My baby koala is so excited; his big brother has joined him in my shop! I am delighted to present another size of this rare “bear” to you. He is only the fifth middle size koala I have ever had in all the years I have been helping Steiff animals find new homes.
As I said when I introduced you to the little guy, calling this “Down Under” critter a bear is a misnomer, since he is a marsupial. I say “he” because Koala has no pouch. Koala is certainly as cute as any teddy bear I have ever seen, but he is a lot more special since he was made for such a short time. He is very rare in all of his sizes, but the larger ones are particularly hard to come by. I have seen this size in person only five times before—those four previous temporary residents of my shop and the one who lives in my vitrine.
Since Koala has both his button and his crisp, excellent-condition early flag, with article number 5322, I can be fairly specific about his date of birth. It was sometime during the short span of years from 1953 to 1958. Therefore, even at his youngest, he would have celebrated his 60th birthday in 2018. Not only is his flag in excellent condition, but, Koala, himself, is in spectacular condition. I say that not “for his age,” but DESPITE his age! The only negative thing I can think of to report is the fact that his squeaker is kaput; his stuffing is so firm that I can’t honestly say that I have even located his “voice.” As you know, if you follow my adoptee offerings with any regularity, a non-working squeaker is really at the low end of my condition hierarchy. I am assuming Koala will be adopted by an adult collector (maybe along with his little brother ;-)) and will be sitting in your vitrine charming all onlookers who might pass by. No one would know whether he made a sound or not, and his muteness will have no effect on the admiration of those who see him.
The “22” in Koala’s article number denotes his size in centimeters—which is a little misleading. He is fully jointed, but his legs don’t swivel down very much. In my second and third images, I am showing little insets with Koala’s legs extended as far down as they will go. He cannot stand in that position, so it is not clear what Steiff was trying to say with that article number. Koala is 5-ways jointed, but unlike jointed teddy bears, for instance, whose legs are straight, so they can stand (either on their own or helped by a stand), Koala’s legs remain bent at his knees—in the same way that the Jocko chimpanzees’ legs do. Since he is displayed sitting, those extra centimeters don’t amount to much in the real world. However, Koala’s fully (as fully as you can make him) extended length is about 9 inches, which puts him close to his catalogued size. Since you will want to know how you can comfortably display him, his seated height, with good posture, to the top of his head is about 7 inches.
Other than his muteness, I have nothing negative to report about Koala; there is nothing I can nitpick. His mohair is full; his coloring is wonderful (his white areas a still white as well), and his joints are healthy and tight. I can’t think of anything else to tell you, but please write if you have a question.
Having a koala is a must for any serious Steiff collection, and one of this size would be a spectacular addition to yours. Or If Koala is meant as a gift, he would enhance the collection belonging to that (lucky) special person in your life. In whose ever vitrine he ends up, he will absolutely delight his new owner (and please remember his little brother)!
WHATEVER YOU DECIDE TO DO ABOUT KOALA OR ANY OF MY OTHER STEIFF ITEMS, PLEASE BE SURE TO SEE THE ARTICLE I HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT STEIFF ID FRAUD—INCLUDING COUNTERFEIT CHEST TAGS—(AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR COLLECTORS). YOU WILL FIND THE LINK ON MY SHOP HOME PAGE UNDER “FAVORITE LINKS.” IF YOU HAVE NOT LOOKED AT IT RECENTLY, I UPDATED AND EXPANDED IT IN OCTOBER, 2020.
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Rare Earliest Model Middle Brother Steiff Koala Bear (NOT!) '53-'58 2 IDs