Sign of the Recovery? Teddy Bears as Tourists

Snark alert.

Mindless spending is back. That's the only explanation I can find behind two new businesses offering luxury vacations... for toys.

Send your stuffed animal camping with Teddy Tours Lapland.
Send your stuffed animal camping with Teddy Tours Lapland.

The first is Teddy Tours in Lapland.

For as much as $210, your Teddy Bear can hop a plane to the Finnish territory above the Arctic Circle (I can't tell if that includes postage, er, air fare).

Once in Lapland, Teddy can enjoy "eight" seasons, including "Frozen Twilight Time" and "Ice Break-up Time".

Teddy will be taken on a tour of a reindeer farm, he'll sit on Santa's lap, ride horseback "in the nature", have a picnic "at a lean-to", and stay at a nice hotel.

Photos will be snapped along the way for your Teddy Bear's keepsake book.

Teddy Tours Lapland will send your stuffed animal to meet Santa.
Teddy Tours Lapland will send your stuffed animal to meet Santa.

Don't have a Teddy Bear—or any stuffed animal you're attached to—AND STILL want to buy this service?

You're in luck!

For a price, the Lapland folks will select a Teddy Bear for you and show it a great time.

I'm sure they'd even take your binkie around if you paid them enough.

Still, not everything goes. "People or living pets may not participate on these trips."

You know, for $210, you could buy three tickets to Disneyland for human beings. But that wouldn't be any fun.

Now, one could argue that Lapland toy tours signal "lapband on brain" syndrome.

But maybe it sells well as a gag gift.

Maybe rich parents use it to placate children spending summers in the South of France who can't take all of their stuffed animals with them. This way, the toys don't have to stay at home alone. Scared. Lonely. Hungry. They can go to Lapland. Which sounds a bit like the name of a strip bar...

The Lapland folks aren't the first to come up with the idea providing toyland vacations.

Toy Travelinglaunched last year to offer stuffed animals the thrill of their lives in...PRAGUE! "The beautiful heart of Europe."

Toytraveling will send your stuffed animal on vacation in Prague.
Toytraveling will send your stuffed animal on vacation in Prague.

Trips to Prague cost from $110 to $185, and some include aromatherapy sessions and a massage for Teddy.

"Do you collect stuffed toys, dolls or other fun 'non-living' friends," the Web site asks, "and you believe they also deserve rest and vacation or an outstanding experience in an interesting country?"

If so, send your non-living friend in a "robust box" to Toy Traveling.

But there's a bigger message here.

It's not just about snapping photos of inanimate objects at historical landmarks in the Czech Republic. Toy Traveling is also about tolerance—"We will be happy to welcome all kinds of your toys regardless nationality, race, religion, sexual preferences, age or handicaps."

They'd accept any "toy"? Really?

The firm is also green. "Ninety-five percent of all trips are done on foot or by public transport." Well, that makes me feel much less wasteful about handing over $185.

Of course, you could take that $185 and toy around with an aromatherapy massage for yourself (but not in Lapland...heh heh). Or send me the money and I'll have one for you. I promise I will appreciate it much more than your stuffed animal ever will.

Here's a plan. Let's all send our toys on vacation to get them out of the house and use that free time to think up new business models for easy money.

Tomorrow I think I'll dig up my now-grown son's old stuffed Dalmatian and ship it off to Prague, just to clear my head. With the house finally quiet, I can come up with the next 'big idea.' Like starting a business where people give me cash which I can throw in a big bonfire on a beach in Hawaii (minus the cash needed to fly me there and pay for my stay). I'll snap a picture of all that money going up in smoke and email it to you for your keepsake books.

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