About the contest

The GOLDEN GEORGE is the most coveted trophy for teddy artists in the world. And there are seven good reasons for that.

1. Fairness

At the GOLDEN GEORGE, artists compete in different categories. A jury of five international experts is going to decide about nominees and awardees.

2. The Jury

The organisers are inviting the five jurors of every year. These are always experts such as well-known artists, organisers, dealers, and manufacturers or teddy associations representatives. Each juror comes from another country, thus standing for a different culture and taste. Each year, there will be a completely new jury. That’s why the GOLDEN GEORGE remains unpredictable and a new chance every year.

3. Internationality

Artists from more than 20 countries compete against each other. Such a variety is not to be found at any other competition worldwide.

4. The values

At the GOLDEN GEORGE, teddy bear artists from all over the world compete in an art competition. Regardless of origin, philosophy of life, religion, gender or sexual orientation. TEDDYBÄR TOTAL and GOLDEN GEORGE stand for respectful, peaceful coexistence. We condemn war and violence and always stand with the victims. Participation in the GOLDEN GEORGE requires sharing these values.

5. The challenge

Not only variety makes the GOLDEN GEORGE that special, but also the vast number of participants. There will be up to 40 entries for each category. Successful participation here is simply proof of excellent quality. The nomination is already an award in itself.

6. The awards

The GOLDEN GEORGE is a remarkable statue, cast from massive bronze, hand-polished and proud weight of 2 kilograms. The nomination will be awarded, too, by a beautiful bronze medal with the GOLDEN GEORGE portrait.

7. The proceedings

In a first step, the artists hand in photos of their works. These photos are put at the disposal of the jury online and anonymised. Each juror is to give points for the entries: 12 points – according to their opinion – for the best work of one category, 10 for the second-best, 8 for the third-best. These points will be given to the organiser and counted together there. The result is the list of nominees. Three works for each category will be nominated, sometimes more, if there is a draw. The score will not be published.

All nominated works will be exhibited at TEDDYBÄR TOTAL in Münster, Germany. On Friday before the show, all jurors will give a closer look at all nominated works personally. Again, they will give points according to the same system. As a result, the awardees of the GOLDEN GEORGE are chosen. For that reason, artists must hand over their artwork on Friday 26 April 2024, between 10 am and 2 pm, at the GOLDEN GEORGE exhibition area.

Even non-nominated works are invited to this exhibition and, moreover, they have two further chances to win. It happens that an excellent work fails during the nomination process because of insufficient photos. That’s why, since 2015, the jury is awarding a special prize for the best non-nominated work.

Leading up to the show by online voting, fans and visitors of TEDDYBÄR TOTAL can vote for the Public Choice Award, or they could do this on-site by giving their ballot papers.

On Saturday morning, the statues and medals will be given to the engraver, who will furnish them with the artists’ names. Besides the engraver, there will be only three people knowing the awardees at that time, and they will keep their secret until the GEORGE Dinner takes place.

8. The Dinner

The highlight of every GOLDEN GEORGE season is the GEORGE Dinner in Münster during the TEDDYBÄR TOTAL weekend. After a three-course dinner, the stage belongs to the artists. They are the centre and the ones we are celebrating. After all medals and trophies found their new owners, the festive awarding ceremony becomes a shindig party, ending long after midnight. This is something you have to experience at least once.

There is no comparable competition combining such internationality, fairness, neutralism, quality and eminent awards for those nominated. Nor is there another competition offering such a challenge to artists. That’s what makes the GOLDEN GEORGE a worldwide coveted award for teddy bear arts.

9. Fee

The entry fee per competition entry is 70 euros. For exhibitors, the entry fee per competition entry is 40 euros.


Category 1 - Classic German teddy bear

Traditional German teddy bear according to the idea of Richard Steiff with five joints, without additional items, undressed. Fur made of textiles like mohair or faux fur, a long mouth, a clearly modelled upper back (hump), wide apart eyes and relatively big and leaned forward ears. A maximum of one accessory on the teddy bear's body is admitted such as a bow, ruff, brooch, scarf or sash.

Category 2 - Classical teddy bear international

A traditional teddy bear based on classical shapes from different origins – obviously different to traditional German teddy bears. For example based on classical British, Japanese, Russian or American patterns, without additional items, undressed. Different to traditional German teddy bears for example in design of mouth and nose as well as to creative teddy designs. A maximum of one accessory on the teddy bear's body is admitted such as a bow, ruff, brooch, scarf or sash.

Category 3 - Miniature I

Miniature teddy bear up to 10 centimeters, without additional items, undressed – a maximum of one accessory on the teddy bears' body is admitted such as a bow, ruff, brooch, scarf or sash.

Category 4 - Miniature II

Miniature teddy bear up to 10 centimeters, undressed or dressed with handmade clothes, with a maximum of three additional items such as another bear, animal, doll, doll’s pram, bike, car, chair etc.

Category 5 - Teddy bear and his friends I

Creative interpretation of one single teddy bear or stuffed animal, undressed, mainly made of fabric, with a maximum of three further accessories/additional items.

Category 6 - Teddy bear and his friends II

Creative interpretation of one single teddy bear or stuffed animal, mainly made of fabric, dressed with handmade clothes, with a maximum of three additional items such as another bear, animal, doll, doll’s pram, bike, car, chair etc.

Category 7 - Realistic wildlife

Realistic animals and bears, larger than 10 centimeters, undressed, sewn or felted. One realistic accessory, for example a twig or leaf, is admitted.

Category 8 - Fantasy

Animal-inspired figure or mythical creature, distinctly different from classic bears, animals and creative interpretations of a teddy bear, no restriction in terms of materials and manufacturing technology.

Accessory: Decorative element mounted directly on the teddy bears‘ body.
Additional item: Further component to enlarge the artwork’s effect.
Additional elements serve to complement the competition work and must therefore not dominate it in terms of effect.


Closing Date: 15th December
Nominations: March
Exhibition of participating works* and Award Ceremony: 27th/28th April 2024 at TEDDYBÄR TOTAL

*mandatory for nominations, voluntary for all participants


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1. Admission of Works
Individual artists’ works that correspond to the category descriptions will be admitted to the GOLDEN GEORGE competition. The works must be original and fully the work of the submitting artist in terms of creation and execution, and must not violate any other copyrights. Each work of art may only be entered in the GOLDEN GEORGE competition once.

2. Participation
Participation is only possible via the online entry form, which can be accessed on the TEDDYBÄR TOTAL website. The entry form provides all the information and image motifs required for participation in the competition, as well as the entry fee payable.

3. Exclusivity
The GOLDEN GEORGE competition aims to honour artistic and technical excellence. It is thus irrelevant whether the submitted works have already been published elsewhere or submitted to another competition.

4. Category Selection
It is the sole responsibility of the participant to decide which category to submit a work to. If in the course of the competition, the organiser or the jury notice that the work does not meet the obligations of the relevant category, they can recommend an alternative category to the artist. In case of doubt, the work shall be taken out of the competition without reimbursement of costs.

5. Evaluation
5.1 Nomination Procedure
The work is evaluated in two steps. Artists first submit photos and descriptions of their work. These images are provided to the jury anonymously online. Each judge awards the respective work points: 12 points for what the judge considers the best work in a category, 10 points for the second-best, 8 points for the third-best. These points are sent directly to the organiser, where they are added up. This results in the list of nominations. Three works are nominated per category or more in case of equal scores. Scores shall not be published.

5.2 Selecting Awardees
All nominated works must be exhibited as part of TEDDYBÄR TOTAL. The judges shall then personally examine all nominated works on-site, where they will once again award points according to the system described. The awardees of the GOLDEN GEORGE competition will then be determined by adding up the points awarded on site.

5.3 Absence of Judges
If a judge cannot carry out an examination in person, it is the organiser’s responsibility to have the evaluation carried out by the remaining judges (at least three); or to have the missing judge adequately replaced in the short term. The organiser cannot, however, personally act in place of a missing judge.

5.4 Special Award
Competition entries that were not nominated are also invited to participate in this exhibition. There are two more chances to win here. The jury shall hand out a special award for what they consider to be the best of the submissions that were not nominated. Leading up to the exhibition, fans and visitors to TEDDYBÄR TOTAL will have the opportunity to take part in online or on-site voting to determine the Public Choice Award.

6. Award Presentation Ceremony
The handover of the nomination medals and the GOLDEN GEORGE statues shall take place exclusively during the GEORGE Dinner. The nominated artists must, therefore, be in attendance.

7. Exclusion from the Competition
The organiser reserves the right to remove a work from the competition at any time without reimbursement of costs if there is reasonable doubt as to its originality or compliance with the rules. The lack of timely payment of the entry fee shall also lead to exclusion from the competition. Should a submission be removed from the competition after the nomination has taken place, it is the organiser’s responsibility to decide whether to have it replaced by the contribution with the next highest score.

8. Image Copyright
Upon their submission, to the competition, the organiser shall, for the duration of the competition cycle – but for no longer than one year, starting from the closing date for submission to the competition – obtain the spatially unlimited right to use these images as part of editorial reporting and marketing activities for the competition. This includes digital and print publications as well as presentations during events. The organiser shall always provide the images free of charge as part of its public relations work. In case of nomination, temporally unlimited usage rights shall be transferred to the organiser in relation to TEDDYBÄR TOTAL and the GOLDEN GEORGE competition.

Former Winners