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The world's largest teddy bear exhibition delights visitors in Russia

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The 'Hello Teddy' event  is a celebration of the classic cuddly toy and the art that goes into making them
The 'Hello Teddy' event is a celebration of the classic cuddly toy and the art that goes into making them   -   Copyright  AFP
By Theo Farrant  & AFP

The 'Hello Teddy!" exhibition in Moscow is a celebration of the classic cuddly toy, and more than 500 exhibitors are showcasing their bears. Teddies of all shapes and sizes cover every surface.

The event is now in its 12th year and organisers say there is nothing like it anywhere else.

"It is unique because it is the world's largest specialised teddy bears exhibition, there are no such exhibitions anywhere else. This exhibition is all about bears and their friends - animals made in the teddy style," says Svetlana Volina, Director of 'Hello Teddy!'.

Bears here can cost up to €600

AP Photo
Traditional teddy bears are constructed with glass eyes and fabric that is sewn togetherAP Photo

The trade fair of collectible toys features handcrafted teddy bears, and as the festive season approaches, there are even bear-themed Christmas tree decorations available.

But some exhibitors are pushing the boundaries to create toys with different techniques.

The key, however, is that each bear has a distinct character.

"Each work has its own unique character, so you won't confuse it with any other, you won't confuse the master who makes them with any other master," says Volina.

"Despite such a large number of bears at the exhibition, it is clear that they are all different. It's amazing that when a person comes for the first time, he says - why come to look at the bears, they are the same. But they are all different."

Prices for bears at the event range from 500 to 50,000 Roubles ($6.80 to $680), some toys being real pieces of art.

"They remind me of childhood, especially if they are handmade bears. You can feel that the master put his soul into them. They are so warm, you want to hug them and they seem alive," says Maria Dyomina, a visitor.

"The atmosphere is very good here. It's nice to see people with constant smiles on their faces and light in their eyes. There is such a kingdom of kindness here," says Sergey, another visitor.

The exhibition ran from 3 to 5 December.

Check out the video above to see inside the exhibition