Stuffed Toy

Production date
Circa 1927
A large stuffed bear mounted on a red wooden frame with four metal wheels. The bear has no eyes or ears.
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Object detail

Production date
Circa 1927
Credit line
He was nearly loved to bits but this bear now lives more peacefully at Puke Ariki. Battered and ripped he may be, but his lack of surviving facial features certainly doesn’t dim his charm. The toy bear on wheels was first given to Jim Milne in 1927 by his uncle Charles. Bear was then passed down through generations of the Milne family, losing fur and entering family folklore along the way.

Viv Smith, who recently rediscovered Bear in the collection, remembers plenty of fun family times with him in her family during the 1950s and 1960s.

“At one point Bear had one glass eye, the left one; it was a kind of dark honey brown with a big black centre. The metal rod sticking out his neck has been there as long as we have known him, but we’ve never seen his ears. We used to ride Bear up and down the hallway of our house on Cowling Road. Sometimes, he used to bite: the split cotter pins holding his wheels on used to catch the inside of our ankles drawing blood.” No-one rides Bear these days but he is valued in a different ways, as a great example of a toy built to last and one treasured by a family for generations.
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