a polar bear christmas

I had a last minute flash of gift-buying brilliance and decided that what P. really should have for Christmas is a vintage polar bear toy. I cannot explain what goes on in my stress-addled brain that resulted in this revelation, and even more alarmingly, what is causing me to think it’s so brilliant, but this is what I’m stuck with today: the absolute and utter need to find a toy. Of a polar bear. On a bicycle. Wearing a hat. Shut up.

I was thinking maybe a tin wind-up toy, something a little scratched but still recognizable as the brilliant gift that it is. Not a polar bear drinking Coca-Cola. I wasn’t looking to give an actual ad. Christmas may have gone commercial, but that’s going a little far.

So, I did what any normal person does. I did a search on eBay. Never in my life have I been so frightened. Looking for polar bears under vintage toys gave me exactly three results. And by that I mean these hideous creatures were the only things that showed up. Nothing else. Only horror.

The first one was scary, but not from The Shining or anything. The description said: “Overall a very interesting and Whimsical Toy!” You know it’s truly Whimsical because of the capitalization. It looked like this (note its uncanny resemblance to the picture on the box):

And if that view wasn’t enough to convey the essence, the seller kindly included this shot of the bear’s ass:

With two days left, one eager person has bid on this little bit of whimsy, for $29.95.

The second item was disturbing for other reasons. The title read thusly: “old cast iron bear,white,polar bear,male for sure.” To assure suspicious bidders of the bear’s erm, maleness, the seller helpfully included a picture of the relevant area. I won’t do that to you. This bear is scary enough. And you can even own him at the opening price of $9.

But this creepiness pales in comparison to the Polar Bear of Horror. (and I am shocked that no one has taken the seller up on the Buy It Now option for $3.50 except that once this this was in your house it would terrorize your children and murder you in your sleep.) The description benignly points out the minor flaws in the bear: “Please note that there is a split down the center of his face which also has a dent. The rest of the bear is in good condition.” The rest of the bear may be in good condition for a bear that has just been hatcheted to death by scantily clad teenagers in Bear of Chucky and then resurrected in that inevitable scene when the serial killer bear springs back to life and massacres everyone at the prom. The picture tells it better:

So, I can go with fuzzy ass bear, assuredly male bear, or serial killer bear. They’re all so jolly I just might have to buy them all.

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