Appearing and thriving in the soft toy craze in the early 1900s, teddy bears made in Germany have experienced fierce competition to protect their reputation in the world market. That has made German bear toys, then and now, the first choice of both children and adults.
Here are the top 10 best German teddy bear brands that we highly recommend.
Top 10 Best German Teddy Bear Brands
1. Margarete Steiff (1880)
Margarete Steiff is undeniably the most famous teddy bear brand globally. Its first bear hit the market in 1902, and 974,000 bears accompanied the world’s children just five years later. Even now, in-ear Steiff trademark buttons symbolize a high-quality, traditional, and collectible brand worldwide.
It isn’t surprising that a small toy company founded in 1880 by a female tailor could be so successful. Pioneering in the field, innovation in materials – design – movement made Steiff a big shot.
Although it is pretty expensive, Steiff’s product lines are worth the money for fire resistance, durability, and high safety for children.
2. Gebrüder Bing (1865)
Gebrüder Bing is a German teddy bear company founded in 1865. When the teddies market became a global craze, Gebrüder Bing brought out their first ones in 1907. Along with Steiff, Gebrüder Bing was the most significant manufacturer of children’s toys of the 1900s.
Unlike the realistic appearance of the Steiff teddy bears, Gebrüder Bing’s initial teddy bears have a cuter design with chubby faces and small ears. The company also differentiated its products from competitors by an arrow-shaped trademark, which later changed to a metal nail.
Thanks to their mechanical background, they also produce mechanical bears capable of skating, tumbling, and even acrobatic.
3. Eduard Cramer (1896)
Most German brands are born from solo craftsmanship, and so is Eduard Cramer. This children’s soft toy company appeared in 1896 thanks to the talent of a skilled tailor – Eduard Cramer. Teddy bears from this craftsman are also sold under other names such as Schalkau or Thuringia.
Eduard Cramer pioneers creating a difference for teddies. Their products often have colorful designs. In addition, the bears also feature recognizable flat feet that can stand, heart-shaped faces, and expressive mouth openings.
Besides the signature mohair bear model, the company also offers mechanical and musical bears.
4. Teddy Hermann (1912)
Teddy Hermann is considered a valuable brand as being one of the earliest German teddy bear brands. Founded in 1912, the company specializes in making mechanical teddies that can answer “yes – no” thanks to a unique mechanism.
After more than a century of development, Teddy Hermann now offers three main product lines.
- Hermann Teddy Original with a traditional mohair bear designed for collectors.
- The Hermann Teddy Collection includes more plush toys geared to children.
- Hermann Teddy Miniaturen is a unique collection, including teddy bears under 12cm that almost no one else has produced.
5. NICI (1986)
Founded in 1986, NICI (NICI AG) manufactures toys for children with a very diversified product range based in northern Bavaria, Germany. This 1980s teddy bear brand doesn’t have a long tradition compared to its rivals. Yet NICI marked its success as the producer of “Goleo” – the mascot of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
With NICI AG, teddy bears are our companions from infancy to adulthood. Therefore, the company provides teddies-design toys in a variety of forms. Bears with their distinctive brown fluffy fur and adorable outlooks appear as both classic soft toys and unique objects such as keychains, pen cases, calendars, and more.
6. Sigikid (1856)
Compared to other toys brands, Sigikid seems broader when this company produces plush toys, fashion, and accessories for mothers and babies.
Although it has only been around for about 50 years, Sigikid’s parent company has a tradition of more than 150 years when it was founded in 1856.
The company is mainly noted for its lines of organic or explicitly designed toys for children. However, Sigikid is also one of the German teddy bear brands with a high reputation.
Its teddy bear is quite similar to the design of the first bears in the world with long limbs, pointed muzzle, and ruffled fur. Sigikid also has a line of giant teddies that are almost life-sized!
7. Kosen (1911)
Next is the Kosen which is founded from 1911-1912.
As a manufacturer that appreciates detail and meticulousness, the plush toys created by Kosen all have a very realistic shape, almost identical to reality. Its teddy bear is no exception with its dark brown fur, long pointed muzzle, but it is not scary but adorable.
Proud to be a 100% made-in-Germany brand, Kosen is stringent regarding product quality control. Besides the skillful hands of the craftsmen, the EN71 and CE mark certifications make their products very prestigious. All teddy bears or soft toys from Kosen are washable and entirely safe for children.
8. Sunkid (1986)
Sunkid is another 1980s teddy bear brand with broad coverage in Germany and the U.S.
Sunkid’s customers are not only children but also adults and lovers of collecting plush toys. Their teddy bears are diverse in color (dark brown, light brown, white, …) but also surprise in size. Its XXL bear line measures up to 100cm tall – a size that’s right to go with you for a lifetime.
Despite not having a long history, Sunkid is now the choice of many families because of the excellent quality and sustainability of the products. Their toys are compliant with the European Toy Directive to ensure child safety.
9. Legler (1988)
Legler is probably the only company on this list that makes its reputation out of wooden toys. Founded in 1988, the company was originally a firm buying and selling wooden gifts and commercial products.
However, the development direction of the company’s toy segment was an intelligent move when Legler was honored in the top “10 toys of 2020” by the Germany National Association of Toys Retailers.
Although slightly eclipsed by wooden toys, Legler’s soft toys like teddy bears are still top quality. The company focuses on producing teddies with cute looks and fluffy furs. Besides, bear models like real life are also widely sold by the company.
10. Hansa (1972)
Established in 1972, Hansa is famous for animal products designed with true-life and absolute authenticity.
Not only perfectly and vividly recreate the appearance of animals, but Hansa also creates natural habitats that correspond to each species. Therefore, its toys are very suitable for children’s education.
The company offers a line of diverse Hansa bears, from the typical brown bear to polar bears, even pandas. Its teddy bears are not only cute, but they also have a lightweight frame to stand on, even for kids to ride on them.
Early German teddy bear brands often realistically depict products close to real-life bears that are not child-friendly. However, they have gradually improved their designs to keep up with the tastes of the masses. So, there’s no reason why this country shouldn’t be known for its excellent quality products! Although their products are a bit expensive, trust us, they are worth it!