Antique bear (Farnell) - logo Antique teddy bear (Farnell)



Skip down to Schuco Bears or Schuco Bear Identification

Company History

Date Event
16 November Schreyer & Company, which is commonly known as Schuco, was founded in Nuremberg, Germany by Heinrich Muller, an ex employee of Gebruder Bing, and Heinrich Schreyer, an ex furniture salesman. The trademark was a small tumbling man.

The first advertisement for wheeled animals, including a bear, appeared.

1914-18 The partners were conscripted and the factory closed for the duration of World War I.
1918 Schreyer left the company, believing there to be no future in toy making. A new partner, Adolf Kahn, a wholesaler, replaced him.
1919 The company relocated to Singerstrasse, Nuremberg..
1921 Schuco, an abreviation of the full company name, was adopted as trademark and added to the picture of the small tumbling man..
1929 The company relocated to larger premises in Further Strasse, Neremberg.
1936 Adolf Kahn, a jew, left the company when Hitler came to power. He moved to England and then joined his son in the USA in 1940.
1940's During WWII Alexander Girz joined the company which made telephone equipment during the War.
1946 - 1949 Operated at reduced capacity making household items and toys.
1947 Adolf Kahn and his son, Eric, established Schuco Toy Co. Inc. with rights to import all Schuco products for the USA and Canada..
1958 Muller died. His son, Werner, took over and worked alongside Alexander Girz.
1960's - 1970's The company sold toys made by Herta Girz & Co, trademark "Hegi" and operated in the Schuco premises, still at Further Strasse.
1976 Hegi collaborates with Anker, a soft toy manufacturer based in Munich, the toys being sold as "Schuco".
Unable to compete with Japanese imports the Company was sold to Dunbee-Combex-Marx.
The "Schuco" trademark was sold to George Mangold GmbH & Co. who used it for model cars.


Schuco Bears

The famous Schuco patented yes/no bear first appeared at a toy fair in Leipzig, Germany in 1921. The bear's head could be moved left to right and up and down by moving a lever in the tail. Six sizes were produced ranging from 25 to 60 cms and in different mohair fabric types. The four smaller sizes contained squeakers, the two larger contained growlers. These bears are sometimes referred to as "Patented Yes/No Bear".

After WWII, in about 1950, the yes/no bear was reintroduced as the "Tricky Yes/No Bear". Made in seven sizes, of various mohair colours (blond, gold, red-brown) it contained a growler and some contained Swiss musical mechanisms. Their arms are distinctive as they have downturned paws and seem to be begging. These bears continued being made until the 1970's when the company was taken over.

In 1924 Schuco introduced a series of miniature bears, for which it is renowned. They ranged in size from 9 - 15 cms and came in various colour mohairs (pink, mauve, green, blue to name a few) - the range was known as Piccolo. In 1927 the range was extended and Compact Bears were produced, they were designed to fit into a handbag and contained a mirror, compact, lipstick and powder puff or a perfume bottle or a manicure set.

The "Janus" bear is another favourite with collectors. This tiny bear is just 9cm (3.5") tall. It was made in 1954, has two faces, one ugly with red tongue sticking out and the other smiling. A small brass knob is positioned at the base of the body and is turned to move the head. They were fully jointed, made of golden mohair over an internal metal frame and had black, metal bead eyes.

In the 1960's the "Bigo Bello" design was introduced, taking over from the Tricky yes/no bear, these bears were posable and carried the Hegi label.

Yes/No bear
Bigo-Bello bear
yes/no bear Schuco Janus bear Bigo_Bello bear


Schuco Bear Identification

  • Early yes/no bears had short mohair and black boot button eyes.
  • Tricky yes/no bears, introduced in the 1950's, had downturned paws, broad flat feet and their muzzles often shaved. They wore a red bow and plastic medallion on their chest saying "Schuco TRICKY patent" on one side and "Made in the US zone of Germany" indicating it was manufactured before 1953.
1960's Schuco Bigo-Bello Label
Bigo-Bello label


  • Schuco fully jointed bears, made in the mid 1920's, were made of brightly coloured mohair. They had large glass eyes, often painted redish brown, set close together.
  • Nose: early bears had horizontal stitching, but like many other German manufacturers they changed to vertical stitching, with elongated central stitches, on larger bears
  • Many of the mechanical bears resemble those designedy by Gebruder Bing; with small facial features, a slightly upturned nose, slim body, narrow straight arms and legs.




Home | Bookshop | New Bears | Vintage Bears | Teddies Friends | Accessories | Contact Us | Encyclopaedia | Links | Help | View Basket | Your Account

© Lucky Bears Limited 2002-2014. All rights reserved.