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Teddy bear - Teddy Doofings

Teddy Doofings

  • Object:

    Teddy bear

  • Place of origin:

    England (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1937-38 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Merrythought Limited (manufacturers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Sewn and stuffed mohair plush

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Gillian Deane

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Teddy Doofings was manufactured by the well-known British teddy bear and soft toy company, Merrythought Ltd. It was only in production for two years, 1937 and 1938. It was one of Merrythought's novelty bears, highly distinctive and the most posable toy produced to date. Because it was only made for a short period of time, the Teddy Doofings bear is quite rare.
As the name implies, this bear could do a lot of things and was advertised with the following rhyme -
He can laugh, he can cry
He can sing, he can sigh
He can sweep, he can sleep
He can box and darn socks
He can play any way
This is an exaggeration but the malleability of this bear did mean that most parts of the body could be moved, including opening and shutting its eyes. It was made in a variety of colours, brown, blue, pink and green, with brown being the most popular.

Physical description

An unjointed teddy bear with unusual characteristics. The majority of the plush is brown with the face area a paler shade. The pads on the paws are cream cotton and while the feet are plain with a card backing inside, the hands are shaped into four fingers. There is a pronounced snout with an open red lined mouth. The eyes are of orange and black glass and are lidded. The ears are sewn into the upper sides of the head. The bear is stuffed with soft material.

Place of Origin

England (manufactured)


1937-38 (manufactured)


Merrythought Limited (manufacturers)

Materials and Techniques

Sewn and stuffed mohair plush


Height: 47 cm

Object history note

The bear was given to the donor, Gillian Deane, nee Cooke (B.16/02/1944), around the end of World War II by a relative or family friend known as Aunt Topsy. This was when Gillian's family (her parents were conscientious objectors) were living in Norfolk. Despite the bear's unusual appearance Gillian was very attached to it and passed it on to her own children in due course.

Descriptive line

Brown plush soft toy bear, Teddy Doofings, made in England by Merrythought in 1937/38




Sewing; Stuffing


Children & Childhood; Dolls & Toys

Production Type

Mass produced


Museum of Childhood

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