The idea comes from the New England Toy Company. It’s offering custom stuffed animals and teddy bears to hotels and companies. Usually, the stuffed animal is based on the given company’s mascot.
If it doesn’t have one, then it can create or design it’s own. Some hotels though prefer to keep it simple and traditional. They opt for a classic teddy bear but with a shirt or an outfit which is branded with their logo.
“We know that stuffed toys are an item that people seem to keep forever – they treat them like they are alive! Therefore, a stuffed toy given as a free gift to hotel or resort guests or sold in a gift shop is an item that will be a reminder of the great experience they had at a resort,” says Josh Livingston from the New England Toy Company in a release.
“With our service, hotels do not need to be limited to off-the-shelf or stock stuffed toys that simply have a t-shirt with the hotel logo on it. Instead, they can have a completely custom stuffed toy that has their logo directly embroidered or printed on the toy or made to look exactly like their mascot or character.” New England Toy Company handles the logistics, including safety testing, custom clearance and delivery to the hotel.
“We begin by learning if the stuffed animal will be a free gift to guests or if the hotel intends to sell the item in the gift shop. Knowing this helps us develop the right size and price point to fit within the budget,” he said. “We then discuss if they have an idea for a certain animal or character or, if not, we research what animal is native to the location of the hotel, so that we are developing an appropriate animal. For example, a hotel in Hawaii may want a turtle or gecko and not a polar bear.”
He says that most hotels look to provide the bears as a free gift. Some simply place the stuffed animal in the room, waiting for its new owner. Other hotels ask the guests at check-in whether they would like a stuffed animal or not.
“We have had great feedback with hotels re-ordering the same animal year after year or deciding to do a different animal each year. Some of our clients include Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel Hawaii; Four Seasons Beverly Hills in California; The Ritz Carlton Chicago; and Planters Inn in Savannah, GA.”