This week, my daughter is attending her middle-school dance. She’s in seventh grade, and it’s a big deal. Even though they are not wearing gowns or tuxes—this isn’t a prom, after all—she definitely wanted to look nice. So she spent a day in search of an “elegant creation.” How interesting that teddy bear artist Vicky Lougher creates her well-heeled (and sometimes undressed) critters under the banner of Elegant Creations. The array of well-garbed bears run the gamut from a “Wicked” witch, who could be belting out “Defying Gravity,” to a dapper husband-and-wife pair of newlyweds. Her characters are supernatural and theatrical, sure to cast a spell on collectors.
It’s hard to believe, but it was a little over 50 years ago that the term “tribble” entered the American lexicon. Now, most people of a certain age, as well as many people who adore science-fiction screenplays, know that a tribble is a round ball of twittering and vibrating fur that invaded the starship Enterprise. These at-first-adorable houseguests are a precursor to the horror-film “Gremlins,” which also begin life as cute and sweet-natured before becoming overbearing and domineering. No wonder that the fan-favorite “Star Trek” episode was called “The Trouble with Tribbles,” because that’s what these furry folks brought with them—loads of trouble, mayhem, and laughter! It also explains why “Star Trek” has continued to be a vehicle that begs to be made into different collectible figures, plush toys, and even teddy bears.
For us arctophiles, teddy bears are members of the family. It doesn’t matter if they are so tiny they can be cradled in the palms of our hands, or so huge that they dominate one-third of a king-size bed. The physical size of the bear doesn’t matter; its ability to touch us emotionally and sentimentally is what counts. Teddy bears are our “spirit animals,” and Zwergnase knows that there is a definite marriage between mohair and mental connections, plush and psychic telepathy. They make bears that bridge the gap between children’s playthings and playful children themselves.