Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Real Soft Toys

I found this maker by accident whilst looking around a bootsale.
A big white fluffy toy cat caught my eye and on impulse I bought him.
When I got him home and set about brushing and cleaning him I found a label saying he was made by Real Soft Toys.
Snowy - SOLD
He had the most beautiful expressive eyes and a nice shaped nose which appealed to me so I started looking for more information on this maker. 
Real Soft Toys was a factory in Watford, England.  They were taken over by Lefray in 1980, so any animals by them are 1970's or earlier.

The cat who I named Snowy was a hit with my customers so I searched for more of these toys.
Here are the ones that I have found, some are available on my website and in my Etsy shop, some have found new homes and I still have one or two still to be brushed to bring out their full beauty.
Ginger Tom SOLD

Simba SOLD

Tom Kitten SOLD

Jet SOLD
Yorkie in Boot

I have another Yorkie (see below), and I've managed to get another Tom Kitten and Simba too.  Then there is a RST bear.  I have not had one of the bears before and will be interested to see what response I get from my customers.  The cats and dogs seem to be quite collectable, but not sure if the bears will be as popular.


18 comments:

  1. cute puppy toy,kids love these character and these type of toy blanket make them happier,I think these type of toys are perfect for kids,parents should buy these type of sophisticated and soft toy for kids.

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  2. We have a three of these, A pure white teddy "Snowy" a golden brown teddy,"Joe Louis" (After the boxer, he has large paws!) and Jeddy Allocious Dare a distinguished grey teddy(cant remember why!)

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    1. Does the grey tabby have black eyes? X

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    2. Does the grey tabby have black eyes? X

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  3. I have a cat my grandad brought me off a bootsale as a child.. He was my favourite and went everywhere I did.. Is there anyway I can find out more info on him? He has a tag that says real soft toys, Watford Herts. And on the other side a elephant picture

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    1. Hello Sammey,
      The firm was founded in 1969 by R. M. Francis & Son. The factory was on an industrial estate in Watford. As well as the cats they made dogs, bears and occasionally other animals. There are two different labels, both with Real Soft Toys on one side. One has an elephant and the other a Union Jack Flag.
      They were taken over by Lefray Toys in the 1980's.
      I know of 3 different cat designs - sitting, pouncing, and lying on it's back. I have seen a ginger, white and Siamese style in the smaller size and a large Ginger Tom and white cat in a sitting position. I also had a lying down large white cat (the first I found).
      If you go to my website www.etsy.com/shop/PollysVintageBears I have a few for sale on there.
      I hope this helps,
      Pauline

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  4. Hi Pauline thanks for getting back to me. Iv just looked in your shop on etsy and you have one very similar to mine. Mine sits like your Siamese cats but is ginger with what looks like suede ears. He's not as fluffy as the ginger one you have - although that could be from neglect. It's odd to know my beloved childhood kitty is older than me..

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  5. The founders of Real Soft Toys were Mike and Lynn Francis. Two of the nicest people in my life. The handed over their business to their son Nck who sold it in the 80s. My Father Reginal Bailey was their designer and the creator of those wonder bears.
    I'm proud of all he's accomplished he continues to design at the nice age of 81.

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    1. Hello Bailey,
      Thank you so much for that piece of information. If you have seen my Etsy shop you will see that I mainly have the cats on there. They are becoming very collectable now.

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    2. Hi Bailey,
      I can't believe your Dad was a teddy designer! That's so lovely! What an amazing thing to do!
      My twin sister and I were born in '77 and we were given a pink dog, a white dog, and a blue and white elephant when we were babies. We have loved them so much all of our lives, and we've always tried to find more of their family! I just wondered if you could help at all please? They are all shaped like beans with two legs, they apparently came in tubes. I don't know if you'll get this message, but thank you to your Dad for bringing us so much joy and love :)
      Best wishes,
      Gilly
      gillygraver@yahoo.com

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  6. Hi, I have a large elephant from real soft toys with original label. I can't see to find any others quite like this one. I received it as a birthday gift in 1980. Any ideas where I can look? Thanks in advance

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    1. Hello Dene, I have seen as blue and white elephant on EBay,and a pink and white one on Google images. Those are all I have seen though.
      Pauline

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    2. Hello Dene, I have seen as blue and white elephant on EBay,and a pink and white one on Google images. Those are all I have seen though.
      Pauline

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  7. We have had a soft toy bear from new, still looks new, since 1979.
    Not seen one as large, ours is about 1 metre tall.

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  8. Hi, have you ever came across a grey tabby cat made by this company. I was given one as a child in the 90's from my aunt (she received it as a present in 1974) been desperately trying to find another one for the past 10 years xx

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  9. Hi, have you ever came across a grey tabby cat made by this company. I was given one as a child in the 90's from my aunt (she received it as a present in 1974) been desperately trying to find another one for the past 10 years xx

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    1. Take a look in my Etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/PollysVintageBears I have one that is a greyish brown tabby.
      Pauline

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