Everyone had a favourite toy growing up and this would have varied greatly depending on what era you were brought up in. For the older readers, there’s a good chance that your favourite toy was a stuffed or plush toy of some sort. Despite the fact that it’s now possible to purchase what is basically an AI bear, it seems that as adults, we’re still in love with the basic, soft cuddly toy. With this in mind, we’ve tried our best to explain why we still can’t stop obsessing over plushes.
The History of the Teddy Bear
In order to get the bottom of our obsession, it’s important to have a quick look at the history of the modern stuffed toy. Contrary to popular belief, the first modern stuffed animal was an Elephant created by Margarete Steiff back in 1880. The first actual “Teddy Bear” wasn’t created until some 22 years later when toymaker Morris Michtom drew inspiration from a cartoon in the Washington Post which depicted Teddy Roosevelt sparing the life of a bear cub whilst out hunting one day. Thus, the teddy bear was born and although his appearance may have changed over the years, many of us can relate to owning one at some point or another in our lives.
Stuffed Toys In Popular Culture
Part of the reason that our obsession with stuffed toys still exists is the amount they are still alive and well within the realms of popular culture. From the adult film Ted to the one-buttoned Corduroy, teddy bears have featured massively on our television screens. Believe it or not, there’s even an online slot game based on stuffed animals – Fluffy Favourites slots at Aspers Casino even contains a toybox pick that helps you on your way. We also can’t help but think that Toy Story has helped keep stuffed toys in favour. Whilst the franchise doesn’t specifically revolve around soft toys, some of the characters could certainly be classed as such and plushes of the latest protagonist, Forky, sold out in record time earlier in the year.
The Psychology Behind Cuddling a Stuffed Toy
Experts say that it’s perfectly normal to sleep with a stuffed animal at night. There have been numerous studies on the chemicals released during and after a hug and the premise is largely the same. In a nutshell, hugging releases endorphins relieves stress and helps people cope with anxiety. Whether this is with another consenting adult or a teddy bear makes no difference; the end result is the same and may go some way to explaining why we’re still obsessed with soft toys even when we hit the middle age mark.
Toys Will Be Toys
No matter how far technology advances, we can confidently predict that stuffed toys will never go out of fashion. You can keep your talking figurines, flashing lights and sentient robots; we’ll stick to a patched up bear with one ear and a plaster keeping his eyes in place every day of the week thankyou very much. Disclaimer – talking teddy bears are actually quite cool.