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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

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They’re cute and cuddly, and they’re the hottest gift item for Valentine’s Day since chocolate and roses.

Teddy Bears are making a splash this Valentine’s Day, as people seek out new and different ways to say “I love you” to their special someone.

Retailers in California and nationwide are reporting a surge in demand for Teddy Bears this Valentine’s season, with consumers shelling out anywhere from $5 to $295 on the cuddly stuffed animals.

“(Teddy bears are) something that’s with you forever something beyond flowers that people haven’t seen,” said Matt Levy, a co-founder of Yes Bear in Beverlywood. Levy and his partner set up their phone-order Teddy Bear service last year in New York and recently opened a new branch here in L.A.

He has received more than 100 orders per day so far during the Valentine’s season, with this year’s favorites including a $60 Cupid bear with wings, halo and bow and arrow, and an “I Love You” bear for $50.

Bear sales are also brisk at the Glendale Galleria, where at FAO Schwarz customers can’t get enough of the animals, according to store manager Michael Ouzts.

“They’re doing well to the point where we’re tearing down a wall and putting up a whole display,” he said.

Top sellers in the FAO Schwarz bear department include a traditional bear model that sells for $25 to $295, depending on size, and a white Smoochie bear with red ribbon that sells for $25.

Another hot seller this Valentine’s season is Mumbles the Monkey a white monkey with a red heart that says “I’m wild about you.” It screams and vibrates when squeezed.

For those bear lovers with big hearts but smaller budgets, Nordstrom department stores have come out with their own bean-bag bears that sell for $5 and $10. The bears are part of Nordstrom’s Beanie Babies collection, which includes bean-filled bears, pigs, cows, monkeys and other animals.

“All the Beanie Babies are really popular,” said Nordstrom spokeswoman Tina Thompson.

Douglas Young

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