A new product released this month by Vermont Teddy Bear may be one of the company’s edgier offerings.
The “50 Shades of Grey Christian Grey Bear” aims to capture customers who were entranced by the wildly popular “50 Shades of Grey” trilogy of erotic books.
“It was to be fun, it wasn’t to be inappropriate,” company CEO Bill Shouldice IV says. “It was to make sure we were proud of what we put out there, and I think we nailed it.”
The “50 Shades” novels, and a film adaptation to be released next month by Universal Pictures, have kinky content, including bondage. The marketing material accompanying the bear on Vermont Teddy Bear’s website uses lines including “Dominate Valentine’s Day” and “She can’t help but submit to loving.”
The bear carries a set of handcuffs and a mask, and is dressed in a sharp grey suit like the book’s title character, Christian Grey.
“Like anything, I don’t think this is a product for everybody,” Shouldice admitted. “It’s a unique product, and it’s geared towards the adult.”
The bear makers are betting big on “50 Shades.” Shouldice said the brand is planning a run of at least 10,000 bears, selling them for $89.99 apiece.
Shouldice said men are the company’s biggest customers in the weeks before Valentine’s Day, and that the holiday is the brand’s busiest time of year.