you’ve buried your bone!
What's it been like working with Sooty and Soo?
Wonderful! One puts me to sleep with her lullabies, and the other wakes me up with his water pistol!!
Where is the most exotic place you've worked?
Any memorable moments in your career so far?
There are so many – but I’ve forgotten them all!
What are your pet peeves?
Being woken up!
Why are you excited to be coming into QVC again?
To see all our friends there, and to play with the cameras again! Hee hee!
Be sure to catch Sweep and other cute collectables on the Steiff shows on Wednesday at 4pm and 9pm.
See the full Steiff range