Disney Doll and Teddy Bear Convention 2003 - A Mans Review
Author: BearyMan | Saturday December 20, 2003
The Disney Doll and Teddy Bear Convention, the fun has come and gone, but the bears are ever lasting.
Some Pictures not available until Jan 1, 2003.
Click the "Speak it to me" link at the top of the page and have this article read to you! See Digital Environments, Inc at bottom of the page.
The Disney Doll and Teddy Bear Convetion (DDTC) has passed and as last year, loads of fun. (last years review) and their is a couple of items and people that need special mention.
If you are not familiar with some of the rules and guidelines of the convention, I strongly urge you to read last year's article first. In that article, I explain the rules and the general going ons of the day. It will also give you a little more insight into the auctions, which will help you get a better idea of some of the things I am talking about in this article. You just do not buy bears at this convention; YOU BATTLE FOR THEM.
Example: while standing in line at the Muffy (North American) booth an older, amateur man was holding up the entire line because he did not have his giant bag ready. This is a no-no. Every second counts, every breath is an oppurtunity lost that you may not get the #1 or any of the bears at all. The convention is fast paced and you are given a number for your order of entry. People walk out crying if they do not get a low number. I was lucky this year because I was 125 or something like that. Did you read that? I said I was lucky. If you are past say 200, your luck of getting anything you really want begins to diminish. Not to say you will get nothing, that is not the case, everyone gets most of what they want. But you just do not get the choice and you can't be picky. Its alot of fun, and competition brings out the ferocities in people. I thought people were going to push the guy out of the line that was holding us all up.
First, the Steiff Auction Piece was absolutely amazing. If you are a fan of the Country Bear Jamboree in the Magic Kingdom then you would have been floored by this about 4 foot high, hand crafted beauty. Big Al, if you are familiar with the CBJ, is the fat bear on the left of the stage set in his own little stage. Steiff crafted a mammoth Big Al set inside a 4 foot replica of the stage in CBJ. It was stunning, to say the least. If I had an extra $11,500 to spend, this would have been purchased and hanging in my living room. But, alas, Big Al was purchased by a couple at an unbelievable low price. If I had known, I think I would have sold my car for this one. I can only imagine the Big Al piece reselling for $50,000-$100,000 in just a few months. Believe me, it was a site to behold and I think it was something Steiff will not repeat for some time to come.
Side Note: It goes without saying, but it is worth saying anyways. Steiff Limited Edition Piece "Big Al" was very cool. It lacked some of the Steiff Characteristics, but it was still something different and unique. By characteristics I mean, it is not something you would look at and say "That is a Steiff", which I thought was a little disappointing.
Next. Sandy's Bearly Bruins once again impressed us with her wonderful bears. Sandy's bears are built ruggedly but appear delicate. A Bruin Bear will last a lifetime, probably the best built bears at the show. We could not resist; we had to buy one of the 10 in her collection as we did last year. We grabbed her at lunch time and enjoyed an hour of conversation and good food thanks to Epcot.
Now Koto Bears, mmm, they blew me away. Last year we took their build a bear work shop. The ladies of Koto Bears are two very calm Japanese woman who barely speak English, and they just have two big hearts. The story is, last year they took our picture during the workshop without us knowing. This year when we bumped into them, they had 2 prints made and gave them to us. Great Salesmanship! Anyways, we ended up buying one of Koto bears for $200 whose picture you will see here. Actually, it is my fiancee's Christmas present. This bear I bought was a little cutey.
My show favorite bear of the show was Zucker Bear, also known as Yes/No Bears, if I believe. This was a man bear through and through. Built inside was an armature running from the head to the tale which allowed you to control the head by moving the tail, which I thought was neat though not original. But, the bear was just an all around cool looking bear, rugged and tough. I did not buy one, and now that I look back, I am bummed. Do not ask me why, I am still kicking myself over it.
"The ugliest bear that just seems to grow on you" award goes to Merrythought for the Ancestor of Cheeky Mickey Mouse. This thing was just wretched. I mean ugly, but somewhere, it grows on you. Weird, I have not gotten over this one yet, I am still exploring the phenomena within myself and everyone else at the show. This was one hot item, the talk of the show all together.
So the top three go to:
1. Zucker Bear
2. Koto Bears & Sandys Bearly Bruins (Did I mention, they both sold out of their pieces)
"Clayton" which I am first mentioning here was more of an after thought for "Bear Feet By Sue Coe" then anything else. I talked to her and she said she did not plan on making this bear until it was too late to have it entered into the DDTC catalog. End result., I picked up this great little limited edition (10) piece for $70.00. Probably the best buy of the day, I am not sure if it will ever go up in value, but it sure looks good.
So now that we have talked bears, let's talk convention. Overall rating for this year's convention was an 8. First of all, Disney World still would not deliver our bears to our hotel (Carribean Beach - which was actually the show hotel) the next morning, they only promised after 1 o'clock. I still say this is ridiculous because people are spending a lot of money, much more then your average person, believe me. And because of this, we had to ship our bears to the front of the park and pick them up when we were leaving. I will not get into what happened because of this, but let me WARN all future DDTC attendees, bring your own tape if you have too, but thoroughly secure your bag and insure nothing can fall out. BELIEVE me on this. So Disney lost one point because of the delivery issues. One point was also lost because I could not get a drink of anything but water the morning of the purchasing. Nothing, Nada, nothing supplied. I had to walk clear across the park for a cup of coffee. Other then those two things, Disney did a great job.
The positive aspects of Disney DDTC, I hate to gripe without seeing the good, and there is always plenty of good at Disney / Epcot. The convention was once again well decorated, well managed, VERY secure, orderly and loads of fun. Anything Disney does is always first class. Now if they could just get the bears shipped to our rooms or to the hotels. Did I mention the convention was at Epcot?
Well once again the convention was at Epcot so I had the unfortunate oppurtunity to ride space. If you do not like closed spaces, this ride is not for you. But a lot of people enjoy the ride, I am just one of the few who do not.
I would always reccommend this convention to anyone who loves Dolls and Bears. It is everything you could hope for in your hobby and best of all it is held at Epcot in Disney World. What else could you possibly ask for?
I would also like to mention Old Timers Antiques. Hey if you ever need a Steiff, this is the lady too turn to. I met her this year at the DDTC and visited her store shortly their after. You can trust Old-Timers' Antiques, great bunch of people. You can order online as well, or they will ship anywhere.
Well that is it..... Hope you enjoyed the article and you can always contact me here at Iloveteddies.com.
Here is a plug : If you need a teddy bear web site, go to Digital Environments, Inc, they have software that allows you to create your own web site easily, and they are very trustworthy people.
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