Ken Yenke - Contributing Writer
Bright Idea!

It is so easy to become complacent and willingly join the malaise which has settled into so many facets of our lives.

Brenda and I speak nearly every other week to various groups about antiques and collectibles, so we are very familiar with the prevailing attitudes.

Why not choose the high road?

Many years ago I wrote an article about what inspires collectors and artists. There is nothing more profoundly inspiring than to see and study something from its beginnings, right up to the state it is in today.

About a year ago we partnered with Bob Turner in opening the Chelsea Teddy Bear Museum display. Thousands of people from all over have visited the Museum, and left their accolades. Have you?

The Chelsea Teddy Bear Museum is a great place to visit with your family!  Grandma and Grandpa can revisit some of their childhood memories and children never cease to be amazed by the various early toys. Toys and teddy bears that date from the 1870's up to the 1950's are displayed in a pleasingly educational manner.  Remember Howdy Doody?  What was Shirley Temple's favorite teddy bear? How many teddy bear makers from around the world can you identify?  

Some of the most notable museum display pieces include: one of the original 1904 Steiff's rod bear who posed for Steiff's Button in Ear Book in the 1980's. You'll see the only displayed Teddy Bull Moose in the world! One of the most unique selections of Schuco and Bing will absolutely entrance anyone who appreciates artistry and ingenuity!

What is the greatest toy ever made?

In my humble opinion it is obviously the teddy bear!

I will go a step farther by selecting a type of teddy bear as the greatest toy ever made. That would be the Schuco Yes-No plush toy, which can be a bear, dog, cat or any other version they made.

Beginning around 1920 Schuco offered a teddy bear with a movable tail which allowed the bear's head to turn left or right (no) and up and down (yes). This was indeed the first talking toy, though non-verbal. It was the predecessor of Teddy Ruxpin, Mattel pull voices (like Smokey Bear), and was the favorite of moms, dads, librarians, teachers and everyone who interacted with children.

There is a great deal more about these yes-no bears, but take time to visit the Chelsea Toy Museum and see for yourself! Admission is free.

During Chelsea's July Summerfest I'll be there talking about the collection and appraising bears.

Want to be inspired...again?  TAKE A ROAD TRIP!

I will see you at many events including Bright Star Promotion's Teddy Bear Shows. Bring your beloved bear and I will explain the bears' beginning and history.

Ken Yenke

Contributing writer, Author, Appraiser and Museum Curator.

Read about Ken and Brenda and discover his
Teddy Bear Treasury Books.
Brenda and Ken

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