According to the British"Daily Mail" reported on February 6, as people pay more and moreattention to "heirloom" toys, the British "toy hospital" attracts a lot of customers. But the existing "toy hospital"is only few, one of the repair damaged teddy bear "toy hospital" -"Alice's Bear Shop" 's business is booming.
WHETHER it’s Winnie The Pooh, Rupert, or Paddington or just a classic teddy, the toy bear has always found its way into children’s hearts.
And when those fluffy friends eventually fall apart, from wear and tear and over-hugging, it’s can be heartbreaking.
It’s no surprise then that at one of Britain’s last remaining ‘toy hospitals’ there is a huge demand for fixing broken teddy bears.
Alice’s Bear Shop is home to a bear and doll hospital which has a four month waiting list to repair ‘patients’ for their sentimental owners.
The dedicated team of ‘doctors and nurses’ perform all kinds of ‘surgery’.
Surgery can be anything from simple restringing and re-stuffing to head re-attachments and complete skin grafts to bring the valuable bears back to life.
Rikey Austin, who opened the shop and hospital in Lyme Regis, Dorset, 17 years ago, said it has only been in the last three years that demand for the specialist care has taken off.
She puts it down to the demise of other toy hospitals across Britain, due to society’s ‘throwaway culture’ as well as the value in heirloom toys shooting up in recent years.
Rikey, 49, now receives dishevelled and limbless bears from countries like the US, Australia and Kenya, as well as toys from across the UK and Europe.
Previous clients include the British actress Emma Thompson.
Each patient is diagnosed by email with photos showing its condition and a description of what the owner would like done.
When they arrive at the hospital they have to go into quarantine – a big airtight container with a hefty dose of good bug spray – for 48 hours before they can be operated on.
Simple jobs can be done in a couple of hours but some more complicated procedures can take several weeks and cost £300 a week.
One recent case took three months – a young boy’s teddy that had a run-in with a lawn mower but his parents refused to get the bear fixed because their son did not look after his toys.
The boy said he would pay for it with his pocket money so the team agreed to take it on and only charged him £5.
The "doctors andnurses" in this "toy hospital" will carry out a variety of "surgery",such as re-suture, re-fill, etc., for the owner of the deep feelings ofthe old teddy bear reshaping life. The store will be sent to the customer teddy bear "patient" photos "diagnosis", and then the customer to repair the appearance of the teddy bear request.
Simple repair work can be completed in a few hours, the complex will take a few weeks, the average cost of 300 pounds a week (about 2600 yuan) or so.