Thursday, 13 November 2008


It's Children in Need time again. And every year I ask the same question. If they've managed to raise so much money, why haven't they sorted Pudsey's eye yet? That spotted hanky must be getting pretty grubby by now, and many hobby-type shops sell teddy bear eyes that can be quite easily sewn on. Give Pudsey back his binocular vision, I say!

Did you have a teddy bear when you were small? Or was it some other animal, or perhaps a doll? And did you literally love it to bits? The pristine little bear that Santa gave to you probably ended up threadbare (excuse the pun!), minus an ear or an eye, and leaking sawdust here and there (back in the days when kids' toys really were filled with such materials). Yes, it took a good deal of cuddles, rough love (in a good way), and being dragged by the sticky paw through muddy puddles, piles of leaves and nameless filth to achieve Mr. Ted's ultimate dishevelled appearance. I suspect Pudsey may well have been a victim (or perhaps more properly, a recipient) of such unwitting treatment.

In a effort to overcome the hard work required to get from pristine panda to bedraggled buddy, no.1 daughter has come up with what I think is a winning idea - Badly Made Toys. No more bouncing soft toys off the wall until they split their stitches; these felt friends are already rough round the edges. And the eyes? One will already have been conveniently removed for you, leaving only one black button to be swallowed or pushed up a nostril!

These are her first efforts; small mock-ups of larger, more luxurious pieces. You will note that they are of indeterminate species, apart from the one that appears to be a Y chromosome with an eye patch. Other similar 'pre-loved' toys are at the design stage. I will keep you posted with future product developments in what is, dear reader, nothing less than a thinly-veiled attempt on my part to drum up some customers for her.

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