What do you get for the lonely freak who has everything? One of the 15 different vibrators from Goop’s holiday gift guide? Perhaps. Or you could give them a gift that keeps on giving … in the sense that once you see it, you will be unable to think of anything else. Meet Loving Bear Puffy. He is a stuffed toy the size and shape of a human man, but with the head and fur of a teddy bear. Don’t be shy. Say hello!
Aw, he loves you already! Does that seem threatening to you? Don’t worry, it’s not! According to the website, Loving Bear Puffy is designed for “comfort and peace.” And what could be more comforting and peaceful than a five-foot-seven stuffed bear man that weighs seven pounds? He is lifesize while still being easy to move. “Ahh,” I say in a relaxed way and not like a small scream. Loving Bear Puffy — Puffy for short — is typically a “milky brown” color but can range from light to dark brown. (There isn’t an option to choose the color when ordering because, as the website states, “the fabric is not up to us.” Just as Puffy God intended.) Puffy wears a men’s size large to extra-large, but when he arrives at your doorstep, he will be naked.
Now, comes the question you don’t want to ask and I don’t want to answer, but it must be addressed anyway: No, Puffy does not have genitalia, bear or otherwise. He doesn’t really even have a butt crack. He also has ten fingers but no toes? In many ways, Puffy is as much a riddle as he is man or bear.
Puffy first hit markets this September, in case you were wondering why the vibes have been off these past couple months. He was created by Tonia Berdankova, an entrepreneur from Bulgaria, and her daughter, Ina Marholeva. Yes, Puffy is a family man! He is beloved by everyone: kids, pets, single adults at their wit’s end, couples trying to soft-launch a threesome. “He becomes part of the family and is always at home waiting for you,” the website states ominously, adding “He doesn’t snore, he doesn’t sweat, and … :) he doesn’t complain.” Haha, help?! Other listed benefits include emotional support, whatever a “healthy hug” is, and the ability to dress a man-bear however you see fit. On Instagram, Puffy can be seen sporting swim trunks and a pink polo, a sensible button-up, and a classic T-shirt and sweatpants combo. Every post includes hashtags like #AlwaysWithYou and #PartOfTheFamily, which seems … sinister.
Who needs people when you have Puffy? This bear made to look like a sleep paralysis demon supposedly “replaces the need for the physical presence of a person in various moments and situations of everyday life, especially during long lonely nights.” You may balk at Puffy now, but let’s see who’s laughing the next time you are all alone in various situations.
For just $160, you could be the proud companion to this sleepy man-bear. Why is he half-asleep? Who knows! That’s just one of the many questions you will get to answer for yourself when you fall into the weirdly muscly arms of Puffy. However! His makers do issue a warning: “ATTENTION! Due to Puffy’s human figure and size, it will take some time to get used to him, but we assure you that very soon you will get used to his presence and will only enjoy and cuddle him.” Do not be alarmed! It is just a giant nightmare teddy who wants to hug you!!
The Frequently Asked Questions page answers that age-old query: How can I clean my Puffy? (They recommend a damp cloth or dry cleaning.) Unfortunately, they do not answer the many other questions Puffy raises: Why does Puffy look like he was designed by Sid from Toy Story? Remember those dogs with hands on Sesame Street? Is Puffy from the same part of the uncanny valley as those? Was Puffy cursed by the same witch as the long Furby? Would it be worse if it were a human man’s face on a bear’s body?
Sure, Puffy looks like a furry that’s been through Google Translate too many times, but at least he’s cozier than previous “hugging machines.” And he is actually purchasable, unlike this idea for an ingenious cuddling mattress. (It’s designed with slats you can slide your arms into so they don’t fall asleep under the dead weight of your partner.) So, if you need me, I will be comfily crushed under 14 pounds of human-bear-man. (If you’re going to buy one, might as well buy two.)
I will leave you with the eight scariest words in the English language, which also happen to comprise the last sentence of the “Meet Puffy” section on the website: “He will soon be with you — cuddle him!”