Berg

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Please scroll down the page to see a gallery of photos of Berg bears, other soft toys and identification tags.

Along with Fechter, Berg is perhaps the best known of the Austrian manufacturers, especially in the UK.

The Beginning:

Production began [some say before WW2,  some say immediately after] by the Broschek family in a farmhouse near Fieberbrunn in the province of Tyrol.  The first toys produced were said to be handmade elephants [memories of Steiff??] fitted with a ‘voicebox’ made from a small box filled with tiny stones.

The first post-war production used old army blankets, uniforms and buttons and I have in my collection a teddy from this area that certainly looks like one of these early products.  It was shown to members of the Berg family by its last owner and she has recorded for me that they are sure that it is.

Output quickly increased and by 1949 they were producing a range of teddies, dogs and rabbits in many sizes from various coloured mohair and wool fabrics.

The earliest ID from this firm were woven labels found mainly in the ear seam, sometimes on the foot of smaller items.  These carried the name ‘Berg’ the company name which was derived from the grandmother’s maiden name of Berger.

1950s and 60s:

In the early 1950’s they also began using synthetic silk plush and making mechanical toys e.g. ‘Wup’ the jumping dog.  Around 1957 a new form of ID arrived which became their worldwide trademark "Tiere mit Herz".  This took the form of a metal heart, red on the front and "Tiere mit Herz" on the back.  The earliest forms of these were heavier and had the writing in italic with later forms changing somewhat.  Earlier hearts were attached with cotton and later models by plastic.  Throughout the 1960’s the range of animals and figures made was forever expanding and mirrored the range being produced by Steiff.

Identification:

Over the years the firm used a variety of ID marks.  Earlier Teddies have a ‘Made in Austria’ with fabric content label sewn into the underarm, this may be in green or brown.  There is also a green plastic button fixed into the chest and a cardboard chest tag with silver metal surround.  Later items also had a paper tag sewn into a seam with a catalogue number [see photo gallery for examples ].  ’Berg’ advertised their catalogue extensively, possibly worldwide, and this along with constantly trying new materials and ideas helped them to keep pace with the influx of imports from the far east during the 60’s and 70’s.  They even managed to open a second factory in Styria for a while but eventually moved all production back to Fieberbrunn.

End of an Era:

In the 1990’s like Steiff, they brought out a small range of replicas of their early bears but they could not compete.

 In 1995 'Tiere mit Herz' became part of the German company Bauer-Spielwaren. As far as I am aware they still have a head office in Fieberbrunn with sales representatives in Gilgenberg[Upper Austria] and Tulln[Lower Austria near Vienna]. However all product manufacture is done in China.

A special exhibition on the history of this manufacturer was held in the Spielzeugmuseum in Salzburg in 2008/09. Further information is available on their website www.salzburgmuseum.at

 

 

Possibly one of the first Bears made by Berg using old blanket

Closed mouthed Berg bear with early label in ear

My well loved Berg 'Twins'

Animals by Berg

Cute Ducks by Berg

Berg squirrels

1980 Russian Olympic mascot bear'Mischa' by Berg

3 Early dogs by 'Berg' ['Wup' is to the right]

Cotton plush Dog on wheels by Berg

'Berg' green plastic button

Early 'Berg' made in Austria label

'Berg' metal heart

'Berg' silver outer disc ,white card inner with green writing

Green woven 'Berg' label

'Berg' heart inscribed 'Tier mit Herz'

'Tier mit Herz' paper label giving catalogue item number

'Tier mit Herz' modern label

Another 'Tier mit Herz' modern label

Early woven 'Berg' label [front]

Early woven 'Berg' label [back]

Zotty type teddy by Berg. Note the peach coloured bib

Possibly rare paper paper label with space for price

Close up of Berg Tiere mit Herz label-possibly early and rare to find

Cute litle rabbit with metal'Berg Tiere mit Herz' Heart

Tiny Elephant with metal 'Berg Tiere mit Herz' Heart and early woven 'Made in Austria' and Price label. Label has pink Catalogue? Number E?5 on back.