An eBay user has blown at least $199.99 -- plus $6.99 for expedited shipping and handling -- on a J.C. Penney tea kettle that resembles a certain 20th Century dictator.
The kettle went viral after a Reddit user noticed its Adolf Hitler-like silhouette on a billboard. Since then, J.C. Penney has been trying to cut short the kettle's 15-minute turn in the spotlight. The company's taken down the billboard and, apparently, removed the Michael Graves branded teapot from its website.
J.C. Penney, which just forced out its flashy CEO and is struggling with declining sales, tried to make light of all the attention, even responding to a HuffPost tweet about the story with a little joke:
— jcpenney (@jcpenney) May 28, 2013
This sort of thing happens: From time to time, a kitschy product will stir the Internet to a frenzy and fall into short supply. It happened with Twinkies after the Hostess bankruptcy and it will happen again. But a word to the wise: That “BRAND NEW AND IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND” tea kettle probably won't be so hot in a month. Twinkies, which were priced at $200,000 during the end-of-year frenzy, are now selling for less than $10.