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Teddy bear maker creates homage to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

Business Wire

Vermont Teddy Bear’s “Fifty Shades of Grey Bear” is modeled after the character Christian Grey from the popular romance novel.

By Jack Newsham Globe Correspondent 

Teddy bears make great toys for small children. But this one might make you cover your youngster’s eyes.

The Vermont Teddy Bear Co., based in Shelburne, Vt., has started selling a “Fifty Shades of Grey” teddy bear. The plushie is dressed in a suit, just like the character Christian Grey from the popular bondage-themed novel that is now being made into a movie, and he comes with a teddy-size pair of handcuffs.

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“I’ll just say it. We’re obsessed with Grey,” said Bill Shouldice, the company’s chief executive, in a statement. “It’s sure to be one of our most popular Valentine’s Day Bears.”

The company said its new bear, which sells on its website for $90, is meant as an “adult gift.” It has made 10,000 of them, and it expects to sell out given the first few days of sales, a spokeswoman for the company said. The copyright holders for “Fifty Shades of Grey” earn a percentage of each sale.

If its new toy encounters opposition, it won’t be the first time the company has courted controversy. In 2005, mental health advocates complained that the company’s “Crazy for You Bear,” which was wrapped in a straitjacket, tastelessly made light of people with mental illnesses.

The company sells 150,000 teddy bears per year.


Jack Newsham can be reached at jack.newsham@globe.com
Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam.