Newest Review: ... they enjoy choosing their very own bear and being able to stuff it and of course there then able to choose the clothes and accessories too... more
Thank you beary much!
Build a Bear
Member Name: FrostBite
Build a Bear
Advantages: Good quality, Good deals, Big range
Disadvantages: Awkward for adults
Every time my partner and I visit Nottingham we keep promising each other that we will buy a build a bear for each other. For the past five years we have visited Nottingham christmas shopping and 2011 was the year we had saved enough money to go into the mystical store and treat each other.
Build a Bear workshop was founded in 1994 and is an American retailer selling teddy bears and other animals that are made and personalised before your very eyes. Build a Bear is now a worldwide franchise having sold over 50 million bears by 2004 and extended lines to suit upcoming films and events such as Children in Need, Happy Feet and Hello Kitty.
As soon as you walk in the store it feels like you have been transported to a magical world where everything is bigger than you, this store looks like the insides of a wendy house. To the left as you walk in there are a variety of 'skins' which are the characters to choose from in a flat state. When we went we could choose from a variety of bears, reindeers, Happy Feet characters, dogs and monkeys. I chose a monkey and my partner chose Eric the penguin from Happy Feet. At the time there was an offer of buy one full size animal and get another half price, Eric was £14 and the monkey £11 making the cost without extras £19.50 as the cheapest one is half price.
The next cart is the voice choosing area, they were £1 for the basic baby laughing or pre recorded voices. I chose a laughing voice for the monkey as I felt this added to the cheeky nature. My partner chose to record her own message which was £2.99. There was also a choice of a beating heart but we decided against this (it is creepy enough when the voices go off for no reason!)
The next station is the stuffing area, now as we are adults I think that explained why the service was a little poor; I did wonder if the staff were more enthusiastic with children. I was asked to choose a heart from a tub, I chose a red and white checked one and my partner chose a plain red one. At this point we were asked to kiss the heart, make a wish and it would be put into the animal. I was aksed how hard I would like the animal, I opted for medium so it had just the right amount of cuddle and for the voice box to be put in the arm. The animal is then stuffed from a big machine and stiched up by pulling and tying, and there you have the basic bear.
Now comes the hard sell, before you reach the computers where the animal is registered and 'adopted' you have to walk through the clothing sections. Now as this was a gift I opted for a necklace for the monkey at a cost of £3. I can imagine if you have children this would be the point where a vast amount of money could be spent on bed and pretty outfits. Since 2011 we have been back to the store and bought shoes, pants, socks, t shirts and trousers all of which vary from £3 to about £8 for a set.
The next station is the computers where you input the animals code and it takes you through the registering process as if adopting the animal. I chose to name the monkey chuckles as he is a cheeky monkey with a laugh so this was printed on a birth certificate with the date and name of the 'parent'.
Finally comes the pay point and the cost was around £30 for the two bears plus accessories which is good but we did go at a time when there was an offer on. We also recieved a free £10 gift card as we had spent over the threshhold to qualify.
All in all the bears are of good quality, chuckles lives on the bed and has only flattened a little in over a year. However, Eric is more of a display penguin as he had a hidden battery pack for a light up bow tie which I did not even realise he had! It would be an ideal place to take the kids!
Summary: Good value cute range of teds