as a child a had a gigantic blue-and-white stuffed bear. he was so huge, he took up most of my bed, but he slept with me every night. i think my parents still have him somewhere in the basement of our house. i was never into dolls, but bears are cool. my former employer - and renowned trend forecaster - li edelkoort called hers "meneer beer", that's "mister bear" in dutch. these creatures are loved to pieces by kids all over the world. the simplest ones are the best, such as these plain knitted ones from "the big book of soft toys" by mabst tyler (wolfe publishing ltd. 1972).