Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dispatches from the Teddy Bear Front

Priced to Clear: This just in, Blog Pals: The Vermont Teddy Bear Company (based in Shelburne, Vermont), which makes Teddy Bears that resemble presidential candidates, is knocking down the price of the Hillary Clinton Teddy Bear (right) from $99.95 to $74.95 because Senator Clinton dropped out of the race. Said Vermont Teddy Bear spokeswoman Meg Terrien: "She's no longer part of that trio of candidates, so we put her on sale." According to the Associated Press story (June 11), The Clinton Bear "comes wearing her signature yellow blazer, black slacks, string of pearls and blue 'Hillary for President' button. It's 'a fun solution to finding the perfect gift for any Hillary supporter,' according to the Vermont Teddy Bear Company Website." No word on what the company plans to do with its discontinued John Kerry, Bob Dole and Mike Dukakis bears.

Frontiers of Free Enterprise: A Japanese robotics company called iXs Research Corporation has created a cute, cuddly Teddy Bear with a built-in GPS system (right) that sits on the dashboard of your car and provides you with directions. As Motor Trend magazine points out, "The teddy bear...has six joints in his arms and neck he uses to motion while giving directions." The bear also critiques your driving style (if you hit the brakes too hard, it says, "Be careful, please!"). BUT WAIT -- THERE'S MORE! The high-tech online magazine Gear Live adds, "The teddy also has an alcohol detection sensor in its neck and will admonish you if it smells that last margarita with 'You haven't been drinking, have you?'"

The Teddy Bear That Ate Wichita: Dana Warren of Wichita, Kansas, wants to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for the category of "World's Tallest Teddy Bear." She spent days unloading two semi trucks full of stuffing, then inserted it inside a 55 and a half foot tall Teddy Bear. The bear weights a whopping 3,000 pounds and requires 500 yards of material. Warren cut the fabric in her house, assembled the bear with her sewing machine, and stuffed it in her driveway. Warren first set the Giant Teddy Bear record in 2001 when she built a 51-foot high stuffed bear. Sadly, not too long after that, a competitor built a bigger, longer Teddy Bear, leaving Warren with a non-record setting giant bear. So this time, it's personal.

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