For those who have been counting the days, it does seem like an eternity since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement. For me, who has never missed a chance to connect a pop-culture moment with a possible plush-life keepsake, it has been well worth the wait. Back on November 30, I pondered if Ms. Markle would be given a teddy-bear testament. Well, I’m happy to report that the possible “future highness” has been given an ursine likeness–quite a few, in fact. (Yes, I know it’s a long shot that Meghan will ever ascend to the throne, but she’ll immediately become a People’s Princess, much like the dearly departed Diana.) For royal watchers and teddy bear collectors, this is a love affair made in huggable heaven!
The band Journey is recognized for its lead singer Steve Perry’s soaring, full-throated vocals. One of the group’s most popular anthems is “Don’t Stop Believin’,” a song that encourages everyone to hold fast to their dreams. Given a new lease on life with the cast of TV’s “Glee,” which embraced it as one of their most requested numbers, this melody and its inspirational lyrics underscore what plush companies do every single year. They don’t stop believing (or believin’ as the title exhorts) that they know what their collectors crave. They don’t stop believing that there is a market out there for perennial plush creations. They don’t quit making collectibles, even in the face of fanatics who want the world to be stripped bare of any “clutter.” And you, the collector, you don’t stop believing in the power and allure of your beloved hugs.
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.