Perhaps the very first 'toy' a child ever has, the stuffed animal has a greater meaning than all the rest because children develop powerful emotional relationships with their stuffed animals. Just think of The Velveteen Rabbit. Who is always there to comfort you? Who never scolds you? And they come in all sizes, shapes, and most important, degrees of huggability.
The Teddy Bear Edit
My one true friend when I was little was my bear 'Belta'. A little threadbare in places now and on about his 10th nose replacement, Belta followed me through school - having his own knitted school uniform, his own 'Nirvana' t-shirt as I entered my Grunger era, a graduation gown when I was at university, and then a shirt and tie as I entered the world of work. A teddy will always be there. I don't know what constitutes 'The' teddy out of the many cuddly toys a child has in their toy box - but an absolute must have.
Gund Stuffed Animals Edit
Prehaps one of the better known brand names with regards to collcetable plush, Steiff manufacture a range of soft bodied bears and animals. Instantly recognisable through a steiff button through the ear, steiff toys make a good edition to any stuffed animal collection.
TY Beanie Babies Edit
These have been a collectable for a while now, and although the hype that used to surround the monthly new releases has subsided considerably, there is still a strong following for these cute bears and animals alike.