Me to You Bears

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9" winter Tatty Teddy

Tatty Teddy (also known as Me to You Bears) is the brand name of a collection of teddy bears made by the Carte Blanche Greetings Ltd. They are often found in Clinton Cards. They were first created in 1987 and appeared in their current guise in 1995. A number of products are available related to Tatty Teddy including plush toys, figurines, cards, mugs and wedding accessories.[1]

Origin[edit]

In 1987 English cartoonist and illustrator Michael "Mike" Payne approached Carte Blanche Greetings Ltd with a sketch of his Tatty Teddy character. Mike signed his sketches with the pen-name 'Miranda'. The bear was developed into the range formerly known as the Me To You Bears.[2] Payne chose the alias Miranda as it was the name of a houseboat he had holidayed on with his family. The "Miranda" signature previously printed on all Tatty Teddy illustrations has now been replaced by "Tatty Teddy x", or simply "T x".

Since Mike Payne left Carte Blanche Greetings, Tatty Teddy has been further developed and illustrated by several different artists. He is now drawn by a team of three artists; Steve Mort-Hill, Ceri Lewis and Tom Barnfield.[3]

Availability[edit]

First only available in the UK, it was announced in December 2011 that the Douglas Company received a license to sell the brand in the US and Canada.[4]

Appearance[edit]

The first generation of Tatty Teddy soft toys, produced in 2000, was based on the original greeting card design of 1995 consisting of a teddy bear with short grey fur, small black eyes, an off-white snout and a blue nose with a white reflective spot on the right hand side. They also have patches of a light grey color which appear to have been sewn onto them, along with stitching repair work on the arms and head, hence the name 'tatty'. The words ‘Me to You’ are embroidered on the right rear paw. The very first Tatty Teddy was hand crafted by Linda Laverty of Worthing, West Sussex. The second generation Tatty Teddy, introduced in 2003, kept to the same overall design but with much finer fur. To coincide with the 2003 redesign, the ‘Me to You’ story was also published, describing how the teddy bear came to be in its current state. A third generation Tatty Teddy was introduced in May 2009. This bear has much longer fur in various shades of grey and a blue plastic nose, rather than the fabric nose on previous generations. The reflective spot has been removed since the new plastic nose has reflective qualities.[5]

The bears come in many different sizes, ranging from 5 cm to in excess of 80 cm, and often come with accessories such as hearts, roses, T-shirts, wooly hats and scarves. Some have personalized messages from a simple "I Love You" to longer seasonal and event related messages. It is even possible for customers to personalize their bears. The bears are particularly popular amongst females in the 10–30 age group although they are also designed to be romantic gifts for people of all ages as they can be considered 'cute'.[6] Due to this they are becoming collectors items, similar to Steiff and Beanie Baby toys. Indeed there are even annual Tatty Teddy national collectors events.[7]

Several special edition and limited edition bears have also been produced, enhancing the collectible nature of the toys, which see the bear dressed in different costumes including various animals and the four seasons (summer, winter etc.). Many of the limited and special edition releases are designed to tie in with events such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Christmas. The number of these limited edition bears produced is usually 9000, however this can range from 1500 to in excess of 10,000.[8]

Regional variations of Tatty Teddy are also available, for example Scottish dress and London Beefeater. Versions of Tatty Teddy have also been made for the tourist market, usually wearing a T-shirt with an expressive message, for example ‘I Love Cornwall’.

The makers of the teddies do not recommend that they are cleaned in washing machines but instead should be hand washed. This is because the dye in the clothes of the bears has not been tested to see if they are colorfast.[9]

Popularity and suite at Alton Towers[edit]

In 1999 the total UK sales figures for the Me to You range was £2,972,000. By 2003 this had risen to £33,021,500.[10] The most recent figures available from Brand Licensing Europe put world wide sales in 2006 at around the £400,200,000 mark.[11]

The official website launched in 2002 received 7,359,756 hits in 2003 and over 11,000,000 in 2004.[12] In July 2007, thanks to this growing popularity the UK theme park Alton Towers opened two Tatty Teddy theme bedrooms in its hotel. Both of these rooms can sleep up to four people, one room designated primarily for families and one a romantic style room.

In December 2004, Carte Blanche Greeting Ltd took on a smaller company called Metoyou in court over the use of the domain name metoyou.com. Carte Blanche won the rights to the website.[13]

My Blue Nose Friends[edit]

In Summer 2008, "My Blue Nose Friends" were released – other animal toys in the same style as Tatty Teddy. The story given is that Tatty Teddy was lonely and dreamt of a wardrobe full of friends.

2008[edit]

Set 1 - June 2008

  • Patch the Dog
  • Kittywink the Cat
  • Blossom the Rabbit
  • Dilly the Duck
  • Toots the Elephant
  • Binky the Panda

Set 2 - August 2008

  • Twiggy the Giraffe
  • Chip the Zebra
  • Rocky the Lion
  • Buster the Leopard

Set 3 - October 2008

  • Truffles the Pig
  • Cottonsocks the Sheep
  • Coco the Monkey
  • Konker the Hedgehog

Set 4 - December 2008

  • Chalky the Polar Bear
  • Wise the Owl
  • Chilly the Penguin
  • Jingle the Reindeer

2009[edit]

Set 5 - January 2009

  • Mo the Kangaroo
  • Gumgum the Koala
  • Milkshake the Cow
  • Bobbin the Horse

Set 6 - May 2009

  • Thomas the Hippopotamus
  • Digger the Terrier
  • Bracken the Badger
  • Dot the Ladybird

Limited Edition 1 - June 2009

  • Breeze the Butterfly

Set 7 - August 2009

  • Honey the Bee
  • Splodge the Dalmatian
  • Shelley the Turtle
  • Lily the Frog

Limited Edition 2 - September 2009

  • Echo the Bat

Set 8 - November 2009

  • Bells the Reindeer
  • Sugarcube the Donkey
  • Tiny the Mouse
  • Jock the Moose

Limited Edition 3 - December 2009

  • Ruby the Robin

2010[edit]

Set 9 - January 2010

Limited Edition 4 - January 2010

Set 10 - March 2010

  • Scoot the Snail
  • Mack the Otter
  • Zee Zee the Goat
  • Wrinkles the Boxer Dog
  • Cuddles the Sun Bear

Set 11 - June 2010

  • Giggles the Baboon
  • Goldie the Golden Labrador
  • Webster the Spider
  • Sue-Shee the Pelican

Limited Edition 5 - July 2010

  • Stilts the Flamingo

Set 12 - August 2010

  • Whisper the Deer
  • Blubber the Walrus
  • Jungle the Orangutan
  • Essence the Skunk

Set 13 - November 2010

  • Wanda the Goose
  • Alaska the Husky
  • Whiskers the Seal
  • Kozie the Alpaca

Limited Edition 6 - Christmas 2010

  • Cranberry the Turkey

2011[edit]

Set 14 - January 2011

Limited Edition 7 - Valentine's Day 2011

Set 15 - March 2011

Limited Edition 8 - June 2011

  • Tango the Toucan

Set 16 - June 2011

  • Oasis the Camel
  • Gossip the Lizard
  • Snugs the Chinchilla
  • Peers the Meerkat

Set 17 - August 2011

  • Baffle the Fox
  • Noo the Wildebeest
  • Scuba the Dolphin
  • Ivory the Rhinoceros

Limited Edition 9 - September 2011

  • Flame the Dragon

Set 18 - November 2011

Limited Edition 10 - November 2011

  • Feathers the Peacock

2012[edit]

Set 19 - January 2012

  • Nutmeg the Squirrel
  • Buck the Beaver
  • Yabber the Platypus
  • Koodoo the Antelope

Limited Edition 11 - January 2012

  • Ripple the Swan

Set 20 - March 2012

  • Scraps the Rat
  • Runner the Ostrich
  • Foo the Pug
  • Float the Manatee

Limited Edition 12 - April 2012

  • Tropic the Seahorse

Set 21 - May 2012

Set 22 - August 2012

Limited Edition 13 - November 2012

2013[edit]

Set 23 - April 2013

Set 24 - June 2013

  • Scuttle the Crab
  • Bixie the Cocker Spaniel
  • Flip the Gecko
  • Spangle the Starfish

Set 25 - September 2013

Set 26 - November 2013

Set 27 - December 2013

2014[edit]

Set 28 - March 2014

  • Eduardo the Axolotl
  • Frizzie the Lamb
  • Dash the Cheetah
  • Diva the Canary

Set 29 - May 2014

Set 30 - September 2014

Set 31 - November 2014

Luna the Wolf[edit]

To celebrate the launch of their 100th My Blue Nose Friends character, Ramble the Centipede, Carte Blanche launched a free-to-enter competition in June 2012. 100 fans had the chance to win a rare and exclusive 4" My Blue Nose Friends character, Luna the Wolf. The character is not available to buy anywhere in the world.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Carte Blanche's Me to You Bear website The bears even have their own fanlisting site where 'owners' can sign up for the latest news about them.". 
  2. ^ What Happened To The Conventional Brown Teddy Bears Retrieved on 14 July 2009
  3. ^ Meet the Me to You artists!. Carteblanchegreetings.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-29.
  4. ^ http://www.licensemag.com/license-global/douglas-debut-tatty-teddy-us
  5. ^ "Carte Blache Me to You page". Carteblanchegreetings.com. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  6. ^ Creative Connexions Me to You page[dead link]
  7. ^ Durham, Michael (2004-08-10). "''The Guardian'' feature on the bears in 2004". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  8. ^ http://me-to-you.wikispaces.com/ List of Me To You Plushies
  9. ^ Some FAQs about the bears[dead link]
  10. ^ Arbitration and Mediation Center (2005-01-04). "Sales figures from the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center". Wipo.int. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  11. ^ Tatty Teddy Page on the Brand Licensing Europe site[dead link]
  12. ^ Arbitration and Mediation Center (2005-01-04). "Website figures from the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center". Wipo.int. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  13. ^ Arbitration and Mediation Center (2005-01-04). "The full reports into the legal battle". Wipo.int. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 

External links[edit]