The biggest difference between a Teddy Bear and a stuffed toy such as a Pokemon is probably in price- I’d wager that a teddy bear is far more expensive Kuro no Shoukanshi. And the second difference is in sales: Pokemon stuffed toys probably outsell teddy bears a thousand to one or greater (far greater perhaps).
Adults are far more interested in teddy bears than children are. And they are usually women who are interested in them as collectors’ and decorative items than they are in cuddling them at night.
Clearly, the teddy bear in former years was tremendously popular, but as a doll showered with love and affection, it is pretty well forgotten now. I know that as child I never had a teddy bear or knew anyone who did, and I’m no spring chicken! Certainly, there was Barbie, but who could ever snuggle up to a Barbie doll?
Pokemon plush toys (known as plushies) come in a variety of sizes and like a quality teddy bear, they are not all that soft when new, though I imagine they acquire softness when manhandled over time. My son does have his in his bed with him, though I’ve never seen him cuddle it. Much older kids- teens in fact- like to collect Pokemon stuffed dolls as well (particularly popular now is anything Pokemon Black and White). And why is that?
Pokemon dolls are collectibles as well as toys. Where as the classic bear has a history and a legacy behind them, they are seeped in culture in other words, but they don’t have a story behind them and although teddy bears enjoy much more diversity than you might at first imagine, Pokemon are all about diversity- mutation in fact. There is a whole world behind the Pokemon that almost makes collecting them like collecting artifacts; a pseudo-science is growing behind the Pokemon. That is something very different. You’ll never see a black and white teddy bear card game, but you can buy legendary Pokemon cards.
I’m not sure what teddies used to be. Relatively speaking, toys were much more expensive than they are now. I imagine that a teddy bear probably passed through several generations. The monetary value now reflects heritage and handcrafting; Pokemon dolls represent merchandising popular, booming phenomena. The two are very different things, though I’m not sure that the children’s feelings are that different.
In some ways the two remain alike though. In real life, bears are strong, dangerous animals. They may be soft, but they would never let you cuddle them (most wouldn’t anyway). In fantasy, the Pokemon are likewise dangerous creatures. But both, in doll form, look cute and harmless. Generally, people are afraid of scary things in the dark. Cute stuffed toys of beasts relieve that fear. Well, no, not really- not if Nintendo wishes to keep its lucrative spinoff market of Pokemon plush doll (or ‘plushies’), stuffed toys, figures (such as Zuken and Tomy figures), and the media line including the animation and the manga going strong. Not only are children not attracted to dark, complex doomsday scenarios, they would just end up frightened by the whole premise and have nightmares.
For kids, the Pokemon world is a fantasy world, but a safe one- especially for people. I think they just accept the world at face value. One can make the argument that any storyline that includes radical genetic mutation as a major premise must be sinister in some way or another. Kids obviously aren’t giving it much thought though and who can blame them?
The fact is though that upon examination the Pokemon world is very strange indeed. Aside from the spontaneous mutations, very few humans seem to inhabitant the world. I admit that i am not a huge fan, but as far as I know Vermillion City is the only town I know of in the Pokemon world, and the only reason for our main characters to go there is to battle their captured Pokemon.
Science labs dot the countryside, and while they certainly are experts on Pokemon, we have no idea what else it is that they are studying. In this world, it seems the earth has returned to countryside- there are no factories, restaurants, or highways about, or even houses. There is no shopping mall yet Satoshi dresses like a modern kid. We don’t know really where they are getting their sustenance.
It is a world dominated by Pokemon, and the only reason that humans are able to dominate the Pokemon is because of the Pokemon’s odd passivity and obedience toward them and the fact of their (the human’s) superior intellect. Humans, it would seem, have gone into hibernation in this world and the only reason for their existence as we understand it from the storyline is to engage Pokemon into battle and win tournaments. There is no underlying infrastructure or civilization- under than the labs and the arena- that at least we can see, that is not related to Pokemon and the battles.
For an adult, these raise huge questions. Does this not seem a world that was destroyed millennium ago, and is reemerging as something different? While humans seem to have survived and do not appear to be in danger, they also seem to have no direction, no civilization. Or perhaps a small colony of humans ended up on the strange Pokemon world. Either way, there are many odd gaps in the Pokemon story.