On the one hand, the company's desire to teach kids about germs via "microbes with personality" sounds like a fantastic idea. On the other hand, cheekily calling a stuffed Ebola "A uniquely contagious gag gift" while people are dying seems, well, unseemly.
"I think you're absolutely right," said Sullivan about "humor which seems off color." However, she said most of her sales are going to medical institutions and schools to use the toy for educational purposes.
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She said the Ebola plush toy comes with "a rather robust hang tag," full of educational information. "It's not like our herpes toy which is often a gag gift ... a guy wants to give his girlfriend herpes."
Did Giant Microbes consider pulling the Ebola toy or changing the marketing given the current situation? No. Sullivan said customers have been calling wondering when the toy will be back in stock. "We're getting more next week," she said.