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A History Of The Teddy Bear
Shuco Bears History

Teddy Bear History > Shuco Bears aka George Shreyer & Co.

Schuco Bears

Schuco was the trade name for Schreyer & Co, a German toy company founded in 1912 in Nuremburg.

Known for its tinplate mechanical toys, Schuco began to make teddy bears in in mohair and plush fabric in earnest following the First World War with a Schuco “Yes/No” bear believed to have made its debut at the Leipzig spring toy fair in Germany in 1921.

This teddy had a mechanism allowing a tail-operated lever to move the bear’s head in a up and down and left to right in a ‘yes/no’ way. These were often referred to as the “Patented ‘Yes/No’ bears” They were made in a variety of sizes (six?) from 25cm to 60cm and various colours and mohair fabrics. The four smaller sizes contained squeakers, the two larger sized bears contained growlers

In 1924 Schuco introduced a series of miniature bears known as Piccolo Bears. They ranged in size from 9cm to 15cm and came in various vivid colour mohair.

In 1927 the range was extended and Compact Bears were produced which were designed to fit into a ladies bag, containing a mirror, compact, lipstick and powder puff or a perfume bottle or a manicure set.

Schuco Yes/No c1935Around 1950, the Tricky Yes/No teddy bear was re-introduced. Made in seven sizes, of various colours of blond, gold and brown mohair. These bears also contained growlers and some also contained Swiss musical mechanisms. They had distinctive down-turned paws, broad flat feet and their muzzles were often shaved. Early Tricky yes/no bears had short mohair and black boot button eyes. They wore a red bow and plastic medallion on their chest saying “Schuco TRICKY Patent” on one side and "Made in the US zone of Germany”

These bears continued being made until the 1970's when the company was taken over.

The "Janus" novelty bear was introduced in 1954. One is a normal teddy bear with black metal eyes and black thread nose and mouth sewn in an inverted V shape. The other face has a black nose, black eyes with white surrounds and a wide white mouth with a protruding pink tongue. The bear is named after Janus, the Roman god of beginnings. A small knob was positioned at the base of the body and turning this moved the head. They were fully jointed, made of golden mohair over a metal frame and had black metal bead eyes.

In the 1960's the "Bigo Bello" design was introduced, taking over from the Tricky yes/no bear, these bears were posable and carried the Hegi label.

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Timeline of the Company History - Shuco Toy Company Inc. aka Shreyer & Co.
1912 November 16, Schreyer & Company, which is commonly known as Schuco, was founded in Nuremberg, Germany by Heinrich Muller, an ex employee of Gebruder Bing. The trademark was a small tumbling man.
1913 The first advertisement for wheeled animals including a bear appeared.
1914-18 The factory closed for the duration of World War I.
1918 A new partner, Adolf Kahn, a wholesaler, joined the company.
1919 The company relocated to Singerstrasse, Nuremberg.
1921 "Schuco" was adopted as trademark and added to the picture of the small tumbling man.

1924 The ‘Picillo’ range was introduced

1927 The ‘Compact’ bear range was introduced.

1929 The company relocated to larger premises in Further Strasse, Nuremberg.
1936 Adolf Kahn, a Jew, left the company when Hitler came to power. He moved first to England and then joined his son in the USA in 1940.
1946 - 1949 The company operated at reduced capacity making household items and toys.
1947 Adolf Kahn and his son, Eric, established Schuco Toy Co. Inc in the US, with rights to import all Schuco products for the USA and Canada.
In the early 1950’s the ‘Tricky Yes/No’ Bear was reintroduced, possibly with the help of the US occupying powers.

1954 The ‘Janus Teddy Bear was introduced.

1958 Heinrich Muller died and his son, Werner, took over.

1960's and 1970's The ‘Big Bello’ design was introduced. The company sold toys made by Herta Girz & Co, with the trademark of "Hegi" and operated in the Schuco premises, still in Nuremberg.

1976 Hegi collaborates with Anker, a soft toy manufacturer based in Munich, the toys being sold as "Schuco" but they were unable to compete with Far Eastern imports. The Company was sold to Dunbee-Combex-Marx and the "Schuco" trademark was sold to George Mangold GmbH & Co.

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Alphabetical Listings...
Wendy Boston
John W Bratton
Chad Valley 
Janet Changfoot
Deans Rag Book Company
Grisly Speilwaren 
Gund The American giant 
Hermann, Hermann Speilwaren, Gebruder Hermann, Hermann Teddy Original 
Jimmy Kennedy who wrote the words to the song Teddy Bears’ Picnic
Teddy Bears’ Picnic music by John W Bratton and the lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy

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You might also be interested in...
Where, and how, the Teddy Bear was born
What happened to the Teddy Bear next
Some people who had a major influence on the design of the Teddy Bear
For the fact hounds... A Teddy Bear Timeline
The Lyrics (and music) to the famous song - Teddy Bears’ Picnic
Some interesting facts about picnics, the music, Jimmy Kennedy, John W Bratton.
Teddy Love ... our ongoing love affair with the Teddy Bear

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