Steiff Museum

A visit at the Steiff Museum

Margarete Steiff was born on 24 Juli, 168 years ago, so I thought it would be a good time to share some of the photos I took last year during my (yearly) visit at Steiff Museum, together with Knopf:

Knopf at the Steiff Museum
Knopf at the Steiff Museum in Giengen – 2014

First, here is an image of a young and lovely Margarete Steiff:

Steiff Museum is located in Giengen an der Brenz in Germany. The small town is the birthplace of Margarete Steiff and also the location of the Steiff toy factory.

The Steiff Museum has now a very modern building, located near the old factory. We liked a lot the metal statue of the teddybear (and the little elephant on top):

Steiff Museum building
Steiff Museum building

Knopf liked even more the yellow paws that were showing the way to the Museum. He followed them full of joy:

Knopf follows the bear trace
Knopf follows the bear traces

We entered the building and Knopf said:

– Finally we are here!

Knopf inside Steiff Museum
Knopf inside Steiff Museum

A Very Big Bear, a Plush Who Knows Everybody and Everything in the Museum as Knopf told us, welcomed us. Knopf had  a short conversation with him and when he finally came back he said:

– The things This Bear knows!

I did not ask details but I suppose it is #plush related.

Very Big Steiff Bear who knows Everybody and Everything at the Museum
Very Big Steiff Bear who knows Everybody and Everything in the Museum

Everything started in Giengen more than 130 years ago, with the now famous felt elephant that Margarete created.

sewing machine Margarete Steiff
The sewing machine that belonged to Margarete Steiff

The felt elephant was meant to be a pincushion but at some point it began to sold well as a toy.

Seeing the opportunity, Margarete started making more toys from felt. Funny thing is that those old toys are selling today for thousands or even hundreds of thousands of euros and dollars.

old Steiff toys
old Steiff toys

The next important step for the Steiff company was the first teddybear as we know it (a stuffed toy with moveable limbs).

Here is one of the Most Important Teddybears, the famous Steiff 55PB. 55PB is the creation of Richard Steiff, Margarete’s nephew, who joined the family business:

Steiff teddybear 55 PB tells a story
Steiff teddybear 55 PB tells a story

The business became a great success and these days Steiff company is the oldest and most important producer of quality toys in the whole world.

Plan a whole day to visit the Steiff Museum because there is enough to see and experience, dear fluffy ones!

There is a Historical area, starting with year 1847 when Margarete Steiff was born. Here is an image of Margarete’s room. The wheelchair was hers – she contracted polio when she was a baby and spent all her life in a chair.

Margarete Steiff room
Margarete Steiff room

Then there is The World of Steiff area that tells the story of the 3000 lost Steiff teddybears. Knopf and Frieda are the guides.

Knopf and Frieda
Knopf and Frieda

The Sewing Centre shows us how the Steiff toys were made in the past but there are also a few workers doing their job in real time – great to see!

Steiff Museum - fabrication demonstration
Steiff Museum – fabrication demonstration

Knopf was very supportive with one of the teddybears on the operation table:

Knopf was very supportive
Knopf was very supportive

Then there are a few areas with real life size animals made from plush, called The Steiff Zoo. Our Knopf was delighted to have a conversation with the Steiff donkey and I was allowed to take a photo of them both:

Knopf on the Steiff donkey
Knopf on the Steiff donkey

Last, we ended in the biggest Steiff shop in the world. Knopf visited his new brothers and I heard a lot of laughters. I suppose they will keep in touch via email. As for me, last year I took home Hendrik de Mol and Tante Wiki.

Knopf meets his new brothers
Knopf meets his new brothers

We got all tired after the hours spent in the museum and the shop, so we stopped at The Knopf Bistro, just outside the museum.

Knopf said:

– One day not only my name but also my photo will be here on the wall.

Knopf wants on the wall
Knopf wants on the wall

And he was right, as I saw the photos from this year on the Steiff website. Knopf is on the wall 🙂

Of course, we had to choose a Bear Menu I. Knopf demanded it and I had nothing more to add as I was also very hungry.

We had no choice but to have a Bear Menu II
We had no choice but to have a Bear Menu

I do hope you will visit Steiff Museum someday. It is a wonderful experience for children and adults alike.

PS: this post is in English because I have a lot of Instagram friends from all over the world who would like to know more about the Steiff toys.

Are you going to visit Steiff Museum some day?

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