Berrie created in 1964 his first line of manufactured novelty collectible items. He came up with a line of stuffed plush animals and dubbed them the "Fuzzy Wuzzies." In the following year, he supplemented the Fuzzy Wuzzie franchise with the "Bupkis Family," a group of soft, rubbery dolls.
On the basis of the popularity of Russ figurines and collectibles, sales for Russ Berrie & Co. continued to grow throughout the company's first two years. In 1966, Berrie formally incorporated his enterprise. Also that year, the company moved locations. In 1968, as the company shifted quarters again, moving to Elmwood Park, New Jersey, Berrie introduced Sillisculpts, small statues with messages inscribed on them, and these too became popular items.
Key to the company's success was the maintenance of a steady flow of ever-changing merchandise. Stores that sold Russ Berrie products needed a constant stream of seasonal, holiday, and everyday items.
In the early 1980s, the Berrie & Co. continued to expand. In a reorganization of company activities, the firm split its operations into two units: Plush & Stuff: stuffed animals and fabric dolls, and Gift/Expression, which was responsible for figurines, collectibles like picture frames, greeting cards, magnets, mugs, etc.
The company doesn't exist anymore. Read here more about Russ Berrie and his foundation.
What's your Russ Berrie Plush 12 Bear worth? Here are some recently sold items.
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