As Christopher Robin's childhood bear and the inspiration for AA Milne's 'Winnie the Pooh' stories, Edward bear plays a key role in the history of the teddy bear, and is a character who is still much-adored around the world.
This beautiful, classic bear was originally created by a company called Farnell; a premium soft toy manufacturer renowned for producing the first British teddy bear in 1906. Farnell offered a range of traditional mohair bears as part of their ‘Alpha Toys’ series, amongst which was the bear who would later become known as ‘Edward’.
Edward bear’s story began in 1921, in the famous London department store, Harrods. Daphne Milne bought the teddy bear as a first birthday gift for her son, Christopher. Nobody could have anticipated that this bear would go on to become one of the world’s most important teddy bears, and that he and his newfound owner, Christopher Robin, would become famous for generations to come. The pair soon formed a unique bond and became the best of friends.
Although Christopher named his new companion ‘Edward’, following a trip to London Zoo the young boy allegedly chose to rename his beloved bear after the resident Canadian black bear ‘Winnepeg’ - adopting the name ‘Winnie’.
Christopher’s father, Alan Alexander Milne (writing name AA Milne), was so enamoured by the wonderful friendship he witnessed between a boy and his bear, that he decided to pen stories about their journey through life together…and the Winnie the Pooh stories were born. With the addition of other animal characters such as Eeyore, Piglet and Tigger, these treasured tales captured hearts across the globe and have been retold to generations ever since.
The Winnie the Pooh stories are set within the fictional ‘Hundred Acre Wood’, inspired by the real Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, an area of tranquil open heathland on tall sandy ridges that was adored by the Milne family and served as the enchanting home for the characters in Milne’s books. Although the family’s principal home was in London, they bought a farmhouse on the edge of the forest and enjoyed cherished childhood holidays away from the bustle of town.
Almost a century after Christopher was given Edward bear, Merrythought re-created a beautiful replica of the historic bear, allowing him to live on and continue to bring joy to children and adults alike. Film producers, Fox, also commissioned the company to produce the Edward bear that appeared throughout their 2017 major feature film ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’, along with several huge 5ft Edward bears that adorned the red carpet at the premiere held in Leicester Square! The biographical drama told the story of Christopher’s childhood and struggles through life, and starred Merrythought’s ‘Edward; Christopher Robin’s Teddy Bear’ alongside Domhnall Gleeson and Margot Robbie as Alan and Daphne Milne.
Hand-crafted in England using the same traditional skills and natural materials as Christopher’s original Edward Bear all those years ago, Merrythought’s replica features a rich, antique golden mohair coat and peachy-beige pure woollen felt paws. His deep amber eyes show a longing to be loved, which together with a hand-embroidered nose and endearing smile, give him a quintessential charm that can only be found in a teddy bear of such enduring design and heritage. True to the original, the 18” sized Edward also ‘growls’ when tipped!
Edward; Christopher Robin’s Teddy Bear is produced as a Special Edition, meaning that each bear is individually numbered and presented with a certificate of authenticity, along with a unique ‘Farnell by Merrythought’ cotton dust bag.
During 2021, one hundred years since Edward bear was originally created by Farnell, Merrythought introduced a Giant Edward bear to mark the centenary. The impressive and truly handsome bear stands at an impressive 39 inches tall and is still offered as part of Merrythought’s Traditional Collection.
To this day, Edward continues to be one of Merrythought’s most popular teddy bears, and is a timeless character who makes memories with a new generation of children, just as he did with his original friend, Christopher Robin.
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