Ode to the Teddy Bear

The other day I posted a photo of Groot holding a teddy bear and good friend to the blog, @AliceinCleveland, asked if my photo was an “ode to Kristina?” While subconsciously my photo may have been inspired by Kristina’s work, I admit she’s had a lot of influence over my work in the past six months, I truly think that the teddy bear looms large for many Legographers.

Within the world of LEGO there are many wonderful accessories, the hot dog, the cookie, the book, the backpack, the cat, the wine bottle… Each accessory tells its own story, but none is as compelling as the teddy bear. What accessory so perfectly combines, innocence, childhood, nostalgia, comfort and vulnerability in one adorable package. At my last count there are five different types of teddy bears: the classic from Sleepy Guy in series 6, the bow tie version from the series 11 Elf, the well loved bear from The Simpsons series 1,  a mini panda bear from the LEGO movie mini figure series, even Spooky Girl gets a teddy bear in series 12.  Of course none of these stock teddy bears comes close to the well loved teddy bear that is a frequently seen in Kristina’s work. Have you checked out how well loved her bear is?

A series about finding comfort in and with teddy
A series about finding comfort in and with teddy

Personally I’ve used all of these teddy bears over the years. I’ve put one in the hand of Frankenstein and four in the hands of Lord Garmadon.  When I had my teddies attack Tonto it was their revenge on a childhood of mistreament.  So much can be implied with the use of a carefully placed teddy bear in any image.

Just to be clear the love of the LEGO teddy bear doesn’t stop with Kristina and I. The teddy bear also makes frequent appearances in the work of Mike; like this cute image of  teddy trying on Bobo’s helmet.


Last summer we each named our favorite mini figures and Vesa confessed that even though it’s not a mini figure, the teddy bear from Series 6 Sleepy Head was one of his favorites.  Who can resist those eyes?


I thought I would share with you a few of my favorite images I found tucked away in the extensive media library attached to this blog. These teddy bear images come from a variety of artist and it’s a testament to the hold the teddy bear has over us all.

~ Shelly

Do you feel the same way as I do about the LEGO Teddy Bear? If not, what’s your favorite LEGO accessory to use in your toy photography?


  1. aliceincleveland

    Muhahahaha! I’M IN YOUR HEAD!!! MUHAHAHAHA!

    I think my question was more ‘oded’ by Kristina’s work than anything else. I had just finished visiting her “For Consolation” project and would have seen tribute everywhere. I am sort of warm and fuzzy though that it may have led, in part, to this history of the Lego teddy bear!!!

    I wonder, really, how much of my entrance into minifigures will emulate what I’ve already seen. I wonder what, if any, prop will take center stage. What minifig might steal my soul? Maybe I won’t even like it, preferring the larger figures I’m used to. Who knows, right?

    I do feel like it’s something new to try, something to push myself from my norm, so whatever it turns out, the experience will be worth it.

    Just don’t be surprised to see Pan prancing around in the water. ☺ I’ll even commit now to naming the first one “Ode to Shelly”.

    • You’re in my head, Kristina is in my head and there are a few others I won’t mention. Sometimes the voices are strong, but most of the time they are like a itch at the back of my skull asking to be scratched. Ode to Teddy Bear is like that. It has a history, we’ve all used him, he’s very versatile. As an adult who ‘plays with toys’ how can you look away from your past, your own childhood when taking photos. Toys (and our children) help us to reconnect with that time, to rediscover a (hopefully) time of innocence. Teddy is like a door or a window into that other time. Maybe he reflects your childhood, or maybe only the childhood you wished you had. I will let you decide that.

      I wonder how you do with the mini figure too. We all start with emulation, its natural. Ive shot enough with photographers who have larger toys to know that you have to approach them differently. Lego mini figures do not lend themselves to realism. But then neither does a pokemon ball. Stories, allegory, myth are what we have to rely on since the mini figures ‘do’ so little.

      Personally I think they are dismissed by other photographers as being ‘too easy’ while I would say it’s the opposite.

      Worth it? Of course it will be worth it.

      At least let me post my Pan prancing in water photo to IG before you do. 😀

      • AliceinCleveland

        There an image out there of the Faun walking through some water. I saw it while browsing Google images the other day. It’s really good and I guess I just assumed it was yours. I can’t find it again though. I don’t remember what I was searching, but a few images I clicked on and they were yours or stuck in plastic members photos. Have you seen the faun/water image? Do you know who created it?

  2. actiotos

    To take shots with Teddy is awesome. I took one too and I’ve been proud by the result.
    Anyway I’m trying to find a new Lego tool which can tell a story as Teddy is doing.

    • Margaret, there is always room for a new twist on a popular theme. Certainly Star Wars proves that. I wouldn’t let those who came before you stop you from your own creative journey. Even Kristina’s amazing photos. 😀

  3. This reminds me that I should continue the little series I started with Spooky Girl, Gollum, Benny and their teddies. Since I took these shots, I have had the 5 teddy flavors in the little case I use to transport minifigs but haven’t shot anything with them since the beginning of the year.

    Otherwise I think my favorite teddy is Bobo (the one from the Simpsons). I also love food accessories, in particular all the desserts.

    • Yes you should continue with your series. I look forward to seeing what you create. I have a soft spot for Bobo as well since he is so loved. I haven’t had much luck with the food accessories, maybe you can inspire me!

      • Ah the teddy bear… I’ve always wanted the sleepy boy with the teddy but it costs a lot to buy…

        Pretty much all the accessories found within the minifigures series are awesome… They can be reused a lot… I do regret the lack of flowers within the Lego sets…

        You could also get accessories like drills, screwdrivers, hammer and stuff like that… I got a few in the Santa Claus workshop 🙂

        I also like food accessories, they come in so much variations within Lego sets…

        Here is a photo I did with some food scavenged on other sets 🙂


        I have lots of ideas regarding food but haven’t shot them yet 🙂

        In any ways, keep up the good work Shelly, spending time on this website is a blast for me, you guys are overflowing with nice ideas 😀

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