Shipwrecked Bears, The

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20110727Gyles Brandreth investigates the mystery of three thousand missing teddy bears, the first ever made.|Three thousand teddy bears went missing in 1903, supposedly en route for New York from their native Germany.|Bear expert and storyteller-par-excellence Gyles Brandreth attempts to discover what really happened to these earliest toy bears.|In 1902 the first ever toy bear was designed in Germany by Richard Steiff: Bär 55 PB, a lifelike bear with joints, a humped back and a snout.|A New York toy company placed an order at the Leipzig Toy Fair in 1903 for three thousand of the bears - a novelty - to be ready in time for the Christmas market.|The bears were made and packed up for shipment, but there is no record of them reaching their destination and none of this load of US-bound bears has ever been found.|The templates, patterns and even photos of this bear exist but not even one sample was kept.|One popular explanation is that there was a shipwreck and the bears had a watery end.|All that is certain is that if one of these bears turned up now it would be 'open chequebook' time for certain museums and collectors.|Witty, magical and heart-warming, the documentary reveals fascinating detail behind the making of the bears, including a trip to the Steiff factory and a riffle through their detailed archives, as Gyles delights us with this little-known story, and imagines where water-logged bears might have washed up.|Producer...Mary Ward-Lowery.|Gyles Brandreth investigates the mystery of the missing teddy bears, the first ever made.