Old Bears Everywhere

Deans Rag Book Company

For over 200 years Deans were known for printing a variety of books including Debretts Peerage (an essential reference to the British aristocracy). When two of their Directors left, inspired by the latest American visions into the untapped market, they established Dean and Green. Soon they were producing a washable, fabric childrens book. The cost was not cheap at 6/- each, the equivalent of £25.00 today, so after negotiations, it was decided that the two companies should merge and concentrate on a new market - printed cotton toys and books. So on August 8th 1903 Deans Rag Book Company was born. They continued with their printed Rag Books, Photo and Scrap Albums, Rag Dolls, Nursery Adornments and the innovative Swimeesy Buoy of 1908, which were actually water wings. During WWI, Deans saw the gap in the market left by the absence of European goods, and in 1915 began production on a line of mohair plush toys. These Kuddlemee Toys were Deans premier catalogued Bears, but it was not until 1922 that Deans crafted their first branded mohair bear. They continued with their success, being the first company to create Mickey Mouse as a toy in 1930, soon to be followed by Donald Duck and Pluto. Over time things change, and in 1972 Deans merged with Gwentoys who had been partially producing some of their lines for them. In 1988 they were under new management, who in observing that a lot of soft toy manufacturing was now being done over seas, decided to focus more on the Limited Edition Collectors Bears. This is the Deans we know today. In 1994 the Deans Collectors Club was formed, proving that their bears were as popular as ever.

Click here to see the Deans Bears range.