The founders of the Tartu Toy Museum
chose the teddy-bear “Karu Lillekäpp” [Teddy Flowerpaw] to be the
museum’s mascot, since the teddy-bear is symbolic of the museum’s joyful
atmosphere that is full of childhood nostalgia; the teddy-bear is,
after all, one of the favourite childhood toys of all time.
In 1994 university student Kai Maser, who was studying national handicrafts at the time the museum first opened, sewed the smiling teddy bear with its striped skirt in the style of the Estonian folk costume.
A competition was launched in the daily newspaper “Postimees,” to find the bear a name. 5-year old Käbi Stolovitch came up with the name, “Lillekäpp”, meaning ‘Flower-Paw,’ because the bear’s paws were sewn from a flowery material. She won the competition with that name.
Over time, Teddy Flowerpaw became a full-fledged employee of the Toy Museum, appearing on television and at children’s events, books were written and cards were drawn about him, and the teddy bear’s symbol was used on the museum’s stamp and on official papers. Later Kai Maser created some small cousins for Karu Lillekäpp – also wearing striped skirts – Musikäpa [Kiss-paw], Mesimoka [Honey-snout] and Masha. The first was a gift to the Stratford Teddy Bear Museum in England, the second went to the creators of the Riga Doll Museum in Latvia, and the third was a gift to the Sergiev Posadi Toy Museum in Russia.