As Valentine's Day approaches, an English artist, Phillip Blackman, can't make his zombie teddy bears fast enough. On a whim or perhaps after a disappointing day, he got the urge to tear out the guts of an old teddy bear and transform it into a zombie. It took him two days employing his special-effects talents, but he ended up with a gore-soaked teddy holding its bleeding heart, torn from its own furry chest. (I know, it's sad.)
His bears, which he sells online for between $70 and $140, have become increasingly popular. In fact, CNN Money reported one being auctioned on eBay with bids reaching nearly $400. Zombie enthusiasts from across the globe are frantically requesting Blackman to make more. But he has a bit of a supply dilemma, since he uses previously owned bears and wasn't really prepared for this instant success. He just can't make them fast enough. Perhaps after Valentine's Day, he'll have a chance to sleep the sleep of the dead.
These zombie teddy bears are more than a cottage industry started by a smart English artist; they're another indicator of the growing consumer interest in all things zombie, even in the toy business, where earlier this month the toy maker Mattel reported that sales of its Monster High dolls went up 57% in 2012 for its girl-brand division.Zombie bears are also another good lesson in how a product becomes a brand overnight with the power of the Internet to drive consumer awareness and purchase. Nothing undead about that!