A national survey conducted in 2017 showed that over half of the adults in the United States still had their teddy bear from childhood. And it’s no wonder; giving your teddy bear a squeeze every once and a while can bring back all the warm feelings of childhood and remind us of simpler times. Anyone who has ever had a teddy bear remembers those nights when you heard a creak outside your window or imagined a monster under your bed, but then you just hugged onto your teddy bear and suddenly it was alright again. My teddy bear is still sitting in a closet in my parents’ house, and just writing this article is making me miss him dearly.
But, what if you could have a teddy bear that bore resemblance to Donald Trump? While most people understandably have never even considered that, there is actually a company out there that has been manufacturing Donald Trump-themed teddy bears since 2017. Yes, whether you like it or not, there is a kid somewhere out there (and probably several adults as well) cuddling a teddy bear that looks like Donald Trump. It’s still up for debate whether or not that’s insanely creepy. Just kidding, it’s definitely creepy.
Political leanings aside, there is something very cringe-worthy about a child playing with a teddy bear modeled after a 75-year-old man. Why anyone thought this was a good idea is beyond me, but apparently Trumpy Bear has become very popular among Trump’s supporters. While some believe that Trumpy Bear is a symbol of patriotism and a movement to restore America’s greatness, the origins of Trumpy Bear seem to tell a different story.
What Is Trumpy Bear?
Trumpy Bear came back into national prominence when a very strange commercial started airing on Fox promoting the product. The advertisement began with a forewarning about an oncoming storm that could not be stopped, a rather unsettling thing to include in a commercial for a teddy bear. But, then again, pretty much everything about Trumpy Bear is unsettling. This ad started going viral on YouTube and Twitter soon after it aired on Fox, with many people questioning whether it was a parody or a real product.
Trumpy Bear is, in fact, a real toy and has been sold by Exceptional Products Inc. out of Dallas since 2017. The motorcycle-riding veteran lauding Trumpy Bear in the commercial is a real guy with real love for Trumpy Bear. While it may be hard to believe for some, nothing about Trumpy Bear was intended to be a joke. The toy was invented by New Jersey native V. L. Lange, and it seemed she was trying to make a comparison between the strength of a grizzly bear and the strength of President Donald Trump.
Trumpy Bear is most often seen in the 22-inch version that’s sold on Exceptional Products’s website; however, you can apparently make special orders for a 15-inch version or a golf club cover version as well (which will apparently “Make Your Golf Game Great Again” as the commercial suggests). All versions of Trumpy Bear features Trump’s signature hairstyle, a set of bushy eyebrows, a red tie, and a pouch in the back that contains an American flag blanket. Trumpy Bear is offered for $39.90 or two payments of $19.95 on their website.
Although Trumpy Bear was made in the likeness of the 45th President of the United States and constantly has an American flag up his backside, is Trumpy Bear really all that patriotic? One glaringly ironic fact about how Trumpy Bear is manufactured might say otherwise?
Trumpy Bear Is Made in China
Yes, after some investigation by The Washington Post, it appears that Trumpy Bear is actually manufactured in China. If you don’t understand the irony of that, perhaps you weren’t paying attention to Trump’s policies over the term of his presidency.
In July 2018, Donald Trump imposed a 25% tariff on $34 billion of Chinese goods entering the United States, thus starting a trade war that would be drawn out over the next several years. Famously, when asked about the subject, Trump said, “Trade wars are good, and easy to win.” He also cited his reason for entering the trade war in the first place as, “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country.”
While many have argued that the trade war with China actually damaged the health of the United States economy, Trump’s supporters largely stood by their champion’s decision. So, the fact that this talisman of Trump worship is made in China is pretty ironic to say the least. Do Trump’s supporters know that they’re supporting the Chinese economy by ordering Trumpy Bears? How would Donnie himself feel if he knew that these toys bearing (pun intended) his image were made by his primary trade enemy?
The issue of whether or not it’s alright to fly American flags made overseas has also been raised. Since Trumpy Bear comes with an American flag blanket, any owner of a Trumpy Bear would also be an owner of a Chinese-made American flag, a concept that many Americans are uncomfortable with. In fact, a resolution from the House of Representatives even stated that all American flags flown over federal buildings must be made in the United States. Does that make Trumpy Bear contrary to the opinion held by the United States government? You can decide that for yourself.
Trumpy Bear Controversy
While Trumpy Bear is certainly strange and a little bit creepy, the Trump-themed toy has stirred up more controversy than one might expect. Employees from Exceptional Products reported to Forbes that they have received many threats, including a series of death threats, related to their production of the toy. Some of the threats would be left on the company voicemail, and others were sent via email.
According to Elliott Bracket, vice president of Exceptional Products, someone left a series of threats on the voicemail of every single employee at the company saying that they should die and that the president should be assassinated. Bracket also said that these particular threats led them to get the FBI involved and that the man responsible was paid a visit by the authorities and placed on a Secret Service threats list in case Trump ever visits the town that he lives in.
While Trump is undoubtedly one of the most polarizing presidents in the history of the United States, making death threats about a teddy bear is definitely unwarranted. To threaten someone for their political beliefs, much less to threaten them for making a teddy bear that looks like Trump, goes against every tenet of American democracy. This story is just another testament to the atmosphere of political turmoil and division that exists in the United States at the moment. It’s alright to disagree with someone else’s political opinions and maybe even to dislike them for having those political opinions, but threatening another human being’s life is taking things entirely too far.
Maybe those who feel strong disdain for Trumpy Bear should just start making a Biden Bear to even things out. No, no, I’m kidding. Please, let’s not make any more teddy bears that look like old men. That’s just weird.