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This $100 Teddy Bear On American Pickers Has More Value Than You Think

It's a bit hard to process, but Mike Wolfe and his various "American Pickers" co-hosts have been digging for long-forgotten treasures from backroad barns and overstuffed storage units across America for over a decade now. Over the series' unexpectedly lengthy run, Wolfe and company have transformed "American Pickers" from the little reality series that could into a gripping, sometimes hilarious thrill-of-the-hunt road show full of colorful characters, intriguing locations, and sometimes legitimately rare treasures. 

Some of those treasures are rarer than others. And yes, that typically means some of them are far pricier. Still, if Wolfe has taught us anything over the years, it's that turning a profit in the antiquing game is as much about making small, savvy picks as it is making the sort of big, splashy buys that "American Pickers" fans so love to see. And that's exactly what Wolfe did when he plopped down a crisp $100 bill for a vintage teddy bear during a Season 15 episode titled "Another Brick in the Wall." While the buy certainly won't deliver the kind of return seen with rare cars or antique motorcycles, Wolfe believes the teddy bear in question could still fetch a better-than-solid return.    

The vintage articulated bear could be worth twice what Mike Wolfe paid for it

As for where Mike Wolfe found that antique teddy bear, he and Frank Fritz dug it up in a storage room of a long dormant brickwork in Missouri. That facility was being overseen by a local police officer who was looking to transform the land into a community-friendly space. To do that, he was, naturally, looking to off-load as much of the property on the land as he could, which is just the sort of picking situation Wolfe and the "American Pickers" crew tend to flourish in.

Despite the ideal setup, Wolfe and Fritz don't exactly go wild in picking the old brickyard. In fact, they play it surprisingly safe given the circumstances, walking away with a few sturdy old brick drying racks and an armful of vintage toys discovered in a storage space. One of those toys is, indeed, an antique teddy bear in a handmade dress. Wolfe first notices the bear because of that dress and soon checks to see if it has articulated (i.e., movable) limbs, a feature that dramatically increases a stuffed animal's overall value (per Invaluable.com).

After confirming the arms, head, and legs move and that the bear is in pretty solid condition overall, Wolfe promptly deems the bear worthy of investment, offering a cool $100 bucks for it. After the deal is struck, he admits that, to the right sort of collector, such an antique could fetch closer to $200. That's hardly retirement money, but doubling your take on a pick is just good business. And Wolfe was no doubt happy given his modest investment.