Build-A-Bear Stuffed Bear

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Build Whatever You Like!

May 27, 2000
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Lots to choose from, great fun for kids & adults alike

Cons:Boy, it can get pricey.

We stumbled upon a Build-a-Bear workshop while at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach this past March. My husband, myself, our then 16 month old son & my 16 year old son were with some friends (my ex & his wife) and their 4 month old daughter. We all decided we just had to go in and check this place out.

Choose a friend. The name is deceiving - you can choose your new friend from several types of animals including bears (of all shapes, colors & sizes), frogs, bunnies, dogs, cats, etc. There were several different styles of each animal, in different price ranges (anywhere from $8 on up).

We chose an 18" beige bunny with long ears which my 16 month old seemed to think was superb. Once you have your friend in hand, there is a big "name book" through which to leaf, to help you decide on a name.

Next stop: voice box. There were about six choices of voice boxes, in different price ranges. Some of the voice boxes offered songs while some had phrases. The voices are rather tinny & grating on the ears, the one area in which I feel this place could really make a big improvement. We chose a box with six phrases such as "Pick me up" and "I love you". The voice isn't so bad once it's actually inside the animal, but they really could be better. Prices ranged from $6 to about $10. This is an optional choice, by the way. You don't have to pick one out.

The stuffing area. This consists of a huge see-through machine filled with stuffing, which goes through a hose into your animal. After you choose a heart (which I thought was adorable) the heart will be placed in your friend, along with the voice box (if you've chosen one) and then he or she is stuffed. The operators will help your child (or you, for that matter!) stuff your animal yourself. The operators were also nice about dishing out extra hearts, my 16 month old kept dropping his :).

Once "Savi" the bunny was stuffed, he was sewn up. Then he was taken to a "bathing area" where he was brushed & fluffed by us.

Birth Certificate & Story After the grooming was complete, the next stop is the computer area. Here you will create a birth certificate & birth story for your friend. The computers were simple to use and the certificates were adorable. We have Savi's framed on my son's bedroom wall.

Yee Gads - the Clothes!! At this point you have two options. You can either pay for your new friend or dress him. This is where it can really get expensive. The selection of clothing and accessories for the animals was enormous - shoes, sunglasses, dresses, uniforms, jewelry, hats, sports equipment - you name it, this place has it. All in different sizes to fit the different animals. There were options in different price ranges - we chose a simple two piece hockey outfit that cost about $8. If you really went all out you could spend quite a bit on the clothing. It is a nice option to have but it's kind of hard to tell someone(your hubby) no! Hubby had an armful of hockey gear and Mama had to put her foot down. I finally got hubby out of that area with the promise that "we can always come back ..." That might work on your kids, hahaha.

Take Me Home We then proceeded to check out, where we managed to escape with the relatively minor bill of $35 (tax included), which I thought was pretty good for a 18" bear with voice box & outfit. At check out you are given a cute & sturdy cardboard "house" for your friend, as well as your birth certificate & story.

I really enjoyed this place, it was a lot of fun to choose & create a new friend for my baby. While we were making Andrew's bunny, my 16 year old helped his dad & stepmom make a bear for his baby sister, so we all had fun. Build-a-Bear also has a nice website with contests & informational updates (during the month of May you can take your friend in for a free fluffing & cleaning!).

The Build-A-Bear-Workshop was a big, clean building filled with friendly staffers (mostly college kids) who were more than ready to help us along our journey. The quality of the bear, thus far, has been good. The girl that stuffed & sewed our bunny also told us that we could come back at any time should the stitches slip or the stuffing mush down. If you can keep your hubby & kids out of the expensive clothing & accessory area, you can manage to leave this store with a cute friend, and your bank account intact. And like I told my hubby, you can always go back again!

As I stated previously, we went to the Build-A-Bear in Myrtle Beach. We were in & out in about 1/2 hour. The very nice & friendly staff members did inform me that during the summer months you can expect up to a two hour wait to create a friend. Best to go in the off season!


Recommend this product? Yes


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