Mary T's Attic|
A Place for Quality Cherished Teddies
Variations: Prototype Pieces
The initial process for creating a new Cherished Teddy starts with a Priscilla Hillman drawing of the Cherished Teddy. One of the sculptors takes the drawing and uses Sculpty clay to mold the Cherished Teddy to create the figurine. This figurine is used to make the mold to create a handful of prototype figurines. These figurines are painted and the bottom is labeled with the date and a unique 6-digit number (the stock number).
After seeing the prototype, Priscilla or someone within Enesco often decides
that the prototype should be changed. The most common change consists of new
paint colors. The figurine is revised and again marked with the new date,
stock number and a "revised" sticker on the bottom. The pictures below show
the original and revised bottoms of the Rare Bear Miranda (click on the picture
to enlarge it). The original prototype is stamped with a date of April 30,
1998. The revised prototype has a date two weeks later of May 14, 1998.
Unlike the regular pieces, prototype pieces are usually quickly painted by only one person, which can account for some of the roughness common to prototypes. The prototypes are usually sent to the different Enesco showrooms across the country for retailers to see and pre-order.
Because the Enesco catalogs are printed up to a year prior to the release of the Cherished Teddies, sometimes the original prototype version of a Cherished Teddy is printed in the catalog and retailer literature. Sometimes the pictures are corrected for later catalogs, but not always. A good example is Mike. The prototype and the catalogs show him with a yellow balloon, while the production version actually consisted of a pink balloon. The only way to get a Mike with a yellow balloon is to get a prototype piece, since he was revised to have the pink balloon prior to production.
Here are some of the prototype pieces that were changed prior to production: