Humphrey B Bear Vintage

Humphrey Bear Collecting

Humphrey B. Bear is the most recognized of all Australian Children’s television characters from across many generations. Humphrey is all Australian, and first appeared on television in May 1965 in South Australia.

As with Mr Squiggle Collectibles, there is a lot of misconceptions about year of manufacture and what is collectible or highly desired, so I thought I would run through the difference between a lot of them, there is photos, prices for members.

Most Humphreys, in all shapes, sizes and promotional items are now collectible because Humphrey ceases to exist on television. Humphrey B Bear was made insolvent by administrators since the company behind him, Banksia Productions, wound up in early 2009.
In February 2013, entrepreneur Shane Yeend bought the rights to the famous bear, which means we ‘could’ see more of him… May 27 2015 rumour has it that Humphrey is likely to come back as an animated TV show.

Firstly, many people think that because the tag has © Southern Tv Corp 1965, that this was the year of manufacture of the plush toy they are selling. This, in most cases, is not true, it’s simply just when the Humphrey B Bear product was copyrighted period. The year is ‘usually’ noted on the tag. Humphrey B Bear WITH a readable swing tag, adds value.

The first caricature of Humphrey B Bear was first made by an immigrant to Australia named Leo J Sterne, and are probably the rarer of all Humphreys made. House of Metti in South Australia started making Humphrey plush and plastic, including night lights around the 1960’s., these also have become increasingly desirable, and the most collectible.

Southern Television owned the rights, and Banksia Productions, Classic Toys, Mattel and Croner are some of the manufacturers who had the rights to produce caricatures. Humphrey has been made in an array of looks, shapes and sizes, the largest I know of being 1 metre high, (pictured in gallery).
Condition, rarity and demand determine the price of Humphrey B Bear. On E-Bay especially, there is many folk who think that the Humphrey they have is scarce or rare and will tell you so, however I suggest you research the Humphrey B Bear you are looking for to add to your collection and don’t necessarily buy the first you see, depending on price of course, as the more desirable ones do come up periodically and good things come to those who wait!

I have around 50 Humphrey B Bear display items in my Australian Children’s Television collection, that started many years ago and now I am re-fining the collection and adding others I don’t have.
Smallest in the collection is 10 cms tall, up to I metre, and the oldest a LJ Sterne. I have 2 ‘House of Metti’ rubber squeak toys, one a darker brown than the other, and the spots on the vest are a different colour, & both stamped underneath. The stamp is not that visible to the eye at first or second glance, you may need glasses or magnifying glass to see it more clearly.

Humphrey was used by Bank of SA often to promote their Bank.
The ones pictured sell for around $ 5 – 15

The most important thing I believe when collecting anything is to get what you like yourself, make sure the condition is good and all the bits are there and it is sure to add value over the years. With Humphrey, that means tie, hat, jacket.

These are just some photos of the styles of Humphrey, some of the Humphreys photographed may not be complete, the two plush on their own are missing ties. Enjoy!

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6 comments to “Humphrey B Bear Vintage”

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  1. Michelle - July 19, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Your Humphrey Bears are lovely and thanks for the information re the early bears:)

    • Pete

      Pete - July 23, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      Thanks Michelle. Being a fav as a kid, Humphrey brings a smile to my face, hence the reason he’s a part of my extended collection. Got some other new Humphreys including large Metti not yet photographed, promise to do it soon… Cheers.

  2. tash - March 14, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Hi I have one of the 1976 humphreys you have desplayed, but mines different. It has acolourful checked vest thats mostly yellow and white instead of the usual red. Just wondering how much its worth? And why its different?

    • Pete

      Pete - March 14, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      Hi Tash thanks for visiting… Kewl, you have a great Humphrey, nice vintage one. Can you upload a photo to here and I can give you a better appraisal
      and let you know the difference..
      From what you are saying he is probably worth around $25 -35 …

  3. Sam

    Sam - April 19, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Peter I was wondering if you purchase plush toys of Humphrey b bear I have a 1965 original in great almost perfect condition.

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