Old Bears Everywhere

Wendy Boston

During WWII in Wales, Wendy Boston busied herself whilst her husband was away fighting. She began making non-jointed Teddies and cuddly Animals with any fabrics that she could find for friends and family who greatfully received them. When her husband -Ken- returned, he realised the demand for these huggable characters, due to the production shortfall created by the war. So with Wendy designing and creating them, they began producing more, and thanks to Kens marketing skills, selling them to local businesses with great success - it was 1945.Come 1948 Wendy had become an innovative designer, she developed and patented the first lock-in safety eye. It worked by attaching a rust proof nut through the plush fabric, making them more child safe. Continuing with this theme 1954 saw the arrival of the first fully washable, non-jointed, foam filled, plush Teddy Bear. A fabulous marketing ploy demonstration shown by the BBC in 1955, showed the washable bear being washed and then being squeezed through a mangle. It bought great success, and in 1960 Wendy Boston Playsafe Toys Ltd was registered as a company. A few years later, it was noted that the company produced over 25% of the soft toy UK exports.In 1968 it had become apparent that the innovative safety features of the bears added to the production costs, and with imports from the far east proving to be far cheaper, profits fell. As a consequence, Denys Fisher Toys bought the company out, but contined with the Wendy Boston Name. Sadly Wendy passed in 1972, four years before the factory closed.