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New Ebola Plush Toys for Kids “Selling like Hot Cakes” Ebola peluche 620x330

New Ebola Plush Toys for Kids “Selling like Hot Cakes”

bacteria  New Ebola Plush Toys for Kids “Selling like Hot Cakes” bacteriaWith the Ebola outbreak dominating the national discourse, parents and caregivers are inevitably going to be confronted with the necessity of explaining the deadly and exotic disease to children.  One Connecticut company was already poised to help in that process, and it has seen a dramatic spike in sales as a result.  Giantmicrobes Inc. was founded about a decade ago with the intention of creating stuffed toys based on the actual microscopic images of various microbes as an educational tool for caregivers and young children, said Laura Sullivan, vice president of operations, in an interview with CBS News. [1] The Ebola toy is being marketed as a “uniquely contagious gag gift.” [2] “It started with the common cold and similar things,” Sullivan said. “It was marketed to pediatricians and parents initially. The idea is that kids respond favorably to stuffed animals.”   [3] The thinking is that children would be better able to understand what is happening in their body if they could see a softer, cuddlier version of it, Sullivan said.  [4] In another interview with the Toronto Star, Sullivan said: “Microbes have a huge impact on our lives. People want to learn about them and understand them. With Ebola and everything that is going on, people are interested about learning more and this product provides a way for people to learn about it.” [5]  Before long, the company’s offerings expanded to a number of different of viruses and diseases, and the audience expanded with it.  It offers more than 100 plush microbe toys for sale, ranging in everything from HIV and herpes to breast cancer or the common cold.  About five years ago, the company began offering plush toys whose design was based on the microscopic image of the Ebola virus and it had always been a good seller.  Now, they are struggling to keep up with demand, Sullivan said.  Giant Microbes has never received any negative feedback or complaints about its toys, she said. [6] Giantmicrobes lists the World Health Organization as one of its largest customers, along with pharmaceutical companies and the American Red Cross. [7]  While she declined to give specific sales figures for the Ebola plush toys, Sullivan said: “They’re selling like hot cakes. We’re out of stock again.”  But, buyers need not worry — the company is “making it as fast as we can” and another batch is due next week. [8] They have ramped up production with their Chinese manufacturers and are rushing to feed the demand, Sullivan said.  Their Ebola products – which include regular- and giant-sized plush recreations of the virus, as well a petri dish and something called “Primordial Putty” – are currently only available through the company’s website, but much of the rest of their line can be found in everything from hospital gift shops to college bookstores to medical supply stores.  Sullivan said this isn’t the first case of a headline-making disease affecting their sales. The swine flu outbreak a few years ago caused a similar spike in sales, but Sullivan added it was not quite at the level of Ebola.  “It’s a neat little product,” Sullivan said. “In the case of Ebola, it’s been a helpful way for families talk about it and take some of the scariness away. [9]

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[1] Barbara Goldberg, Ebola plush toys fly off the shelf for Connecticut company, Reuters, Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:19pm EDT; JOSHUA NORMAN, Ebola plush toys for kids “selling like hot cakes”, NCBS NEWS, October 22, 2014, 11:22 AM
[2] Olivia Carville, Ebola plush toy sold as ‘contagious gag gift’, The Star,  Fri Oct 17 2014
[3] JOSHUA NORMAN, Ebola plush toys for kids “selling like hot cakes”, NCBS NEWS, October 22, 2014, 11:22 AM
[4] JOSHUA NORMAN, Ebola plush toys for kids “selling like hot cakes”, NCBS NEWS, October 22, 2014, 11:22 AM
[5] Matthew T. Hall, Ebola plush toys are in demand (but herpes toys are cute, too), UT San Diego, 11 a.m.Oct. 23, 2014
[6] Olivia Carville, Ebola plush toy sold as ‘contagious gag gift’, The Star,  Fri Oct 17 2014
[7] Barbara Goldberg, Ebola plush toys fly off the shelf for Connecticut company, The Daily Mail, Published: 20:16 GMT, 17 October 2014
[8] Olivia Carville, Ebola plush toy sold as ‘contagious gag gift’, The Star,  Fri Oct 17 2014
[9] JOSHUA NORMAN, Ebola plush toys for kids “selling like hot cakes”, NCBS NEWS, October 22, 2014, 11:22 AM

About Bill Wallace

Bill Wallace is a self-fashioned writter, a computer programmer and cybermarketer from Quebec City, Canada who decided to enter the political arena after his disillusionment with the socialist system under which he was living in the French Canadian province of Quebec.

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