Many of us have a childhood toy that has, almost literally, been 'loved to death', and then spends the rest of his/her years hidden away in a cupboard. But have you every thought they they could be restored to 'life' - or at least, to something like their original condition?
That's where teddy-bear hospitals come in. My other half had a cuddly toy, Sam, who had certainly been loved almost to death, and despite some repairs by his Mum, was in a very sorry state. So I decided to get Sam restored as a birthday gift, and used Oldenbears.
What attracted me to Oldenbears was the fact that the aim to keep a toy's character, rather than restoring them to 'as new' condition. As far as possible, they use the original style stuffing and replica replacement eyes, paw pads, etc to retain the original look.
The website is very comprehensive, and lists all the instructions as well as answering lots of frequently asked questions. The web-site has a comprehensive list of costs, and you are provided with a quote before work starts (an exact quote can only be provided on receipt of the toy, to assess its true condition).
The owner could not have been more helpful when I contacted her, and I sent a photo before asking for the repairs, to ensure that Sam could indeed be repaired. I sent Sam in a shoe-box (Recorded delivery, of course - or my life would not have been worth living) and received him back two weeks later, in time for Sam's owner's birthday.
The restoration was masterful, and went down perfectly as a present. Repairs to such a badly damaged (and very fragile) cuddly toy do not come cheap, of course, so expect to pay upwards of £60.
The photos show Sam before and afterwards. It's almost unbelievable what the were able to do.
All together now: aaah!
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