Holy Bear for sale: Pope Francis spectacles included
Holy bear for sale: Pope Francis spectacles included

This stuffed toy does not have much of a papal bear-ing but the glasses and white vestments mark it out as a fluffy Pope Francis.

German manufacturer Herman-Spielwaren has created a tribute to the recently elected spiritual leader of the world's one billion Catholics. The difference here is that this one can be cuddled.

Standing 40cm tall and sporting the white cassock worn by the real Pope Francis, it carries a not-so-heavenly price tag of €249 (£213). Getting a personal audience with this version of the pontiff is sure to be less complicated than acquiring an invitation into the inner sanctum of the Vatican.

The toy even emits a growling noise, according to the company's website - which is a bit unfair on the real Pope Francis, whose public speaking duties so far have been bereft of growling or other odd noises.

Crafted from fine mohair, creations by Munich-based Herman-Spielwaren are among the highest quality, say collectors. The company boasts on its website: "These characteristics together with the noble appearance, silky feel and sheen make mohair one of the finest fibres offered by nature."

Teddy bears by Herman-Spielwaren change hands for high prices on retail sites such eBay. A papal teddy bear of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI went on sale for $555 (£360).

There is certainly no shortage of attention to detail in the fluffy Pope - from the holy vestments of the new Bishop of Rome to his spectacles.

The Francis teddy comes adorned in the simple white cassock the pontiff wore when he appeared for the first time on the Vatican balcony following his election.

It was intended to be signal of his more humble tastes in papal dress, after Benedict XVI's focus on tradition and associated style trappings. The Benedict bear's red mozzetta (the short cape) worn across the shoulders is absent from the Francis.

The Francis teddy also comes without red shoes, in line with the new incumbent's spurning of them as he forges a distinctive papacy. Yet the Benedict bear was also without footwear, despite red shoes being the real Benedict footwear of choice. He considered them one of his 'bear' essentials.