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The history of the teddy bear

With more than 2,500 venerable teddy bears, our collection is the most extensive in the world. In addition, nowhere else can you see as many old bears from Margarete Steiff’s workshop as you can here. A significant part of the collection is devoted to the arguably most famous teddy bear manufacturer in the world and her bears with the legendary button in ear.

Outstanding rarities are the over 100-year-old PB models, that are regarded as the progenitor of the teddy bear. The sensation of the bear collection is the PGB 35. This splendid bear made in 1904 marks an important milestone in the history of the teddy bear.

If you choose to go by the legend, the American President Theodore Roosevelt – also known as Teddy – was responsible for the cuddly toy’s name. This honour was bestowed upon him after an incident on a bear hunting trip. After their invention, teddy bears rapidly gained great popularity with children. This might well be attributable to the fact that teddies were the first soft playfellows and fun to cuddle. 

In addition to the bears made by Steiff, the extensive collection includes teddies from old-established brands such as the British company and Royal Warrant holder Chad Valley, the American gold label BMC or the French producer F.A.D.A.P.

You will meet the adventurous playmates in the exhibition taking part in motor races, at school, having their morning wash or at a picnic with the dolls. Many scenes can be set in motion by pressing a button.

The teddy bear collection in the Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel (Toy Worlds Museum Basle) is impressive. Some of the teddies have an interesting history, famous owners or have led an eventful life in some way or another.

The latest

from the Museum

Current special exhibition

Perfume flacons – vessels for seductive fragrances

Current special exhibition

Perfume flacons – vessels for seductive fragrances

The Storp Collection – from antiquity to the present day

21 October 2017 – 8 April 2018

More information

The culinary world

Ristorante La Sosta

The culinary world

Ristorante La Sosta

For appetites both great and small. Open daily, with hot dishes available throughout opening hours.

To Ristorante La Sosta

Including the current special exhibition

Public tours

Including the current special exhibition

Public tours

Tours are given on the 1st Saturday of each month at 2 p.m. Duration: About 1 hour.

To the tours

Our

Opening hours

Our

Opening hours

Opening hours, including holidays, for the museum, boutique, and Ristorante La Sosta.

To the opening hours

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