There have been many ramifications from Ilya Bryzgalov’s “bears in the forest” comment.
It’s put the Flyers goalie back in the media spotlight, inspired Penguins fans to show up at Game 1 wearing bear outfits and, most importantly, bolstered the Pittsburgh costume rental industry.
“With the bears, the only one I have left is a teddy bear, and people just don’t seem to think that it’s frightening enough,” Nicki Paglieri, manager at a Costume World location in Pittsburgh, said on Friday. “The other ones were good, though.”
The other ones ended up online and on television on Wednesday, when a handful of fans in rented bear costumes tried to unsettle Bryzgalov as he faced their hometown Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final series. It might have helped in the first period, as the Penguins took a quick lead, but the intimidation must have faded as the game wore on, and the Flyers won in overtime.
Paglieri said she fielded at least two more calls for bear costumes on Thursday, with the Penguins preparing to host the Flyers in Game 2 on Friday night. The two bear suits she rented earlier in the week were on three-to-five-day contracts, though, which meant all she had left in stock was the teddy bear — and a penguin suit.
She has successfully rented out the penguin suit.
It should be noted that a full bear costume costs $125, while renting just the head and mittens will run you 50 bucks. Cleaning costs are included in the price, though it’s unlikely any amount of cleaning will erase the smell of “all the disturbing things people do while wearing bear a costume.”(Image courtesy Crossing Broad.)