The Pitch: "The Tiddy Bear makes it comfortable for me to drive again."
April 2009. You may not get the Tiddy Bear joke -- until you say the name out loud and see the TV infomercial, which features close-ups of a little stuffed bear nestled facedown in women's cleavage. The Tiddy Bear padded seatbelt pad works by attaching to your seatbelt shoulder strap in order to pad it and keep it from digging into your skin. It was invented by a breast-cancer survivor who found her seatbelt uncomfortable after surgery.
Interestingly, most reviews we read -- and we couldn't find many -- focused more on the as-seen-on-TV Tiddy Bear's appearance or the commercial than on whether the product works. Although the Tiddy Bear pad "isn't the most fashionable auto accessory around, we could see it catching on in a fugly fabulous kind of way," says Josh Loposer at StyleList.com. Although the commercial recommends buying Tiddy Bear for children in booster seats, one review notes that the bear's eyes could be a choking hazard.
Ellen DeGeneres has frequently recommended the Tiddy Bear on her talk show in connection with breast-cancer awareness. ItsyBitsyBabyBoutique.com, a baby-gear site that sells Tiddy Bears, includes a personal testimonial from the site owner who uses the Tiddy Bear seatbelt pad herself. StyleList.com briefly evaluates the Tiddy Bear from a fashion perspective. An article at AssociatedContent.com describes how to make your own Tiddy Bear for less money.
1. The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres presents the Tiddy Bear seatbelt pad as one of her favorite inventions and gives away Tiddy Bears to her entire audience to promote breast cancer awareness. Viewers also post comments at this site, including one who says that the manufacturer ran out of stock after the show's broadcast.
Review: Wouldn't You Like to Know, Ellen DeGeneres, Feb. 5, 2008
This retail website sells a variety of baby merchandise, including the Tiddy Bear. The site owner says the Tiddy Bear is more comfortable than another seatbelt device, but she recommends removing the eyes -- a choking hazard -- before using it in a baby car seat.
Review: Tiddy Bear Comfort Strap, Editors of ItsyBitsyBabyBoutique.com
This website doesn't test the Tiddy Bear seatbelt pad, but reviewer Josh Loposer dubs it a useful accessory, although it's not stylish and "kinda creepy."
Review: Tiddy Bear: An Amazing Invention for People with Breasts, Josh Loposer, Aug. 21, 2008
Delaney provides step-by-step instructions on how to make your own Tiddy Bear out of a stuffed animal and ribbon. Not only will it you save money, she notes, but you can also choose whatever animal you want: "You may have a 'Tiddy Skunk' or a 'Tiddy Walrus,' or even a 'Tiddy Ostrich.'"
Review: How to Make Your Own Tiddy Bear, Bridget Ilene Delaney, Nov. 6, 2007