America Now Has a '50 Shades of Grey' Teddy Bear

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When you think of the 50 Shades of Grey franchise, the first things that come to mind are probably handcuffs, bondage gear, and the image of someone attempting to awkwardly hide the cover of their paperback on your commute. We're willing to bet that, barring any S&M connotations we're unaware of, "teddy bear" is pretty far down the list. But leave it to Shelburne, VT company Vermont Teddy Bear to change all that with their latest concoction: a handcuff-toting Teddy bear to tie in with the 50 Shades film adaptation due out next month.

Like the book's title character, Christian Grey, the bear is dressed in a sleek grey suit, and comes with such fun, decidedly non-child friendly accessories as a bondage mask and the aforementioned handcuffs. Unlike Christian Grey, it does not want to dominate you in body and soul.

"It was to be fun, it wasn't to be inappropriate," CEO Bill Shouldice IV told New England Cable News. "It was to make sure we were proud of what we put out there, and I think we nailed it."
The company's website is marketing the bear as a Valentine's Day item, with lines like "Dominate Valentine's Day" and "She can't help but submit to loving [the bear]." As far as we can tell, "the bear" in this sentence is a reference to the actual bear. It is not a reference to something else.

"Like anything, I don't think this is a product for everybody," said Shouldice. "It's a unique product, and it's geared towards the adult."

According to NECN, Vermont Teddy Bear drawn criticism before with "Crazy for You Bear," released nine years ago, which came dressed in a straitjacket and was perceived by some as insensitive toward the mentally ill. However, it was a big seller for the company.

Whether the Christian Grey Bear performs as well remains to be seen; the item retails for a whopping $89.99. For that price, maybe it should dominate you in body and soul.

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