Build-a-Bear loves freedom, and huggable child actors

Everyone loves bears. Or at least huggable teddy bears, the kind that would never maul you in the woods or steal your pic-a-nic basket or dress in flannel shirts and cruise San Francisco's Castro district. So this week's Press Release of the Week is a celebration of all things Bear-tastic as the Build-A-Bear company cuts the ribbon on a new store in the heart of Manhattan.

For those of you not familiar with the Build-A-Bear franchise (anyone who's not in their target audience of young children and lonely middle-aged women), the stores allow shoppers to create customized teddy bears that they can dress up in oh-so-cute outfits and hug and hug until their little arms won't hug any more.

Nothing says Bear-tastic like a precocious child actor, in this case Marc John Jeffries, one of the stars of Disney's Haunted Mansion and the short-lived Tracey Morgan Show, who will be master of ceremonies for the store opening. Jeffries will be joined by pint-sized gymnast Dominique Dawes, who may be an actual adult these days but is still just as impish and cuddly as ever.

But wait, you ask, is there some way the Build-A-Bear franchise can use this foothold in New York to capitalize on 9/11?

Of course there is! The grand opening of the New York store will feature (how could you not have seen this coming?) bears wearing official New York City fire department and police department uniforms. The store will also debut it's "Fureign Friends" line, who'll be wearing "international bear" costumes which I'm sure will not be at all culturally insensitive. Children will now be able to pit FDNY Bear against Terrorist Muslim Bear in a fight to the death. What are you looking at, French Bear, with your cute little beret and freedom-hating air of superiority? You want a piece of this action?!?

But the best thing I learned from this press release is that Maxine Clark, the founder of Build-A-Bear, is referred to as Chief Executive Bear. Seriously. Do you think all the other corporate officers have "bear" somewhere in their title? Is this mandated by the company? Is there some poor account executive who for the rest of her life is going to have to explain that, no, the "bear" on her resume is not a typo?


TMC said...

Maybe they use the word "bear" as liberally as The Smurfs used the word "smurf." Which, by the way, was really smurf-tastic, although it could occasionally smurf me off.

aaron said...

The clear implication here is that "It takes a village" to build a bear.