Backwards Walking Bear

Backwards Walking Bear, felt, found gear toy, and Model Magic. Inspired by “Made in Occupied Japan” Walking Bear toys.

I adore the original wind-up walking bears produced in Japan soon after World War II. Sadly, the popular, quirky collectibles cannot be acquired for a reasonable price for up-close study by an art student. My concept of the tin toy, originally produced with clock workings inside and an outer layer of fabric, uses felt over a foam body of my own construction. I am really pleased with the look of this piece. However, the inner mechanics proved a bit problematic. After attaching and gluing all the felt to the body I gave my bear a test run and realized that I had put the gears in backwards. This accidental misconstruction amuses the whimsical artist in me too much to want to change it. Consequently, please feast your eyes on “Backwards Walking Bear.”