Large stylised bear-shaped cloth figure dressed in a hat and waistcoat.

It was made by the Sterne Doll Company in Melbourne in the mid 1960s. It was produced as part of their toy range based on the character Humphrey B. Bear, who was the star of the Channel 9 children's program 'Here's Humphrey'. It was the first Humphrey toy ever made, appearing in shops the same year the show debuted on Channel 9, on the 24th May.

Physical Description

Soft toy consisting of a large stylised bear-shaped cloth figure. It is dressed in red and black checked vest with a white `Humphrey B. Bear' label sewn on the front chest area. There is a white cloth collar and red ribbon bowtie around its neck, and a brown straw hat with red tartan cloth band on its head. The body is made from a brown faux fur, and has a black plastic nose and orange and black plastic eyes.


The collection of Melbourne Toy manufacturer L.J.Sterne was donated to the History Collection of Museum Victoria in 1990 by the executors of his estate. Containing over 300 items it is, however, largely a paper-based collection, featuring catalogues, advertising brochures, flyers, packaging, photographs and certificates, as well as some doll parts (such as limbs, eyes and wigs) and other items from the manufacturing process. There are only around five or six examples of the company's finished product (three of which came from other sources than the Sterne Estate donation), so this bear is a wonderful addition to the collection. It fits in perfectly with the proposed future collecting directions of the Museum's Childhood Collection Policy, which is to focus on acquiring Victorian manufactured toys, particularly those which build on existing collections. It is also an item which would enhance the display potential of the L.J. Sterne collection in looking at manufacturing in Melbourne and its decline, early children's television production, and Sterne as an immigration story.

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