21 years Euro Teddy– How It Started:
Walter Neumann, the organizer was always by four bear paws ahead. The October 22nd and 23rd 1994 is an important date for the German and European teddy bear scene: For the first time a major event for bear lovers took place in Germany. The „Euro-Teddy Bear“ in Aachen. It was a model for other large events and has remained to this day as Euro Teddy in Essen as an international crowd puller. A review:
The idea to organize a large teddy bear fair in Germany goes back to the two renowned Teddy Bear Artist Claudia Weinstein and Verena Greene-Christ. The two knew such fairs as exhibitors from the USA, where the teddy bear market was booming for years. Germany in this respect was still a developing country. For the implementation of the ambitious project, it required a professional with entrepreneurial vision and daring, and last but not least excellent connections in the scene. With Walter Neumann there was found a specialist, who organized one of the first toy exchanges especially for Teddy Bears and Steiff Animals since 1987.
That the event was being held in Aachen in the 3 countries, was no coincidence, because they wanted it targeted to the teddy bear friends, respond in the Benelux countries, in particular in the Netherlands. Journalistic support came from the Dutch magazine Beer report that it was from 1994 as „BärBericht“ also in German translation. From that day on, the BärReport would soon emerge as an independent magazine.
The fair in Euro Gress Aachen was connected with the first teddy bear European Championship, which was held in seven categories. Pioneering the idea of the jury was to give a detailed assessment form to the hand, to guarantee maximum objectivity. So each participant could well understand why their bear had achieved this or that score. The European Championship for bear making to the Euro Teddy has remained one of the most important awards to this day that can get by Teddy professionals.
By the way the secret mascot of the Euro-Teddy-competition was in the early years the “kölsche Hännesche“. If you look closely, you can discover the famous puppet character on many pictures of the assembled Winners: a humorous allusion, pointing with Walter Neumann on his native city.
Even a festival bear was present at the the premiere. The 30 cm tall “Rosenkavalier”, who held a red rose behind his back, came from the company Sigikid and was limited to 200 copies.
The following year the fair was moved to the Ruhr metropolis Essen, where she held since then, first as „Bear & doll“, since 1999 under concentration on teddy bear named Teddy Euro. 2014 is the international bear event now taking place for the 21st time.
Other large events with a worldwide reputation have since been added, in particular the Teddy Bear World in Wiesbaden with the competition for the „TED worlwide“ since 1998, but also the “Lake Bear Festival” in Lindau, that attracts the bears enthusiasts to Lake Constance for eleven years, or that Bamberg Teddy Bear Festival, which takes place in 2014 for the sixth time. Not to forget the International Puppet Festival in Neustadt, which is just not only one of the great meeting places of the bear lovers because of the master-Teddy-competition.
Overall, according to Walter Neumann has calculated, the Agency Neumann & Spies has organized over 300 events for collectors, teddy bear artist and dolls since 1987, more than any other organizer in Germany. A special role plays the „Euro-Teddy Bear“ in Aachen 21 years ago, because it was the beginning of a fair type, which has since shaped the teddy bear scene in Germany.
The Agency Neumann & Spies, is currently the leader with the BärReport and Teddy Fairs and reaches almost all teddy bear lovers in Europe