HERMANN-Spielwaren GmbH
The 'Her Majesty' bear, one of only 80 and yours for about $320.
By Business Editor
msnbc.com
COMMENTARY

Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 80th birthday Friday amid all the pomp and ceremony that accompanies such events in the United Kingdom. But for one German company, the British monarch’s birthday bash was a good opportunity — to sell a few specialty teddy bears.

German toy company Hermann Toys is offering a set of limited-edition monarch teddy bears in honor of the queen’s birthday.

One of the bears, the mohair-covered “Gift for the Queen” edition, comes in a specially made gift box “covered with crushed English velvet"  and includes a “growler”. There are only 800 of these cuddly toys, so get your order in soon.

If that doesn't hug you the right way, there's always the "Her Majesty" bear edition — a limited-edition of only 80 bears — and the "Trooping of the Color" bear edition, though the latter is only available in the U.K.

While Her Majesty may well like the sentiment behind the teddy bears — they're apparently based on a design from around the time the queen was born — we're sure she is "not amused" by price, around $320 each.

Not-so-bad ideas

  • The Japanese are known for eating more fish than any other nation in the world — now fish may have a chance to get their own back.
    In a beauty treatment imported from Turkey, bathers at "Dr Fish", a new spa in the hot spring resort of Hakone, dip their feet into a warm pool teeming with fish that nibble away at dead skin and bacteria.
    The toothless Kangal fish, just a few centimeters long, are touted as a cure for skin conditions such as psoriasis in Turkey, but for the hygiene-obsessed Japanese it's more about getting their feet squeaky clean.
    The experience is ticklish, rather than painful, bathers say.
    "They're eating the bad stuff and it makes me feel better," Shingo Kamiya, a 45-year-old customer at the spa said as the fish swarmed around his bare toes.
  • In this era of easy ad skipping with TiVo-like video recorders, could television viewers one day be forced to watch commercials with a system that prevents channel switching?
    Yes, according to Royal Philips Electronics. A patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office says researchers of the Netherland-based consumer electronics company have created a technology that could let broadcasters freeze a channel during a commercial, so viewers wouldn't be able to avoid it.
    The pending patent, published on March 30, says the feature would be implemented on a program-by-program basis. Devices that could carry the technology would be a television or a set-top-box.
    Philips acknowledged, however, that the anti-channel changing technology might not sit well with consumers and suggested in its patent filing that consumers be allowed to avoid the feature if they paid broadcasters a fee.

MSNBC.com's Brian Tracey and The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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