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Thirty thousand dollar teddy

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NBC News--At the Vermont Teddy Bear factory in Shelburne one single bear has the distinction of being the company's most expensive in its 30-plus year history.

A normally $99 dollar, 4 1/2 foot tall big hunka love bear is now priced at $30,000 because he's carrying a more than 5-karat cognac diamond ring set in platinum, from a Burlington jewelry maker.  It's a one-of-a-kind.

Nancy Kerr of Champlain College said, "That's really something to talk about."

Kerr teaches Public Relations classes at Champlain College in Burlington. She says it's very important even for familiar brands to reintroduce themselves to customers from time to time in novel ways. Perhaps especially for Vermont Teddy Bear.  Its sister company, Pajamagram is currently outselling the bears which had always been the core of the company's name.

Kerr adds, "If you're a company that hasn't had a lot of people buzzing about you or talking about you, to go out and make a splash and get your name back out into the public means a tremendous amount, and it means sales, probably, across the company.

The teddy bear costs 229 times what most folks are expected to spend on Valentine's Day gifts. The National Retail Federation predicts the average consumer will drop $131 on their sweetheart this year.

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