30 Reasons to Love Tambo Teddies

Have you ever visited the teddy capital of Australia? If you haven’t, then you better pack the car and get tracking to the outback town of Tambo, where the famous Tambo Teddies have called home since 1993.

In celebration of the 2023 Tambo Teddies 30th Anniversary, here are 30 reasons to love these cuddly little creatures.

1. It was the tech start-up of the nineties

The idea for of starting up a teddy making business came about in the early nineties when a long-standing drought took over the outback, creating a downfall for farmers.

The government sought to bring new industries to the region and presented workshops to outback residents on starting new businesses in different industries.

The teddy business was considered an innovative start-up of the nineties and the rest is history!

2. The organisation was started by a group of women

Three local Tambo women by the names of Charm Ryrie, Helen Sargood and Mary Sutherland began the famous Tambo Teddy business. While Helen has sadly passed away, Charm and Mary will always have the teddies in their hearts.

3. All teddies are made of 100% natural sheepskin

Tambo Teddies are known for two things – their 100% cuteness factor and that they are made from 100% natural sheepskin from Australia and New Zealand.

4. The teddies will always be connected to Tambo

To play tribute to the teddy’s Tambo origin, every single bear created is named after a local station, as well as having its own Christian name.

5. There are two main teddy bear families

To distinguish between the types of teddies, the bears were separated into families – the Tobies and the Basils.

The Basils consist of a teddy bear made of one colour whether it be a cream, brown, green, pink or blue. The Tobies are made as multi-coloured patchworks, each bear is different.

6. You can watch them make your very own teddy

Staying a while in Tambo?

Order your teddy and stop by to watch the team of sewers create your own stuffed toy. Learn what’s involved and how each piece is carefully sewn together with love.

7. Special requests are welcome

Love the teddies but have a personality or outfit in mind? Ask the ladies for a special request bear, where you can style the bear however you please from ballerina to builder.

The outfits take approximately a couple of weeks to fulfill, as the dedicated seamstress Josie (who has been sewing outfits for the bears since the beginning) puts in endless effort to make every minute detail of the outfit come to life.

8. It takes 19 pieces to make up a teddy

You might think of a Tambo Teddy as one ball of cuddly softness, but there are actually 19 pieces of material that create each finished product. From the ears to the paws, each piece is sewn together to make a seamless teddy.

9. They are individually handmade

Every single Tambo Teddy is hand crafted in either the Tambo workshop or the team’s Regional Sewing Hub in Toowoomba, which opened in 2019.

10. It took a year to create the final design of the first teddy

After nearly a year of designing, trial and error, samples, and prototypes, the final teddy design was chosen.

That final prototype has sat proudly in the Tambo store for the past 30 years, and the same design is still used today.

After nearly a year of designing, trial and error, samples, and prototypes, the final teddy design was chosen.

That final prototype has sat proudly in the Tambo store for the past 30 years, and the same design is still used today.

11. The first teddy was created in 1993

When we talk about nimble and agile business strategy – Tambo Teddies lives and breathes it. The first official teddy was then created in 1993 and sold the same year.

The first teddy, Macfarlene Mary, was sold to the local police Sergeant. With a little tag with a number one on it, she was the beginning of a flourishing business.

12. Over 68,000 teddies have since been created

Over the past 30 years, thousands of teddies have been handcrafted within the Tambo store and more recently the Toowoomba Hub. Teddies of different styles and colours have been created specially for thousands of people from across the globe with over 68,000 in their fur-ever homes now.

13. They have a woven tag with a unique identification number on their leg

When you purchase a Tambo Teddy, you can see how many teddies were created before yours by simply checking the woven tag number.

This helps the organisation keep track of how many teddies they have created over the past 30 years and gives each bear a special identification number.

14. Tambo teddies have travelled the world and met some important people

Visitors from all over the world who have wandered into the Tambo store have taken home a teddy to remind them of the Australian outback.

Many teddies have been made for special occasions, with one carefully made teddy gifted to Prince George upon his arrival to Queensland in 2014.

15. You don’t have to be in Tambo to purchase a Tambo teddy

Did you leave Tambo without getting your teddy? Don’t fret, these cuddly creatures are sold in Toowoomba, online and in outlets all across Australia.

Stocked in Victoria, New South Wales and up and down Queensland, these teddies can be found in toy stores, teddy bear shops, news agencies, and boutique gift shops.

16. They come in a range of colours and sizes

Think every colour and shade of the rainbow! You can request certain colours to make your teddy personalised to your taste. There are also two sizes of Basils bears to choose from.

17. The organisation is still run by local women

As time went on, the original three women who began Tambo Teddies agreed it was time to pass the teddy baton to other local women who would continue the legacy of the Tambo Teddies.

Alison Shaw and Tammy Johnson took up the challenge in 2014.

18. You can purchase more than a teddy

If you already own a Tambo Teddy and have given them as gifts to everyone you know, then you don’t have to fret about what to get next. There’s a whole range of products available online and instore that are made from the same soft sheepskin.

From blankets, how water bottle covers, and slippers to seat belt covers and stubby coolers, you can set yourself up with a Tambo Teddy kit!

19. You can also get a cuddly creature of a different kind

If bears aren’t your thing, you can purchase a Koala, Koala Bickie Bear, an echidna or a Peter Possum puppet– all made with the same 100% sheepskin and cuddle factor.

20. Take a piece of the outback home with you by purchasing a stockman teddy

Top of the teddy range is Mr and Mrs Stockman, who are the only teddies with an official outfit.

Both are decked out in hats, moleskins, check shirts, and bear-as-a-bone coats. Mr Stockman even has a swag and hand-crafted whip, ready for work.

21. Each teddy comes with a special message

Just to add to the cuteness, with each purchase of a Tambo Teddy, you receive a poem that introduces that teddy’s name.

22. They make for special gifts

There’s nothing quite as endearing as the gift of a teddy bear, and the availability of special requests gives the opportunity for a personalised present that takes ‘It’s the thought that counts’ to a whole new level.

23. The teddies have their own picnic

Since 2011, the Tambo Teddy Bears Picnic takes over the town of Tambo for a day filled with fun, games, rides, and of course, teddy bears.

A biannual event, the picnic brings together families and friends from across the Outback to celebrate all things cuddly, with the Teddy Bear Parade kicking the day off.

24. There have been less than 1,000 limited edition bears made

Even though over 68,000 bears have been created so far, there have been only 8 limited edition series of teddies. With only 100 made of each, the best way of seeing the limited-edition model is in store where seven of the eight editions are on display.

Each special edition was dedicated to an early settler of Tambo, playing tribute to the evolution of the town the bears call home.

25. A new limited-edition teddy has been created for Tambo teddies 30th birthday

To commemorate this significant milestone a limited-edition bear will be released in February, the Banjo bear. Two hundred special edition Banjos, a small, jointed bear created with the softest camel skins with the logo embroidered on his paw, will be made before Banjo joins the crew as an ‘on-the-shelf’ teddy bear.

26. You don’t have to feed Tambo teddies – they’re stuffed already!

Stuffed with love!

In the beginning Tambo Teddies were stuffed with wool, but that soon became too expensive and too hard to secure – we are now using a sustainable re-cycled plastic material to stuff our bears.

27. Tambo teddies are adventurous bears

Set in the heart of the outback, join Basil and Toby with their friends the Stockman family as they embark on a few Tambo Teddies Adventures. These colourful short stories are great for bedtime reading and are the perfect little gift.

28. Tambo teddies outback lambs

The range of stuffed sheepskin toys keeps expanding!

Tambo Lambo is a cute and cuddly lamb featuring a textured coat of curly wool and pretty fabric ears. Made from a woollen sliver-knit fabric, Tambo Lambo is light weight and flexible.

29. When the lambs started getting out of control

There were so many Tambo Lambos jumping around the store the team decided they needed to create their very own sheepdog to muster them up.

This bright eyed border collie styled sheep dog comes with a smart collar and registration tag.

30. Sharing the love

After making Aussies smile for the past thirty years, Tambo Teddies have hopped across the ditch to share the love and put smiles on the faces of our Kiwi cousins.

This post is sponsored by Tambo Teddies

Have you got a Tambo Teddy? Why not add this to your wish list? Or gift one to a special someone!