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The State Quarter Bears
From Timeless Toys

Dateline: November 2001

When I had a chance to check out the State Quarter Bears from Timeless Toys in person, I jumped on the chance to see what collectors were talking about.

The bean bag style bears have a see-through pocket on the bear's chest to hold the state quarter. The bears are embroidered with the state name, year of statehood, and the number of the (quarter) release. The back of the bear has an embroidered state flag and the foot has the American flag embroidered.

There are two different sizes of the State Quarter bears, the 8.5" size are the standard bears and a limited number Super State Quarter bears were produced that are approximately 18" tall. These triple cross-collectibles, bean bags, bears and the widely popular state quarters, are a a lot of fun and it was hard not to come home with a few of them.

Delaware #1

The store owner mentioned she has a hard time keeping them in stock and with customers as far away as the U.K. ordering each bear as it is released. She said the State Quarters bears were one of the store's best sellers!

A relative to the State Quarter bear is the Scagawea Golden Dollar bear. This bear is similar to the State Quarter Bear, with a vinyl pocket on the chest, the golden eagle embroidered on the right side of the chest, and the American flag on the back. Lewis and Clark is embroidered on the sole of the bear, along with the Timeless Toys logo on the other foot. These bears are 11" tall and two releases have been issued. The 2000 bear was done in chocolate brown colors and the 2001 has been very popular recently, since it is tie-dyed in reds, whites and blues. A new bear will be released for each year the U.S. Mint produces the Sacawegea Golden Dollar.

After seeing the bears, it was time to talk with Timeless Toys and find out more about their products, in particular the State Quarter Bears.

Ron Jessen, designer of the bears from Timeless Toys, excitedly told about the rocket ride the company has been on since Toyfair 2000, when the bears were first shown to retailers. The company came up with the idea in 1999 when the new state quarters caused thousands of people to become new collectors. Tossing around the concept of combining different collectibles -- the State Quarter bear was born. The company has been amazed at how quickly and widely received the bears have become and the demand has been so great, Timeless Toys outgrew their original warehouse space in just three quick months trying to keep up with orders. It's not only bear stores that order them, coin dealers, especially, have been crazy for the State Quarter bears.

Collector's Tip:
North Carolina was originally released as a lilac bear (a small number were produced) and the color was changed to a Tarheel blue for later shipments. This variation is valued at up to $30.

The bears are released five at time in the same order the U.S. Mint releases the state quarters, but that doesn't mean collectors have to wait until the State Quarter is issued to buy that bear.

Sacawegea Bear

Although this is just the tip of the iceberg for this young company, it has put them on the map for toy makers. So, if you are a bear collector, coin collector, or even a bean bag collector, this is one company to keep your eye on. The bears are currently being sold in a wide variety of retail outlets, such as bear and doll stores, coin dealers and gift shops. And you can check the Timeless Toys web site for a list of e-commerce retailers.

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(c) 2001 Barbara Crews, licensed to About.com, Inc

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