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Hugmeez: An antidote for the post-recession blues?

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Rick Bowmer/AP/File

(Read caption) Hugmeez: cure for the recession blues? This photo from July 13 shows a WorkSource Oregon career center in Tualatin, Ore. As the unemployment rate continues to hover around 10 percent, Americans look for ways to relieve stress and find comfort.

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With all the sour economic news out there – the threat of a double-dip recession, falling housing prices, stubborn unemployment – many Americans are yearning for a little comfort.

There's comfort food. Now there's a comfort toy: Hugmeez, recession's answer to the Beanie Baby.

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The plush stuffed monsters come with big outstretched arms and a wide smile. They're available in a variety of sizes, from 8 to 12 inches tall, at a recession-friendly price – $15 to $25.

You can even customize your Hugmeez with accessories, like berets and sunglasses, and personalized t-shirts on the company’s website. (For US shoppers, go here.)

Of course, there are cheaper ways to find a little comfort (chocolate, anyone?). Teddy bears have been providing the service to toddlers and others for decades.

But the Hugmeez appear targeted specifically at adults, many of whom have been having a rough time of it in the United States and Britain.

So it's understandable they might need a little pick-me-up, whether it comes from a friend, a favorite food, or stuffed animals dancing to a beat (see below).