Buy your current love affair a heartfelt zombie bear

By Kendall Tich

With the arrival of Valentine’s day comes the romantic’s stressful scramble for last minute gifts for that special someone.

British illustrator Phillip Blackman is one step ahead with his new design called “Undead Teds”, which is helping him make it big in Sussex, England.

It all started when Blackman had the idea of ripping out the stuffing of a Valentine’s Day teddy bear in light of the upcoming holiday.

He then added features such as “blood and guts” to the plush bear and decided to find out if others would like the idea as well.

Blackman posted the bear on Etsy, an online marketplace for vintage and handmade goods and it ended up being a Valentine’s Day success.

Since its release, more than 30 bears have been sold and the demand continues to increase daily.

Each bear ranges between $70 and $140, while one is currently being auctioned for close to $400.

The prices and demand continued to increase leading all the way up until Valentine’s day. “Undead Ted” supporters had been frantic about receiving their bears before the holiday.

“They may look a little creepy but nonetheless, they are creative and would definitely be a memorable present” said junior Taylor Cabalse.

According to a CNN interview with Blackman, he “[has] more demand than [he] can cope with at the moment”.

The bears have become increasingly popular, and Blackman seems to have created a business that is quickly taking off.

Blackman admits that he makes the bears out of thrift shop goods, so the material cost is fairly inexpensive.

He uses standard special effects makeup and designs he picked up in his years as an illustrator.

It does, however, take him a large amount of time to assemble each bear.

Perhaps the demand for the zombie bears is due to the recent societal infatuation with zombies and the undead.

AMC’s The Walking Dead just may have been part of the inspiration behind “Undead Teds” and other zombie Valentine’s Day goodies.

“I think it’s very congruent with current social trends and really isn’t surprising” said sophomore Alex Gaggioli.

Many are aware of the undead toys that have recently been flooding into toy stores across the country. Many of these toy stores are hopeful that Blackman will allow his bears to be sold in retail toy stores.

It’s clear that these bears have changed the toy industry for today’s consumers.

It can even be argued that zombie paraphanalia has completely altered children’s younger years.

USD students look back on their childhoods remembering plush pink teddy bears, wondering when zombie bears took over the market.

“I would have been so scared of Undead Teds as a kid” said junior Amanda Johnson. “I can’t believe people are buying these for each other.”

It seems as though the image of teddy bears that has been engrained into the minds of America’s youth has been drastically transformed.

Blackman plans on continuing the production of these bears until there is no longer a demand.

These gruesome bears have created a small business for Blackman and given additional funds to the 45-year-old illustrator and his family.

The increasing demand has not yet subsided, but hopefully all the zombie enthusiasts will receive their “Undead Teds” by this Valentine’s Day to send to their loved ones, or to send their loved ones running.