Old Bears Everywhere


This American company has undergone a few changes on its journey. Founded in 1955 by Richard Y. Dakin as an import business for expensive, hand crafted guns from Europe, it took a turn towards importing less impactful items such as bikes and wooden toys in 1957, when Roger B. Dakin (Richard's son,) joined the family-run business. One delivery from Japan however, included 6 velveteen plush animals as 'packaging' for the battery-operated trains ordered. These intrigued Roger, who subsequently ordered the soft characters, which were an instant sell-out success. From here Dakin began to design their own plush toys under the name 'Dream Pets' and entered into the main stream. In 1964 Dakin were developing well and managed to acquire the infant soft toy manufacturer Dardenelle Co in California. This became the main manufacturing site for Dakin in North America. During the same time, Dakin had production companies in Japan, Mexico and Hong Kong, they were doing well. 5 years later in 1970, they could boast sales in 35 countries and opted to switch manufacture from Japan to Korea. By the 1980's Licensed Products were becoming more prevalent and Dakin enlarged their portfolio with Garfield, The Pink Panther and The Muppets to name a few. By 1987 R Dakin became Dakin Inc and in 1989 acquired the family-owned British Company 'House of Nesbit' originally founded by Peggy Nesbit in 1952. This opened them up to a completely different market - Collectable Teddy Bears.