Valentine’s season is upon us, and with it comes the aggressive marketing of “sexy” products.
Valentine’s season is upon us, and with it comes the aggressive marketing of sexified products. Even your cocktail comes with a condom (JK, but actually that would be practical). Build-A-Bear, a company that has been making the bespoke teddies coveted by many five-year-olds for 25 years, wants in on the fun. So they made a line of “sexy” teddy bears called “Build-A-Bear After Dark.” Is nowhere safe from corporate thirst?
The horny bear concept was announced earlier this week on Build-A-Bear’s Facebook page, and some outlets have been posting their critiques. I guess they were trying to appeal to totally basic breeders who’ve got $50 to drop on a bear for their kid and an extra benji to drop on their boo. “Wink, wink,” the ad says. “Shop Build-A-Bear After Dark for unique gift ideas that are sure to get you hugged.” Um. I don’t know about you, but I am trying to get more than a hug for Valentine’s Day.
Okay, look, I do understand that I am not the target audience for Build-A-Bear, but how do you promise something sexy and deliver a teddy bear in a silk robe? At least include a vibrator. In case you’re wondering, yes you can actually get a teddy bear vibrator, just not from Build-A-Bear.
I’m not the only one underwhelmed by these softcore toys. Even B-A-B’s fan base is disappointed. “I was thinking bears with strap ons or something like that, these are extremely tame,” commented one Facebook user. Another added, “Ya'll said ‘after dark’ and well, what your offering just ain't it. False advertisement at its best.”
Whether this product is truly cheugy or not isn’t my main concern. I’m just curious as to who the company is marketing this to and whether they thought it’d revive their sales. Build-A-Bear company has been declining in value for years, so this is probably a half-baked attempt to win over the newly converted kinksters spawned by the 50 shades phenom.
Oddly, the flirty teddy bear market is already pretty well covered. So Build-a-Bear could have gone a step further to stand out. Just saying: Teddy bears with tiny whips and tiny chains or teddy bears with itsy bitsy ball gags would be at the top of my own most wanted list.
Or how about a teddy bear that comes with two doses of MDMA or heart-shaped shroom chocolates? C’mon, be creative. If they can make baby dolls that drink bottles, can’t they make a teddy bear that will spit in my mouth?
Perhaps the corporate overlords are unaware, but teddy bears are already a fetish, and not just for some bizarre perverse few. Some psychologists say “plushophilia” may not actually be that uncommon. Furries get a bad rap, but not only is there no excuse for kink-shaming now or ever, who among us has not fetishized something from our youth?
Build-A-Bear has a real opportunity to provide high quality sex teddys to a clientele that’s ready to buy. But alas, I am not surprised that they are failing to deliver the spice we need. This is what happens when capitalism tries to co-opt anything sexy — they sanitize all the filth out of it without ever realizing that the filth is what we want.