The concept empowering Build-A-Bear Workshop, the nine-figure annual business occupying many of America’s most haunted and kiosk-strewn malls, is a simple one: Life is chaos, control is an illusion, and kids will scream their heads off if it means they get to impose a little order on their lives, in the form of picking out just the right hat for their new teddy bear best friend.
(They also sell some genuinely excellent-looking Nintendo plushies.)
But what about the rest of us, who also toil daily in a labyrinth of meaninglessness, tossed about by the hateful whims of our corporate gods? Where’s the Build-A-Bear for adults, huh?
This highly unnecessary question received an answer a few days ago, as it happens, when Build-A-Bear released a Facebook ad for its “Adult” line of products—mostly aimed, as far as we can tell, at Professional Wine Moms craving a stuffed rabbit as hand-shakingly obsessed with rosé as they are—that advertised itself as “Build-A-Bear After Dark.” Said ad came complete with an image of a lion doll dressed in silk pajamas, and accompanied by couple of glasses of champagne and a, let’s just go ahead and say it, inviting demeanor.
And, look: We get that Build-A-Bear just thought they were doing something cute here, maybe a little cheeky for Valentine’s Day. But we genuinely, sincerely have to ask: At no point during the design process of this ad did someone pop their head in the room, give it an eyeful, and say, “Oh, hey, kind of looks like you’re saying people should fuck that lion”?
The actual offerings in the “Adult” Build-A-Bear store are generally pretty tame, although you can get a “horny devil” bear who prances around in a cape and boxers. (Also, we can’t help but be weirded out by the way all the clothes disappear off the animals when you mouse over them in their catalog; we know it’s just to display the base stuffie, but, then, we’re not the ones who introduced Build-A-Friend-With-Benefits into the mental equation.)
Anyway, never forget this pearl of wisdom from your favorite 18+ teddy bear: It’s always wine o’clock somewhere, right?