The hell that is Build-a-Bear.

(84 Posts)
Orangeanddemons Thu 02-Jan-14 16:37:50

Because it is he'll.

A queue that doesn't move. At. All.
Just when the queue seems to get smaller you realise that the family in front has 3 children to do.
The yoofs who stuff them. Clearly on minimum wage
The joy of creating the birth certificate whilst a million other people are shoving and pushing round you.
The queue for the till. As above.
The joy of receiving the birth certificate and noting that it is signed by the founder. Who is raking it in. A charming touch.

Just....

We queued for forty minutes today in Hamleys. Two people stuffing and offering all sorts of things to indecisive kids, doubling the queuing time.

Heartbrokenmum73 Thu 02-Jan-14 16:56:43

Oh, I remember the heart kissing and wish making!

I just looked at the girl and raised my eyebrow - then we both laughed. I did not kiss a heart or make a wish.

My friend bought me a stuffed dog - we named him Paxo grin

That was 13 years ago - he has been DD's constant companion since she was 2 - she is now 12.

penguinsforever Thu 02-Jan-14 16:56:45

Yanbu, I'm astonished by the price £30-40 for a stuffed bear in an outfit?!

Orangeanddemons Thu 02-Jan-14 16:58:01

Cadence, they still make them do that. I was trying not to be sick.

I asked the... um....stuffer who was about 19 how he managed to do that all day without being sick? . He gave me a wry smile. I told him I hoped they were paying him a bloody fortune to do it. He gave me another wry smile.....

Yoofs? hmm

Minimum wage or not they've always been lovely every time we've been in so don't really get the "clearly on minimum wage" thing.

Orangeanddemons Thu 02-Jan-14 17:01:41

Read my last post

Buffy - she is saying they are underpaid, not being nasty.

HoneyDragon Thu 02-Jan-14 17:04:55

Dd wanted to go to Build A Bear for her Birthday again this year (she loved it last year when her GPs took her) and her birthday is the week before Christmas, so it is always full of adults buying presents. This does not deter them making a fuss of her because she is small and celebrating.

But this year, made me love them.

Dd queued patiently for her turn. She was behind a woman and her friends getting a bear for her daughter.

Just as the bear was handed over, dd stepped forward and one of the friend who had not queued came up with an empty, stepped in front of dd, and said " can you quickly do this one please?" To which the young woman said "yes, but you need to queue, it's this little girls turn".

The woman turned to us and said "I'll be quick" and before I opened my mouth the assistant went "it's the little girls turn, it's her birthday and this is a teddy bear shop, and we wait our turn" and gave her daggers. grin

SuburbanRhonda shock grin

tallulah Thu 02-Jan-14 17:08:37

I went on my own before Xmas. Was a bit hmm about the woman who pushed in front of me to the stuffing queue and had two creatures to stuff, while I only had one.

DD wanted a pony so I was less than impressed to find that if you wanted roller skates not only would you have to buy two pairs but you have to buy the shoes as well for the skates to go on. Two pairs at £5 each.

But we took DD in for her birthday earlier in the year and I was impressed at the whole "experience" they give the child. Yes I know they want to get as much money as possible out of you, but they really gave her a lot of time and attention. They may have been acting but they made her feel as if she was their most important customer ever.

Gladvent Thu 02-Jan-14 17:09:59

But did you stop and join in with the Promise?! I have to say from a marketing POV I really admire BaB. They are so unashamedly money grabbing and corny and pulling on heart strings. They do it SO WELL.

I have to write speeches for VIPs now and again, and once I based it on the Build a Bear promise. Its great. Just change 'bear' for 'subject of speech'. The guy was a twat. So had no idea what I was making him read. Colleague and I were pissing ourselves laughing in the wings.

superbagpuss Thu 02-Jan-14 17:10:45

we went on a normal day ( before DC started school) for their birthday build a bears and they were the only ones in the shop - they got treated like royalty and when we told the staff our budget ( the boys had been sent vouchers from their great nan) not only did the staff try and keep us in budget, they found us vouchers so we could get more stuff

result two happy little boys grin.

however when many years ago I was making one for my flower girl I refused to kiss the heart

my dh says the bear has no soul and will one day rise up when all are asleep shock.

HoneyDragon Thu 02-Jan-14 17:11:47

Gladvent pmsl grin

Pawprint Thu 02-Jan-14 17:13:16

Oh dear god, that place...

It's a brilliant concept - I would have loved it as a child still tempted to buy a teddy for myself, every time I take ds, and buy it pyjamas, roller skates and all the accessories

Anywhere where they have queues is awful, though, so I feel your pain.

YankNCock Thu 02-Jan-14 17:15:05

I went to a birthday party at Build-A-Bear, and it was horrid, shudder to think what my friend shelled out for this bunch of preschoolers to get a bear. DS1 hated the whole thing too, when I tried to get him to name the stupid bear, he just shouted 'NOOOO!' at me, so I told the lady to put 'Noah' on the certificate.

TwoCatsInTheYard Thu 02-Jan-14 17:16:34

Perhaps we were just lucky, but the biggest impression I came away with was how wonderful the staff were with the children which somehow cancelled out the fact that it is overpriced, crowded and money-grabbing.

Chippednailvarnish Thu 02-Jan-14 17:16:55

I am fortunate enough to have never been able to decide which kidney I would have to sell to be able to afford a trip to build a bear grin.

That's great, Honey (and more places could do with staff like that).

DD used to go on their website, Bearville or something. The puns were excruciating.

Pixel Thu 02-Jan-14 17:20:45

Never been there myself but suddenly have a new respect for dd. She went there just before Christmas and got a Spongebob for her little brother. Clearly she's not the lazy, selfish teenager she so often pretends to be, if she can go through such hell for someone else grin.
<ignores fact she could have been desperate to go there and was using brother's pressie as an excuse>

KringleCandleLover Thu 02-Jan-14 17:41:37

I took my DD7 in on Nye to spend her money.

Sweet Jesus, it was rammed.

After carefully choosing the bear(persuaded dd not to purchase the khaki camouflage bear due to its ugliness),we got to the stuffing stations. All 3 were open.

Yay I hear you say.

The 'stuffer' asked dd her name and if she had any other bears. Then asked their names. Then asked what she was going to call her new furry bundle.

Any bear related question you can think of was dragged up.

By this stage I was sweating.

As the bear was nearly full, I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that after registering the new bear on them god awful computers, we would be out and free.

Oh no. Dd was then asked to pick a heart, rub it on her heart for love, her head for brains, her legs for speed, her arms for strength. She was then asked to star jump and jog to make the bear sporty.

I am not a violent person but frigg me, I came so close to shoving her head in the glass case that spins the stuffing.

If any of you were in the queue behind a clammy,slighty faint 40 something year old woman with a child who looked like she was being put through her paces by an army PE Instructor, I apologise grin

GoldenGytha Thu 02-Jan-14 17:51:48

I love Build A Bear, and so does DD2 aged 20!

DD2 bought me the purple My Little Pony a few months ago, and yes I had to kiss the heart and make a wish, but I quite liked doing it.

Think DD2 is planning to buy a pink bear later this week, using her Christmas money.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Thu 02-Jan-14 18:00:38

Lol! grin Im glad it isn't just me! It IS like hell shopping there! That said, I love wee kids and have always thought that working there would be fantastic! blush

Topaz25 Thu 02-Jan-14 18:06:52

Is it bad that I laughed at the exploding bear?

whoneedssleepanyway Thu 02-Jan-14 18:20:25

Suburban I have tears rolling down my face, I haven't laughed so much in ages, sorry blush but that exploding bear has really tickled me

shazbean Thu 02-Jan-14 18:31:16

Another one laughing at exploding teddy!
In our one the staff are magic. DD was desperate for one for her birthday so we went on a Saturday morning fully expecting hell. They were so nice to her and she was full of wonder getting the bear stuffed and wishing on the heart.

I, on the other hand, was pretty much laughing hysterically the whole time we were there (silently of course but with tears) and when they guy pointed to all the clothes and said 'here's the autumn collection' I almost wet myself.

I'm more prepared now.

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