Paddington Bear Film

Paddington Bear Film

Paddington Bear Film
It all started in October 1958 when Collins first published a story by Michael Bond about an appealing bear from Peru, who had been left at Paddington Station in his duffel coat, rain hat and red Wellington boots, with a label saying "Please look after  this bear", and marmalade sandwiches in his suitcase.

Inspiration for the story had come two years earlier when Bond, a BBC cameraman, bought a small bear. 

He named him Paddington after the station near his home and gave him to his wife for Christmas.

In The Beginning

In the stories, Bond modelled Mr and Mrs Brown on his own   parents and originally wanted Paddington to come from darkest Africa. 

However, the publishers pointed out that there were no bears in Africa, so Paddington came from Peru instead. The first book 'A bear called Paddington' with illustrations by Peggy Fortnum, won the 'Best Children's Book of the Year' award and Paddington was set to achieve worldwide fame.

Until 1966, Bond wrote a book each year and after that there followed six collections of stories between 1968 and 1981. Since then there have been hardback and paperback versions of the novels, 14 in all, numerous short stories, books for younger readers and pop up books. Paddington has been published in  over 20 languages. 

Paddington Bear Film
He has appeared on a Japanese credit card, was a crew member when Richard Branson attempted to break the Atlantic Blue Riband speed record and joined an expedition to the Amazon to raise money for charity.

First edition Paddington books are now worth between £17 and £25 each.  Ironically, Michael Bond does not own an original set of the books, having lent or given them all away. However, he does have a valuable collection of Christmas  cards, sent annually from Peggy Fortnum, the original illustrator, each with a thumbnail sketch of the little bear.

In 1969, the BBC commissioned Harry Hargreaves to redesign Paddington to illustrate stories which were to feature in the Blue Peter annuals. So the bear lost his Wellingtons and sometimes even his coat and hat, and sported a feather in his big floppy hat. 

The illustrations appeared until 1980 and many of the original drawings were sold at Christie's in December, along with the Blue Peter annuals, as well as one especially drawn for the sale

k Most of them 'i exceeded sale estimates by several hundred pounds, a few of them trebling in price. The most _ expensive, at £1,150, was a set of ten drawings published in the ninth Blue Peter book in 1972 with a copy of that book and sheets of rough drawings.

It was the television  series in 1979 which inspired the heyday of Paddington merchandise. One of the original soft toys used in the series to move around a cartoon home, lives today in the Teddy Bear Museum at Stratford - Upon - Avon. 

The other was expected to be sold at auction at Sotheby's London, last year at an estimated £6,000- £10,000 but at the last minute the seller couldn't bear to part with it and withdrew it from the sale.

Paddington Bear Film
There is a huge and affordable choice of Paddington memorabilia for the collector. These include curtains, bedding, jigsaws, stitch kits, posters, nursery furniture, Wellingtons and toys.
A 1970s lampshade is likely to cost around £25, a wind up toy £10.

There is all manner of replica bears. A set of three made by Gabrielle in the seventies were recently sold at auction in a lot of three, for £90.

However, since the company went into liquidation in February 1998, that price is likely to rise. A current model produced by Teddy Bears of Witney in a limited edition, complete with leather   suitcase, marmalade sandwich and certificate signed by Michael Bond, costs £99.

Anyone who prefers ceramics, will appreciate the Coal port range of nursery ware and figures first introduced in 1976. 

Thirteen new models were produced in 1981 and 1983 and to celebrate Paddington's 25th birthday that year there was a Happy Birthday plate and mug, thimbles and the bear's cottage.

By 1987 the range included bathroom   accessories, cutlery, brooches, tree ornaments and a Father's Day mug, tea cup and saucer.

Collector's should note that the design of the nursery ware changed in 1985. The new style featured illustrations and text from the story books.

Paddington Bear Film

In 1996 Doulton introduced a series of figures, some of which are already retired so therefore highly collectable.

 These are   Paddington Bear at the station, bakes a cake, decorating, surfing, gardening, fishing, bathtime, golfer, musician, Christmas, and marmalade sandwich.

Camtrak's Wade birthday Paddington figure 'Paddington in the snow' is a limited edition of 2,000. Their previous Paddington figure, which retailed at around £33, is worth more than double that on the secondary market.

With the new Paddington Bear Film coming to the big screen in  2014  , the future looks rosy for
Paddington and his collectibles.  

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