Old Bears Everywhere

Chad Valley

In 1820 Johnsons Bros Ltd a printing firm, opened their doors little knowing how the business would transform over time. By the early 20th Century, they began to print Board Games and this eventuality lead them into the Toy Market. They began trading under the name Chad Valley, after the nearby Chad stream that ran past their factory. Following the ban on German exports during WWI, Chad Valley turned their hand to soft toys, and produced their first Teddy Bear in 1915. By 1920 they had patented a stuffing machine, moved to Shropshire and changed names to Chad Valley Co. Ltd.By 1960 they proudly owned seven factories with a workforce of over 1,000. Business was booming, and time for expansion came when Chad Valley purchased Chiltern Toys, making them Britains largest soft toy manufacturer. Unfortunately due to the recession of the 1970s, they were forced to close six of the seven factories, and decided to relocate to Pontypool. Adding to its decline, in 1978 Palitoy bought the company out, which inturn was then taken over by the American company Kenner Parker. Woolworths a long-standing high street store, purchased the Chad Valley name in 1988, and ran with that Trade Name for many of their goods until they hit financial difficulties due to another recession, and ceased trading in 2008. Now the Trade Name is owned by the Home Retailer Group, and you can exclusively purchase Chad Valley products from Argos.