Bears are hungry beasts (porridge, anyone?). Ditto kids. That's what makes Teddy Bear Picnic Day – arriving on July 10 – a perfect pairing. All it takes, of course, is a little plush pal, some fixings from the fridge and a blankie tossed down on the lawn. What's that? No teddy bear, you say? While soft toy options abound, there's something about a classic T-bear that's stuffed with "best chum" charm. That's not to say you have to settle for a humdrum buddy, though. Check out our photo gallery for some wee grizzlies with big personality (and, we presume, appetites!).
It's a doll! It's a bear! It's – you betcha – both. Meet Zylie, a fuzzy, jointed, 18-inch-tall Manhattan missy who's as cuddly as they come – and has a cute tween wardrobe to rival Skipper's. Little fashionistas who prefer plushies will love this adventurous gal, who loves global travel, reading and making new friends (including Shen, the rock star panda from China), created by a savvy mompreneur. Ages 3-plus. Bear is $49.99; outfits are $19.99.
These critters are so darn adorable, it might have gone to their heads – but that's definitely their appeal! Etsy crafter knittingdreams crafts each pint-sized amigurumi-style mini bear in Spain. Theses softies are a combination of stitched and crocheted handiwork, featuring mohair and delicate wee features, checking in at a tad under 4 inches tall. About $34-$38.
Monochromatic? Not with this eye-popping fellow! Gund whips out a can of rainbow power, making for a super-fun bear splashed with color. Tykes ages 1-5 will be drawn to this little dude's irresistibly haphazard palette, featuring a blue head, red and orange paws and a torso that's half pink, half green. And oh yeah: Those are little toes you see. Embroidered features make him super-safe, too. About $14.99.
Delingos has its own unique brand of wacky plush – and this overall-clad, neck-tie-sporting, Leno-mugged "bear" is no exception. His contrasting patterns and textiles (he's made from 50 different kinds of fabric and string) make him an alluring pick for kids of any age. They say it's "not your average stuffed animal." We concur – and like! About $29.99.
When it comes to this business, you might say Steiff is Papa Bear. Since the German toy brand popped on the scene in 1903, it's been a leader in crafting heirloom plush pals – teddy bears being the most iconic, of course. The floppy, doe-eyed Lars tugged at our heartstrings. A perfect snuggler, he features soft lanky limbs and is totally machine washable. Ages 4-plus. $36.
Warped 'rents: Take note. This slightly cracked bear, with his adorbs red glowing eye, is ready to be your BFF, too. How's that? When your kid hugs him, he utters one of 20 phrases – like, "I love you. Do you love me?" – and then, urges his wee confidante, "Do you have a secret? You can tell me anything." That triggers its audio/visual recording device, ready to capture your kid's darkest tidbits and wirelessly email them to you. $39.99.
Happiness is hugging a Jellycat. Seriously: These plush creatures are so comfy, they could do double duty as a pillow – making them primo nighttime buds for kids. Bon Bon Brown bear almost looks ready for sleep, all wrapped up in his pj-inspired stripes. Made of soft, velvety material and measuring about 10 inches, he's suitable for ages 3 months and up. About $18.75.
Cue the Chewbacca growl! But don't fret: While this critter may look like a Wookie, he's actually a total softie, crafted out of silky, 100-percent baby alpaca fleeces – basically making him the cashmere sweater of teddy bears. Even better, he's fair-trade imported from Peru and naturally hypoallergenic. $46.