Cheeky bear (Merrythought)
Cheeky bear (Merrythought)(i)
"Cheeky" bear by Merrythought. Jean Barber joined the company in 1953, and designed Cheeky in 1955. The bear was shown at the 1956 British Toy Fair, and acquired the name "Cheeky" because of his wide grin. The design was registered in 1957.
By 1950, teddybears were beginning to look very different to the earlier bears. American cartoon characters, with their exaggerated (caricatured) features were popular.
Cheeky's shape is unbearlike, with an enormous head. His muzzle is soft, squashy, small and pointed. He has very large ears! His limbs are short and stumpy, his feet are large and very wide, and he is jointed. Cheeky's fur was originally made from artificial silk plush, with nylon plush being used from 1960. Nylon was the first completely synthetic material, it was soft and available in many different colours.
His muzzle is made from velveteen. His seams are machine-stitched with nylon or polyester thread. His stuffing is made from kapok, a vegetable fibre from the seed-pods of a tropical tree. His large eyes are plastic, coloured amber with black pupils, and were fixed with special safety fasteners with interlocking backs using a screw and washer system.
He has a metal bell inside each ear.
Cheeky was produced in a variety of sizes and materials.