Bobby the Bear, a purple bear stuffed with dried lavender and weight, has become one of the latest status symbols in China, especially among its youth.
ABC News reports the Bridestowe Estate, a lavender farm in rural Tasmania, Australia, initially stuffed the animals partially with dried lavender as a way of utilizing its excess crop.
The farm, on the brink of financial ruin only a year ago, has experienced demand “exceeding supply by 10 to 1,” according to Bridestowe Estate owner, Robert Ravens. It’s popularity has been attributed to Chinese models and actresses such as Fan Bing Bing and Zhang Xinyu declaring themselves fans of the bear.
Visitors to Bridestowe Estate are limited to buying Bobby the Bear per person. Imitators have also promptly ensued, with Chinese celebrity and entrepreneur, Guo Degang, having bought an Australian lavender farm to create his own lavender-stuffed bears, closely resembling the original.
In the meantime, scholarly debate over the potential popularity war between Chinese status symbols of Bobby the Bear and Belgium pigeons has yet to publicize any conclusive research.
By Sophia Solivio