The holiday season has officially begun, and while Black Friday and the surge of obligatory shopping may not yet be upon us, one gift in particular is already gearing up to fly off the shelves this year. On Monday, Nov. 12, a teddy bear modeled after President Donald Trump was trending on social media as a flurry of tweets about "Trumpy Bear" started the work week. And apparently it's not just a satirical ploy gone awry. It's a real-life, buyable product.
UPDATE: In a statement, Elliott Brackett, vice president of Exceptional Products, tells Elite Daily that, "The only commentary we have on the product is that it is a stuffed bear about which many people are getting very worked up about." Bracknett added, "I personally find it hard to believe that people take time out of their busy days to react so violently to an inanimate object." He said that there is "no endorsement implied or granted" by Trump.
A statement from Fox News also notes that the decision to run the ad was made locally. “This was a local ad purchase with the cable operator," Senior Vice President of Eastern Sales, Dom Rossi, tells Elite Daily. "We do not do business with them nationally.”
EARLIER: According to Snopes, the bear first appeared on the market with a YouTube ad back in July 2017 and has been advertised on major networks since. According to Twitter, it appears that the product made another comeback with a spot on Monday morning.
"I can't believe this commercial that just ran on Fox News is for real," tweeted journalist Aaron Rupar on Monday morning. Apparently he wasn't the only one left scratching his head.
"I just *knew* that Trumpy Bear commercial had to be a Colbert or SNL spoof ad...but nope. It's a real product you can buy with real American dollars," tweeted screenwriter Eric Haywood.
The product has gotten so much pickup online, apparently, that Snopes felt the need to remind folks that, "Yes, it's real. No, we don't know why." Elite Daily reached out to the White House and Exceptional Products, the company behind Trumpy Bear, for comment, but did not receive a response at time of publication.
However, Exceptional Products told Snopes in a statement that "this is not a joke," referencing the original teddy bear, which was named for President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt. The statement said in part,
When President Donald Trump was elected to office as the first non-politician president, I felt it was time to name an American fearless grizzly bear after our new Commander in Chief. I designed the Trumpy Bear in a recognizable image of our current president. This iconic bear should be viewed as the symbol that anyone can run for president of this great country of ours.
It's not hard to see why some thought it was all a joke; the commercial itself is pretty wild. "A storm is coming... I am the storm," booms the male commentator's voice. And apparently, it's not just any normal teddy bear — it's supposed to be an actual species. Kinda. "The great American grizzly: Introducing the original Trumpy Bear."
"American industry once ruled the world," says an actor dressed as a construction worker in a longer version of the commercial, holding the bear under his flanneled arms. "And now, we're back on track again. Thank you Trumpy Bear." But if some people thought the toy was all an elaborate joke, let these foolproof details assure you it's very much real.
The 22-inch plush toy in the president's likeness comes complete with a blond combover and eyebrows, a red tie, and a tiny white shirt collar and cuffs, cufflinks included. It's even got blue eyes. An American flag-themed blanket magically comes out of the bear's back via a zipper (and all this for just two payments of $19.95 plus shipping and handling). The website boasts that the bear is "soft & comfy" and "great for all American holidays." A paper certificate verifies that the buyer is getting an authentic and original Trumpy Bear. You can't make this stuff up.
Beyond those suffering from flat-out disbelief that a plush toy version of the president did in fact exist, plenty of users were ready and waiting to make fun of it. Writer and comedian Marie Connor jumped at the chance to crack jokes, tweeting, "Get your very own Trumpy Bear to snuggle and cry with during the inevitable Trumpy bear market." Plenty of other users laid in with satirical tweets promoting the product.
"The best part of the trumpy bear commercial by a country mile is the biker riding with his bear," tweeted journalist Maggie Serota.
"Trumpy Bear is the perfect stocking stuffer," tweeted Jeff Dworkin, CEO of HashtagRoundup. "I bought the deluxe version that comes with payoff money to keep Barbie quiet."
"Presidenting is so hard," tweeted filmmaker and satirist Jeremy Newberger.
People had... a lot to say about the bear.
"Show your patriotism with the new Trumpy Bear!" the website says. (Trump Bear was apparently born on Flag Day, June 14th.) "Don't miss out on owning a piece of American history." It also says that supplies are limited and that this is a one-time offer — so if you're jonesing for a toy grizzly bear version of 45 (who isn't?!), the time to act is now.