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Stuffed Animals

Stuffed animals date back to ancient Egypt, as ancient hieroglyphics show stuffed animals that represent real animals in rituals. The first toy stuffed animals appeared in the 1830s. These toys were usually homemade, using cloth to cover the outside and straw as stuffing.

The first manufactured stuffed animals were made by the Steiff company, founded in 1880 in Giengen, Germany. Margaret Steiff, founder of the company, made a small stuffed elephant from a pattern and sold it as a pincushion. The elephant, however, became popular as a children's toy. By 1892, the Steiff company offered a variety of stuffed animals, including monkeys, donkeys, horses, camels, pigs, mice, dogs, cats, rabbits, and giraffes. In 1902, Steiff manufactured its first teddy bears.

Other manufacturers began to make stuffed animals and the toys became popular with children. Prior to World War II, stuffed animals were covered with cloth or mohair and were stuffed with straw or wool. After World War II, lower-cost synthetic fibers became available. Stuffed animals were then made of synthetic materials and stuffed with synthetic fiber fill. Today, collector's editions of antique stuffed animals are made with jointed limbs and firm filling, similar to early stuffed animals.


Quick Facts

  • Stuffed animals became popular in America with the invention of the teddy bear, named after President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt. President Roosevelt hated the name Teddy but gave permission for its use
  • Collectors often collect stuffed animals by brand or artist rather than by type. Steiff, Merrythought, Hermann, and other artist-made animals command the highest prices
  • Beanie Babies, manufactured by Ty Toys, became a collectible craze in the '90s. Once purchased as an investment, Beanie Babies are only worth a fraction of their original prices today

Recommended Items at Auction

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Vintage Mohair Steiff Leopard Cat Plush Reclining Lounging Rare HTF Stuffed
Feb 27, 6:00 PM EST
Vintage Mohair Steiff Leopard Cat Plush Reclining Lounging Rare HTF Stuffed
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$456 Bids
Coming soon
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Coming soon
by R & R Auction INC
Est: $0- $0
$202 Bids
Etienne Dormoy's 1924 Rickenbacker Beanies [2]
Mar 06, 9:00 AM PST
Etienne Dormoy's 1924 Rickenbacker Beanies [2]
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $75- $100
$501 Bid
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Jim Henson's Muppets McDonalds Hockey Plush, Animal, Sealed
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Jim Henson's Muppets McDonalds Hockey Plush, Animal, Sealed
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$51 Bid
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Vintage Steiff Rabbit Plush
Mar 10, 1:00 PM PST
Vintage Steiff Rabbit Plush
by Pasadena Antique Warehouse
Est: $50- $200
$201 Bid
Three Texaco Dog Fire Chief Plush Toys, 1998
Feb 28, 6:00 PM AEDT
Three Texaco Dog Fire Chief Plush Toys, 1998
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD40- AUD60
AUD201 Bid
Steiff Sign, Steiff Bunny, McCormick Milling Co
Feb 27, 9:00 AM EST
Steiff Sign, Steiff Bunny, McCormick Milling Co
by Wehrly's Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
14 Ty beanie Babies, GeoSafari talking globe
Feb 25, 9:00 AM MST
14 Ty beanie Babies, GeoSafari talking globe
by R & R Auction INC
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Two Hanna Barbara Limited Edition Animation Collection Plush Toys including Scooby-Doo & The Flintstones, 2022, In Original Boxes
Feb 28, 6:00 PM AEDT
Two Hanna Barbara Limited Edition Animation Collection Plush Toys including Scooby-Doo & The Flintstones, 2022, In Original Boxes
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD60- AUD80
AUD301 Bid
Vintage Quilted Stuffed Duck 20" X14"
Feb 27, 6:00 PM EST
Vintage Quilted Stuffed Duck 20" X14"
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
Vtg 1975 Eden Toys Paddington Bear Animal Plush Toy
Feb 27, 6:00 PM EST
Vtg 1975 Eden Toys Paddington Bear Animal Plush Toy
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
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Vintage Monkey Plush
Mar 10, 1:00 PM PST
Vintage Monkey Plush
by Pasadena Antique Warehouse
Est: $50- $100
$200 Bids
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VIntage Steiff Lion Plush
Mar 10, 1:00 PM PST
VIntage Steiff Lion Plush
by Pasadena Antique Warehouse
Est: $100- $200
$400 Bids
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Fiesta Toys Dia de los Muertos Plush
Mar 10, 1:00 PM PST
Fiesta Toys Dia de los Muertos Plush
by Pasadena Antique Warehouse
Est: $50- $100
$100 Bids
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2pc Collectible Space Jam Bugs Bunny & Taz Stuffed Toys
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
2pc Collectible Space Jam Bugs Bunny & Taz Stuffed Toys
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$50 Bids
Kaws - Holiday Japan Mount Fuji Plush (Blue), 2019
Mar 12, 6:00 PM CET
Kaws - Holiday Japan Mount Fuji Plush (Blue), 2019
by TGP Auction
Est: CHF400- CHF600
CHF2000 Bids
Kaws - Holiday Japan Mount Fuji Plush (Pink), 2019
Mar 12, 6:00 PM CET
Kaws - Holiday Japan Mount Fuji Plush (Pink), 2019
by TGP Auction
Est: CHF400- CHF600
CHF2000 Bids
Kaws - Holiday Japan Mount Fuji Plush (Grey), 2019
Mar 12, 6:00 PM CET
Kaws - Holiday Japan Mount Fuji Plush (Grey), 2019
by TGP Auction
Est: CHF400- CHF600
CHF2000 Bids
Smokey the Bear Plush Teddy US. Dept. Agriculture
Mar 06, 9:00 AM PST
Smokey the Bear Plush Teddy US. Dept. Agriculture
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $40- $75
$200 Bids
Toys: A Merrythought plush toy depicting Jerry Mouse from Tom & Jerry. Toge
Feb 26, 9:00 AM GMT
Toys: A Merrythought plush toy depicting Jerry Mouse from Tom & Jerry. Toge
by Claydon Auctioneers
Est: £30- £50
£300 Bids
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Applause Raikes Rabbit Andrew
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Applause Raikes Rabbit Andrew
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$50 Bids
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6pc Taco Bell Talking Chihuahua Stuffed Animals
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
6pc Taco Bell Talking Chihuahua Stuffed Animals
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$50 Bids
Lot of 2 Vintage Plush Toys
Mar 28, 11:00 AM EDT
Lot of 2 Vintage Plush Toys
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $50- $100
$100 Bids
Extremely Rare Gobbles Beanie Baby with Many Tag Errors LOT 999
Feb 25, 5:00 PM EST
Extremely Rare Gobbles Beanie Baby with Many Tag Errors LOT 999
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Stuffed Animals


Lion and Unicorn

Lion and Unicorn

Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers

Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers

TGP Auction

TGP Auction