Toy Firms Bear a Grudge

The U.K.'s Bear Factory is subject to a suit from U.S. rival Build-A-Bear

It may be beloved by kids and adults around the world, but the teddy bear is no stranger to international disputes. Its genesis 100 years ago — inspired by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt's decision to spare the life of a cub while on a bear hunt — is subject to competing claims as to who made the first commercially successful stuffed bear. Was it the Michtoms of Brooklyn, N.Y., whose bear became the foundation of the Ideal Toy Co., or German dressmaker Margarete Steiff, whose eponymous company still churns out cuddly teddies today? Fast forward one century and zillions of bears...

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