Build-A-Bear Abandons ‘Pay Your Age Day’ Due to Overwhelming Crowds

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Customers hoping to “pay your age” to buy a Build-A-Bear Thursday are out of luck as lines have been closed across the U.S. and Canada due to crowds clamoring for the deal, the company said.

“Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional Guests at our U.S. Build-A-Bear Workshop locations due to crowd and safety concerns,” the company said shortly after 11 a.m.

“We have closed lines in our U.S. stores. We understand some of our Guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible.”

Crowded would be an understatement The Westfield Galleria in Roseville was taken over by parents and kids waiting in a very long line.

“This is worse than Disneyland,” Gina Clark said.

Line at the Roseville Galleria

The company announced the promotion on Tuesday as a way “to kick off its new, everyday celebration of birthdays.” Customers would be allowed to pay their current age for any make-your-own furry friend in all stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Depending on the size, collection and accessories, stuffed animals from Build-A-Bear can cost between $16 and $75.

“Well they’re normally 35 to 42 dollars. We’re in here all the time,” Clark said.

But for one day only, Build-A-Bear stores were selling their stuffed animals for the price of the customer’s age up to $29.

“To get a $9 one is like a gem, you know?,” Stephanie Wilson said. “We thought we were coming early, anyway. We came here at 9:45 and this is what we came into.”

The line got so long, mall staff started handing out vouchers to encourage people to come back another day. They say they simply didn’t have enough bears for everyone.

But still, some parents weren’t satisfied.

“It’s not the same deal. It’s only $15 off, which is still a discount, but it’s not a dollar,” Clark explained.

“We were coming here specifically for that. If it’s not going to be $9, the age of my kid now, I’m good. We have enough at home,” Wilson said.


The Solano Town Center in Fairfield was also packed with hundreds of parents and children hoping to get their hands on a new stuffed animal.

The line outside the Solano Town Center in Fairfield (Photo Courtesy: Eli Ramsey)

Outside the Build-A-Bear’s 34th Street location in Manhattan, the line stretched for blocks.

Hundreds of hopeful customers showed up to the Staten Island Mall, according to

BBC reports that police officers were called to several shopping centers to keep the peace and customers reported waiting in line for about five hours.

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