Pros:incredibly soft, classic plush, wind-up feature
Cons:has to stay in sitting position
The Bottom Line: One of my all-time favorite Pooh toys.
When I went to England in the summer of 2001, I returned with a lot of stuff. They were small souvenirs mostly, and the majority of them were purchased for friends and family members who didn't have the pleasure of making the trip. But I allowed myself a couple of extravagant mementos. One was the Gund wind-up musical Winnie the Pooh.
Recommend this product?
We were nearing the end of a day trip - Bath or Cambridge, I can't recall which - when my friends and I happened upon a sleepy little toy shop. There on display was the classic Pooh, and I immediately was drawn to investigate. I'd hoped to make it to the real Hundred-Acre Wood while I was in England, but I hadn't had the opportunity and it was looking like I wasn't going to. But I promised myself I would at least get some sort of authentic English Pooh item, and this seemed to fit the bill perfectly.
When I saw that it was a wind-up that both played music and moved, my enchantment was complete, and I shelled out upwards of 30 pounds for the little fellow. Expensive? Yes. And not entirely as unique to England as I'd thought when I found it online a while later, advertised on an American website. But I still haven't come across it here in real life, so the little Pooh remains a perfect reminder of my time in the land of Milne.
Most of the items in my extensive Winnie the Pooh collection feature Disney's rendition of the characters rather than Ernest Shepard's. Not this one. Much more ursine than Disney's Pooh but still definitely a teddy, with fur the color of oatmeal and simplified limbs devoid of digits, this Pooh stands about eight inches tall, or rather he sits. His legs are not articulated, so he's pretty much stuck in his sitting position, clutching a bee-riddled hive with both paws, thereby demonstrating his chutzpah. The hive is attached to both his paws and his middle and is a coppery brown color. It's made of felt, as are the five bees clinging to it.
The Pooh does not smile, but neither does he frown. There is no stitched-in mouth at all, just his round, dark plastic eyes and the rectangular nose of black string at the end of his elongated snout. The expression that remains is contemplative. Atop his head are two little tufts of ears. Pooh himself, with the exception of the bottom of his feet, is made of the softest fabric. The tag says polyester; he feels like chenille, and his fur has a shaggy consistency that makes him look more natural than most Disney Poohs with their smooth fur
What makes this one even more irresistible is the wind-up mechanism. There's a large white plastic key in the back, and when you wind it to the right, Pooh's head moves lazily around, as though he is being gently buffeted by a treetop breeze. Meanwhile, a tinkly version of the Sherman Brothers' Little Black Rain Cloud plays, thus making the plush Pooh representative of both Shepard and Disney's visions. Touching him, especially in the middle, is likely to set off a note or two, particularly if the key has been wound recently.
Seven years later, this Pooh still has a place of honor on my shelf, and he wears a Pooh-themed paper hat my cousin Adam made for me several years ago. Alas, it is too small to fit on my head, but it fits Pooh's perfectly and reminds me of another of his adventures, drifting along in his hunny pot canoe. It's also appropriate since his dad was the person who introduced me to Gund many years ago. This Pooh designed for babies, and he is cuddly and soothing enough to fulfill that purpose beautifully, but I recommend him just as much for collectors. He certainly was a lucky find for me.
Amount Paid (US$): 45.00
Type of Toy: Stuffed Toy