How to Manage a Stuffed Animals Collection

stuffed-animals-collectionDo you have quite the stuffed animals collection? If you do then you’ll most definitely thank the day that you found yourself on this side of the internet as we’re dishing out some tips and tricks to properly managing your well-curated stash of cuddly wonders!

  • Know each item like you do your child. – Collectible pieces are rare and pretty exclusive so they’re not bound to closely resemble any other toy you already have or previously heard of. This is why you should make it a point to research and discover all there is to it about them as this will play a huge part in their care and maintenance later on.
  • Invest and pick a storage system. – There are many methods and options to choose from but perhaps the most popular among the bunch would be floating and open shelves as well as glass door cabinets. They allow for enough display and visual while keeping the stuffed toys out of harm’s way which brings us to our next tip.
  • Keep them out of easy reach. – At least to children and pets. We all know that kids aren’t the most careful of beings and pets are no different. Collectible stuffed animals are not meant for play but more for display. Plus, they have quite the financial value that makes damages a serious headache. Putting them high up enough so as to prevent prying hands and paws away is necessary.
  • Schedule regular cleaning. – You don’t necessarily have to wash them unless there’s obvious and deliberate need to do so. If there is barely any dirt, wiping and dusting off any impurities can be achieved with a soft brush and/or a slightly damp soft cloth. This is all the more needed for open storage displays.
  • Keep an inventory. – This may sound a little bit too boring and too much of a desk job but it does have its merits. For one, you’ll keep track of what toys you already have in your stash. Second, it’ll be easier for you to look up if anything seems to be missing. Third, you can likewise store all the details and care instructions for each piece for future reference.
  • Give them lots of love. – Collectible stuffed animals may be lifeless per se but they’re no ordinary things. A lot of them come with stories hidden and tucked away in every hem and button. Care and love is necessary so as to properly maintain and lengthen their lives.


Questions to Ask Before Buying a Toy

buy toyShopping for toys is easy-peesy, or is it? When it comes to shopping even for things as seemingly simple as toys, buyers need to be smart or else lose in the process. No worries though because we’re not nearing the difficulty of calculus problems. To jumpstart your smart shopping, has prepared the following questions to ask before buying a toy.

Why am I buying one?

People buy toys for different reasons. Oftentimes, this is for gift purposes but there are also cases where it is done for an entirely different reason, collecting for example. It is important to establish the reason behind the purchase because it’s not so smart to buy on a whim especially when it doesn’t fit into one’s current budget.

What type of toy am I going for?

Puzzles, dolls, stuffed animals, craft kits, art supplies, story books and the list goes on. This makes it entirely easy to feel overwhelmed. With such a huge selection, it can feel particularly hard to choose an item so it’s best to think it through before heading out to the mall or shop. Also, see to it that should you purchase for play purposes, opt for a toy that also has educational benefits.

How big is my budget?

Depending on the type, condition, rarity, brand and size of the item, the prices could really vary. But before you go about worrying on that aspect, one must first establish a budget. How much are you willing and capable to spend? Obviously, going beyond your means is highly discouraged.

Will the recipient like it?

If you’re buying for yourself then go ahead and skip this question but if not then you better do some research. Know what the recipient likes, does and wants. It would also be particularly helpful to choose an item that fits their lifestyle and personality. For example, if you’re buying for a kid who likes animals then a teddy bear or similar other stuffed animal would be a great option. If you’re getting something for a little girl who likes to watch her mom in the kitchen, miniature and replica pots and pans would be interesting.

Where will I shop?

There are countless toy shops around from physical stores to online sites. It’s not as hard to find a particular item that you’d like to buy. Just make sure that the seller is trustworthy enough. A little research won’t hurt.

How Stuffed Animals Nurture Your Kids

stuffed animals kidsStuffed animals are perhaps the most popular type of toy among kids. They’re cute and cuddly and their charm is so on point. But more than the whimsical and darling appearances, these toys can actually nurture your children more than you think they can. Don’t believe us? We’ve asked the experts to dish out some facts on the matter. Read up to discover what they are.

  • They help with motor skills development. – For toddlers most specifically, these toys are a great tool when it comes to developing their muscle movement. Playtime allows them to come to terms with various activities that enable them to get to know their body and how their limbs work.
  • They initiate the introduction to the senses. – Apart from motor skills, stuffed animals help kids get acquainted with the different senses. For example, colors and patterns are visual. Textures like in fur are for touch while some pieces have a musical feature to them.
  • They are a great learning mechanism. – Children first learn by imitation. Notice how they learn how to speak by following and imitating the people and sounds they hear around them. When it comes to toys, they can be used to tell stories, act out movements and portray various characters for the child to follow and learn from.
  • They ease anxiety and nerves. – These cuddly toys are great when it comes to calming a kid’s frayed nerves or comforting them when they are sad or anxious about something. There’s a certain comfort that they bring allowing them to be great at such a task. In fact, many child psychologist have found it to be a really effective toy when it comes to calming children in upsetting situations.
  • They provide comfort. – Sometimes, all it takes to get a kid to stop from crying say due to a scraped knee or a bad stomach is to hand them a toy that they like. Stuffed animals are perfect because people tend to hug them and hugging releases happy hormones throughout the body.
  • They encourage imagination and creativity. – If there’s one thing that stuffed animals are really great at, it’s role playing. They are the perfect materials when it comes to portraying characters and bringing out fun stories. They’re easy to dress up too. They can be washed should they get dirty. Plus, they’re all around adorable. Ever heard of a princess bunny that got turned into a mermaid?

How to Choose a Toy for Presents

gift givingGift giving is a fun task but sometimes it can be painstaking especially when one can’t seem to find the perfect piece. Toys are no alien in this situation. It may seem like picking one would be easy but then again we are often bombarded with the question, “Which one do I give?” If you’ve seen yourself in this situation, don’t fret because you’re not alone. To help us, the friendly team over at has come up with the following tips s a guide.

  • Match the occasion. – What is the present for? Is it a birthday, a holiday or just a simple gesture of love? It pays to match the present with the occasion and even with the theme that goes with it.
  • Keep it age appropriate. – It’d be completely silly and thoughtless to buy something for someone when the item doesn’t match their age. For example, would you get a toy suitable for a ten year old for a kid who’s only two? No, you don’t.
  • Find out their wants. – What does the recipient wish to receive? Sure, finding this out can be tricky but then it pays to do your research. Be observant and take sublte hints. See that smile on their face when they tear the present open and see what it holds.
  • Check out what they might need. – What toy are they likely to need or prefer to have? Let’s say, you’re buying something for your 8 year old niece who loves dolls. Getting her another doll or perhaps accessories for it like clothes would be a great option.
  • Know what they already have. – It would be pretty awful to receive a present that you already have, probably unless it’s a dollar bill then who doesn’t want another? But getting the exact same teddy bear for example wouldn’t be exciting so it doesn’t hurt to check and ask what the recipient might already want. In fact, if they have a gift registry then paying attention to it would be beneficial. It has been a lifesaver for many.
  • Check for safety labels. – Last but not the least; always check out the labels for safety instructions and warnings. You would not want to create any harmful situation out of your toy present. It has to be enjoyable but at the same time safe. Playtime must always be safe. Toys should always be safe, regardless of the recipient and their age.


Do’s and Don’ts in Vintage Steiff Limited Edition Bears

vintage steiffCaring for vintage Steiff bears is no joke. They need just as much amount of care but only more. Unlike the regular models, they’ve lived for quite a significant amount of time, some decades while others nearing a century if not more. The materials used in some may not even be utilized anymore and let’s not forget that many of them have precious metals and valuable pieces in them. Taking them for granted is silly if not entirely stupid. So to guide everyone along, here is a list of do’s and don’ts in vintage Steiff limited edition bear care.

Do know of its age. This is important because this will allow you to know about the toy’s type of material as well as its possible condition. Doing so shall aid in the determination of proper care, storage and maintenance.

Don’t leave them unguarded. In other words, provide for adequate and appropriate storage. Shelving and cabinets are a good way to keep them stored and displayed at the same time.

Do inspect for stain and damages. Do this on the regular. The faster and earlier you tend to these matters, the easier it will be. Stains are harder to remove the longer they stay and as for damages, they tend to worsen over time. Act as fast as you can.

Don’t wash them mindlessly. Again, know of the toy’s age, material, model and condition. Not all vintage pieces are still fit for hand or machine washing anymore. Plus in the event that they are, the cleaning methods and materials will be determined by the same factors so be in the know.

Do keep them out of reach from kids and pets. Vintage Steiff bears are more for collection and display and not play. Moreover, they are certainly not chewables for your dogs or scratchers for your cats. It is best to place your storage solutions high enough to keep them from harm’s way.

Don’t play doctor. This is particularly directed to cleaning and repairs. If you do not have the full knowledge and skill to do it then you better leave it to the experts. Experimenting as you go can harm the Steiff bear and create even more harm. There are many professional toy repair shops out there so it would be best to bring it to them instead. Don’t play doctor or your toy might die in the process.

Learn more about Steiff Limited edition here

7 Reasons Why Steiff Bears are the Best

Steiff bears are undoubtedly one of the world’s most favorite and celebrated toys. Not only for being one of the cutest and cuddliest teddies in the industry, the brand and its products have been popular for various different reasons. Belowsteiff-bears quirky, fun and creative pieces many of which are collaborations with brands, tributes to certain events or people or a play on a particular theme.

# 5: Button in Ear – Considered as the very trademark that set Steiff teddies apart, button in ears accompany each toy. The design and material can vary depending on the year of manufacture and its exclusivity category.

# 6: Exclusivity – Steiff designs special and limited edition releases that are huge hits to collectors around the globe. These pieces are surefire exclusive and manufactured in small volumes depending on the design and the purpose behind its creation. It is for this reason why these teddy bears are a favorite among many.

# 7: Value – Particularly for vintage and limited edition Steiff bears, their values can fetch quite an amount. Some of them may be priced at a hundred to a few thousand dollars but there are pieces that rake up hundred thousands of dollars with even the most expensive piece sold for a whopping $2.1 million!

Cheat Sheet: Vintage Steiff Teddy Bear Shopping

 Are you going for a vintage Steiff teddy bear shopping spree? If so then we be you’d love to hear from this cheat sheet of hours. Don’t worry we’ve got your back and you’re welcome.

Cheat Sheet Tip #1: Know your bears. – The materials used on the bears varied as time went by particularly in terms of their eyes and button in ears. Structures differ too and there are elements that were present in earlier models that didn’t appear in the later ones and vice versa. Research well so you can distinguish the toys properly.

Cheat Sheet Tip # 2: Establish a budget. – Because they are vintage finds, they aren’t priced like regular pieces. This makes it important for you to establish your budget and ensure that your sources will indeed provide.

Cheat Sheet Tip # 3: Know your limits. – Set a limit too because you don’t want to end up with empty pockets. You may be a diehard Steiff fan but you should still practice smart shopping.

Cheat Sheet Tip # 4: Go online. – There are many online shops that cater to vintage Steiff teddy bears. Not only are they easy to search and find thanks to the internet but it also allows you to tap sellers from other locations.

Cheat Sheet Tip # 5: Try an auction. – If you are a really serious collector then auctions could be your cup of tea. Many of the world’s most sought after, historic and unique pieces can be found here. Just make sure that you’ve got your budget ready.

antique steiffCheat Sheet Tip # 6: Go for the unusual. – You might as well like to try unusual shopping spots. Enter antique stores or take a look at garage sales. Most of the time people don’t know the value of the treasures they have and antique stores are basically full of surprises.

Cheat Sheet Tip # 7: Validate the toy. – If you’re unsure of the item, you can bring it to a professional for examination. This is also the reason behind the first item on this list. To determine the authenticity of an item, you need to know all there is about Steiff teddy bears.

Cheat Sheet Tip # 8: Read seller reviews. – Look for feedback and reviews regarding the vintage Steiff teddy bear shop, seller or website. This should give you an idea as to whether or not they are legit and if they uphold quality.

Visit for more bears.

What Makes the Steiff Queen Elizabeth the Toy of Your Dreams

As collectors or shall we say passionate toy aficionados, we all want to have specific pieces that are not only rare but also holds a story worth sharing or a piece of tale so interesting it never grows old. Lately, such has been the demand for a popular German manufacturer’s commemorative collectible piece. We are referring to the Steiff Queen Elizabeth teddy bear. Why is it so interesting? Does it showcase a feature that no other Steiff bear has ever had? What about it then?

The Steiff Queen Elizabeth teddy bear is a special and limited edition release specifically designed for the British monarch for her special milestone on September 9, 2015. On such day, she becomes the longest reigning monarch throughout British history and the world’s longest female monarch to ever rule. Why is this so remarkable then? Allow us to take you to a brief history lesson.

Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, or more popularly known as Elizabeth II, ascended the throne in 1952.  About half a decade before that, the Victorian Era has just ended. This period of cultural, industrial, political, scientific and military change and massive expansion of the British Empire was under the rule of Queen Alexandrina Victoria, thus the name given to the aforementioned era.

Steiff-queen-elizabeth-teddy-bearQueen Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. She was crowned at an early age of eighteen inheriting the throne from her father Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn on June 20, 1837. Her rule lasted until January 22, 1901. In other words, she held the throne for a period of sixty three years, seven months and two days. If not for her death at the age of 81 due to cerebral hemorrhage, her reign would have still continued to span years.

Sixty three years, seven months and two days is quite a long span of time, however, Queen Elizabeth II proves otherwise because she’s overtaking Queen Victoria as the title holder of the longest British reign by September 2015. This commemorative event is what makes the aforementioned Steiff Queen Elizabeth teddy bear really special.

Apart from its story and symbolism, the toy is also bedecked with awesome features. First of all, it is a musical bear that plays the National Anthem “God Save the Queen”. To establish its rarity and exclusivity, it bears the Steiff button in ear trademark but in gold plating instead. Its label is also in white with red lettering. Furthermore, the Steiff Queen Elizabeth teddy bear is made from the finest Schulte Mohair and is dressed in a deep blue coronation robe with spotted plush edging and a majestic crown.

Ready to buy this limited edition bear? Order yours at now!

Steiff Bear Cleaning and Washing Tutorial

steiff-bear-cleaningCleaning and washing are pretty much part of Steiff bear and stuffed toy maintenance. Sad to say, not everyone does it and the few who do oftentimes do it the wrong way thus leading to damages and injuries to the beloved bears. How does one do it then? What’s the right way? Below is a step by step tutorial by

Step 1: Assess the toy’s condition.

You want to know how well the Steiff bear is holding up. Does it have any damages that need repair? How dirty is it? Can you do a home repair and cleaning or will it need professional help. If you find yourself leaning to the latter then bring it to the pros otherwise proceed to step two.

Step 2: Prepare your supplies and materials.

You can either machine wash or hand wash your toy. You will need room temperature water, mild and bleach free detergent, soft bristled brush, long and wide bristled comb and a dry towel. Keep in mind that the water temperature must be lukewarm. If it’s too hot, it could ruin the color of the bear or melt out its accessories.

Step 3: Wash and rinse.

It’s time to give your Steiff bear some rub-a-dub-dub action. When doing a machine wash, put it at low speed. Also place the toy inside a mesh bag or pillow case for protection as it swirls inside the machine. This is also to prevent any accessory that might come loose to slip away and get lost. If you do it by hand, use a soft brush to rub away the dirt and grime. Never use bleach. Rinse it off until all the soap has cleared.

Step 4: Let it sit.

To let excess water out, gently squeeze the toy but do not wring it. Allow it to sit on a flat surface for five minutes to let any more liquid out. Let gravity help you out.

Step 5: Allow it to dry.

Air drying is fine but never place it under the heat of the sun as that will cause discoloration. A handheld dryer may also be used at cool setting. Bigger and heavier toys should not be hanged on the clothesline as it can lead to sagging.

Step 6: Comb it back to place.

Once dry, gently comb the ruffled fur and voila it’s good as new!

Extra Step: Freeze it.

If you notice any bug infestations on the Steiff bear, do this extra step before proceeding to step two. Place the toy inside a sealed plastic bag and put it in your freezer for two days. Remove the old stuffing then proceed to steps 2 to 5. Once dry and clean, replace the stuffing with new ones and sew back up!

I hope these bear cleaning steps has helped you!

Enjoying Your Life in the UK Test Preparation

ILR Exam in the UKStudying for most of us does not fall into the category of fun. Oftentimes studying is associated with the words boredom, tiresome and monotonous. But that should not be the case. It will be if you let it so it’s eventually up to you to make things fun and less of a bore. This is especially true for major exams such as the Life in the UK Test, a requirement in one’s UK citizenship and Indefinite Leave to Remain application. So how do you accomplish this? Get your notes at the ready because we are here to dish some secrets!

  • It’s all in the mind. We all know that our brains are a very powerful thing. As the mantra goes, “mind over matter”. If you keep telling yourself that studying is a waste of your time and the ultimate bore then chances are it will be. Keep a positive mind and an uplifting tone about it. Approach it with zest rather than with a frown. It may sound absurd and pretty off but it works. Try it!
  • Keep things enjoyable with music. Some people study better with the help of tunes and melody. The type of music that caters to your learning can vary from person to person. Find that niche and go blast some songs into your bloodstream. Not only will it tickle and rev up your brain but it can also do well to keep you from dozing off.
  • Have your favorite snacks on hand. We don’t mean the usual salt-rich chips and sodas. Instead, go for healthier food choices. Oatmeal cookies, fresh lemonade, grapes and berries, citrus fruits, apples or even a healthy amount of chocolate will help. Just see to it that you don’t finish them all up without even flipping one page of your study material.
  • Find a comfortable spot. We all have varying preferences when it comes to the places we like to study in. Some like it really comfy such as a bed filled with pillows. Others like a productive surrounding. There are those that want solace and quiet. On the other hand, others like a piece of nature close by. Whatever it is, try your best to study in those places because your mind and body will both find it easier to work and grasp information and ideas.

That’s it. It’s pretty simple, right? Good luck on your upcoming Life in the UK Test!