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Wendy Boston

Skip down to Wendy Boston Toys or Wendy Boston Bear Identification

Company History

Date Event
1945
Wendy Boston made soft toys as a hobby when she was a child. It was not her original intent to produce them as a business - she then went to art college and later worked as a designer for Cadbury's in Birmingham. She and her husband, Ken Williams, then moved to Crickhowell in South Wales to escape the WWII blitz. When Ken returned from the War he found Wendy had made numerous soft toys with any fabrics she could obtain during the war. As there was a shortfall of toys these were much appreciated by family and friends so Ken then began selling them, very successfully, to local businesses. Wendy continued to design the toys and Ken marketed them.
1948 Wendy developed and patented the first lock-in safety eye which was attached by a rust proof nut through the plush fabric. They moved to larger factory premises, in nearby Abergavenny.
1954

The first fully washable, unjointed, bear was developed. It was filled with foam rubber

1955 The washable bear was launched on BBC, it was shown being washed and put through a mangle - this marketing ploy was a great success.
1960 The company was registered as Wendy Boston Playsafe Toys Ltd
1964 The company produced over 25% of UK soft toy exports - Australia was one of the main markets
1968 The safety features added to the cost of producing the toys and imports from the Far East were proving to be cheaper so company profits fell. Consequently it was taken over by Denys Fisher Toys who continued to produce soft toys using the Wendy Boston name.
1972 Wendy Boston died
1976 The factory closed in May 1976

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Wendy Boston Toys

Wendy Boston made a range of soft toys including various coloured teddy bears, pandas, gollies with distinctive faces and Basil Brush (a famous TV character). Although best known for the washable, unjointed, ranges which were produced in relatively large numbers the company also produced unjointed and jointed mohair bears.

Jointed Teddy Bear late 1960's/1970's
Golly - early 1960's
Scottie Dog - 1960's
Wendy Boston jointed teddy bear 1970's Wendy Boston Golly
1960s Scottie Dog

These are just examples, visit our Vintage and Antique Bears or Teddies Friends where, depending on availability, you will find more Wendy Boston toys.

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Wendy Boston Bear Identification

Early Wendy Boston label Wendy Boston label
Wendy Boston label
  • Label: Satin tag sewn to the leg or into the seam at the side of the leg. Washable toys show "wash in lukewarm suds".
  • Usually unjointed, made of nylon plush with foam filling (to allow washing). Some early bears were made of mohair
  • Eyes: amber and black plastic safety eyes
  • Ears: often made from the same piece of material as the head. This allowed the toy to be hung on a washing line without falling apart
  • Legs: straight (no ankles) with nylon pads

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