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  • Object:

    Teddy bear

  • Place of origin:

    China (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1983-1990 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Reynolds, Nick (designer)
    Nicholas, George (Inventor)
    Hornby Hobbies Limited (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stuffed and sewn nylon plush soft toy, with plastic features.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Leonie Davis on behalf of James and Thomas Davis

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is a stuffed toy teddy bear which was owned by James Davis, who received the toy as a Christmas present in 1990 when he was five years old. The toy was part of the WereBears range, created by artist George Nicholas. The name is an allusion to the very popular toy series Care Bears, by American Greetings, which were ubiquitous in the 1980s. The WereBears were designed to appeal to boys interests in the same way that the Care Bears appealed to girls.

Each bear was sold with his own story tape, narrated by Oliver Postgate. There were four WereBears; Gums (this one), Fang, Grizzler and Howler, with a back-story that told how as ordinary teddy bears they were turned into the WereBears by the light of the full moon. The toy was designed so that its head and paws were reversible, revealing a scary face and claws. Fang's character was the clever one of the group, so before he is reversed into a WereBear, he wears a school cap on his head. Manufacture of the WereBears toys halted in the early 1990s, but interest still prevails, with an attempt at relaunching the characters in 2009.

Physical description

Body and head of blue nylon plush with pink paws and lower part of face, with red shorts and red and yellow night cap. Normal teddy bear face with bead eyes turns inside out to reveal a 'scary' face with flat plastic eyes, as do paws which reveal claws.

Place of Origin

China (manufactured)


1983-1990 (manufactured)


Reynolds, Nick (designer)
Nicholas, George (Inventor)
Hornby Hobbies Limited (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Stuffed and sewn nylon plush soft toy, with plastic features.


Height: 23 cm, Width: 23 cm, Depth: 18 cm

Object history note

The toys were given to the donors for their birthdays and at Christmas in 1990. They were some of the last presents given to them by their Uncle George and his wife Lesley before he died in 1992, who emigrated to Canada before they were born, and so rarely saw them. The boys used to pretend that the bear without any teeth had put gunpowder, not gum powder, on his toothbrush and blew out his teeth!

Descriptive line

Dark blue and pink WereBear soft toy teddy bear, Gums, with transforming head and paws.


Nylon plush; Acrylic stuffing; Thread; Plastic


Sewing; Stuffing


Children & Childhood; Dolls & Toys


Museum of Childhood

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