Small black and white printed advertising card depicting three stuff toys and a wooden train.

It was produced to promote the Fredd Bear soft toys made by the Sterne Doll Company. Fredd Bear was a character who appeared on the children's TV programs `The Magic Circle Club' and `Fredd Bear's Breakfast A-Go-Go' on Channel 0 (later Channel 10.)

Description of Content

Features three Fredd bears wearing overalls, hats and collars. They are standing around a toy wooden train locomotive and carriage. There is a label 'Fredd Bear' on top of the locomotive cab.

Physical Description

Black and white printed image on paper with white border. Image is blurry.


This collection of paper ephemera (comprised mainly of photographs, newspaper clippings and advertisements) relates to various toys/dolls produced by the leading Victorian doll and toy manufacturer Leo J. Sterne. Sterne was a refugee from Austria who arrived penniless in Australia in 1939 and began making a range of papier mache dolls heads in his garage. By 1946 he had moved his business to a factory in Leicester Street, Carlton and by 1958 Sterne Dolls had representatives throughout Australia and was exporting its products overseas.

The collection includes a number of photographs of Sterne's early dolls heads and his complete dolls, including a series of bride dolls, baby dolls, Dutch boy and girl dolls as well as ordinary dress dolls. A significant proportion of the material is connected to the famous ventriloquist puppet Gerry Gee, operated by Ron Blaskett on 'The Happy Show', (later 'The Tarax Show') which began in Melbourne, in January 1957, on GTV 9. Gerry Gee Junior, a half-pint size version of Gerry Gee was one of a number of toy reproductions of children's TV characters created by Sterne Dolls. Others included Cynthia Bear for Channel 9 in Melbourne and Fredd Bear and Fee Fee Bear from 'The Magic Circle Club', Channel ATV 0 Melbourne as well as Humphrey B Bear from 'Here's Humphrey' on Channel 9 NWS, Adelaide. There are also artefacts relating to these characters within the collection (213 items altogether).

The collection provides useful insight into production, changes in fashion, marketing techniques, the importance of television, the targeting of a young market, and the changing style of dolls and accessories.

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