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Find out what MNers and their DC’s got up to at the Build-A-Bear Workshop! NOW CLOSED!

(179 Posts)
AaronMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 29-Mar-18 15:20:13

We were asked by Build-A-Bear Workshop to find 150 Mumsnetters to visit the stores closest to their homes in order to trial their bear-building service. Read on to see what they thought of the in-store experience.

Here’s what Build-A-Bear have to say: “CeleBEARate Easter with Build-A-Bear! From birthdays and holidays to good behaviour or an A+ at school, there are so many moments to #celeBEARate with a new furry friend from Build-A-Bear Workshop! Help us #celeBEARate Easter this year.

As we approach the Easter holiday and half term break, parents are always looking for fun, unique and personalized activities and traditions for the family. Bring your kids to Build-A-Bear Workshop to share a fun, heart-filled experience. Document your experience in photos and let us know about your experience with your kids and what made it memorable and meaningful.”

Testers, please share your photos and answer the following questions on the thread below:

1. Please upload a photograph of your bear and any other photos of your in-store experience.
2. Please tell us all about your DC’s new bear. We would love to know the name of the bear, the reason that your DC chose this name, in addition to any other background details regarding your child’s bear selection process such as their reason for choosing particular clothes, scents or accessories?
3. Would you recommend Build-A-Bear Workshop to a friend or family member? If so, why?
4. How did you and your DC find the overall in-store experience? What were the highlights?

Everyone that shares their feedback and fills in a short survey as required will be entered into a prize draw where one tester will win a £300 voucher for the store of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck!

MNHQ

Standard Insight T&Cs apply

joleyn Thu 29-Mar-18 15:45:16

We visited Norwich build-a-bear with our 5 year old ds today. This is the first time we have visited build-a-bear.
He picked a dog teddy and a superman outfit to go with it as he loves superheroes. He also barks, has a beating heart, red wellies and an avengers sleeping bag for at night! His name is super teddy as he is a teddy and a superman. The staff were really helpful and helped him decide what teddies/accessories would go with the things he liked, particularly the boots and sleeping bag which are great fun.
We would definitely recommend build-a-bear. We had not been before but loved the process and the end result. I was also impressed with the variety of bears and outfits and that you would be able to make a bear for a reasonable price.
My ds totally loved the experience, lots of 1-2-1 attention and he particularly loved the stuffing of the bear and getting his bears birth certificate.
He has not been let go of all day and is offiled to take pride of place on ds's bed tonight!

rachaelsit Thu 29-Mar-18 17:39:06

2. My 4 year old DS chose a regular bear (after a LONG time deciding) after we told him he could choose from all the clothes afterwards. He put a heart beat in him and chose paw patrol sounds! He named him Moonie because it was dark outside when we visited (7pm). He chose PJs and slipper after a lot of deliberation. He chose a hair dryer, boots and a suitcase too, although we are giving him those two accessories over Easter as a surprise.

3. We would recommend it because it allows children to make choices and express preference and then keep something they have made.

4. He loved it but it was overwhelming on the decision making front! That’s just how he is and possibly his age. The staff were excellent with kids.

This is a product I would never have considered before but we had a lovely time doing it as a reward for filling his reward chart up over the previous weeks.

Thanks

SillyMoomin Thu 29-Mar-18 18:07:24

1. Please upload a photograph of your bear and any other photos of your in-store experience.

2. Please tell us all about your DC’s new bear. We would love to know the name of the bear, the reason that your DC chose this name, in addition to any other background details regarding your child’s bear selection process such as their reason for choosing particular clothes, scents or accessories?

My DC chose the name Jigger, as when they were little they couldn’t pronounce the T in Tigger and so have always called their new bears Jigger ever since!
He’s a soft plush with glass eyes bear, with a sound in his paw stating that he belongs to “mini Moomin” and a beating heart inside. The beating heart was deliberated over for a LONG time!, they couldn’t decide if they wanted the sparkly silver one too, but in the end, the fact the bear was now “real” was a winning factor!
DC didn’t want to put clothes on their bear as but they wanted a hat so we bought a few of those to help accessorise grin


3. Would you recommend Build-A-Bear Workshop to a friend or family member? If so, why?

Absolutely. I have to admit, I was dreading it slightly- I always had in my head a scruffy shop of screaming children! —mine included—
But the store was bright, light and the whole experience was incredibly fun

4. How did you and your DC find the overall in-store experience? What were the highlights?

I was so impressed by the number of staff available. Any time we had a question about stuffing or sounds (especially how to record and change the play button - for some reason I couldn’t understand it!) they were so patient.
The DC loved the fact they got to operate the stuffing machine themselves!!, and the birth certicate at the end showing the day our bear was born was the icing on the cake.
I think as a one off special treat, it would be a great thing to do- expensive yes, but worth it as a special present.

Feel all warm and fuzzy like the just piped stuffing! grin

BloodyWorried Thu 29-Mar-18 18:15:02

1. Please upload a photograph of your bear and any other photos of your in-store experience.

We like making memories and not spending the whole time getting a perfect photo - but attached Marvin.

2. Please tell us all about your DC’s new bear. We would love to know the name of the bear, the reason that your DC chose this name, in addition to any other background details regarding your child’s bear selection process such as their reason for choosing particular clothes, scents or accessories?

Marvin is a magnificent monkey (very Marvel but all DS’s toys are named based on alliteration). Marvin was hard for him to pick because he loved all of the bears, he wanted a black dog really but loves monkeys and our store had no black dogs so monkey it was. Marvin has a heart beat sound, he wanted a song but the machine played them so loudly I was concerned that it would be the same in the bear. I liked that he got to help stuff the teddy and how firm he wanted it to be, the lady was really accommodating at this point and had a good chat about everything (as 4yo do). Marvin also has a special heart which the lady in the shop told him to hold the heart tight, squeeze it, make a wish and blow on it before popping it inside which was a nice touch. Deciding what he should wear was a tough choice, in the shop we used the “changing room” to try on lots of outfits to see what suited him the best. In the end my DS picked a skateboard and we picked the clothes from that. Marvin has since became a naked monkey, DS says this is because you can’t wear jeans and a t shirt in bed.

3. Would you recommend Build-A-Bear Workshop to a friend or family member? If so, why?

Yes. It felt like a wonderfully magical experience, getting to pick and choose to make a really personal teddy that you name and get a certificate for. Staff were attentive but it was quite expensive. The sign up to the club was easy in store but I haven’t managed to verify via email because the instructions are quite hard to follow (must try when DC are in bed).

4. How did you and your DC find the overall in-store experience? What were the highlights?

We all really enjoyed the experience. As above the filling station was such a nice touch. From start to finish it is an experience not just getting a teddy that comes as is from a shop. But I wouldn’t normally opt to spent £46 on a teddy with a tshirt, jeans and skateboard.

liane77 Thu 29-Mar-18 18:31:23

1. Please upload a photograph of your bear and any other photos of your in-store experience.

2. Please tell us all about your DC’s new bear. We would love to know the name of the bear, the reason that your DC chose this name, in addition to any other background details regarding your child’s bear selection process such as their reason for choosing particular clothes, scents or accessories?

My little boy picked a Star Wars bear because even without clothes he looks unique. Because of his theme he became called Starry Bear. It was a long process making decisions but we went with the Star Wars theme tune and a vanilla cupcake scent.

I also purchased a Spider-Man outfit but this will be for another occasion.

3. Would you recommend Build-A-Bear Workshop to a friend or family member? If so, why?

It was a lovely experience and I would definitely recommend it if you can manage a 1to1 experience with your child. I think it may be a little awkward and stressful if other siblings were in tow. The staff are very patient and brilliant with indecisive children offering help, suggestions and good advice.

4. How did you and your DC find the overall in-store experience? What were the highlights?

I think the freedom of choice was definitely a highlight for my boy. His face was a light with all the possibilities. It was a little overwhelming at first but he loves his bear and it sits proudly next to his Spider-Man bear (that was second hand).

Miaow1234 Thu 29-Mar-18 18:47:03

2. We went to the meadowhall store. My daughter has been watching Honey Gs and so wanted a Honey G teddy. She picked the purple cat and called her Violet.
3. Yes as its a lovely bonding experiance for family to spend time with children.
4. She enjoyed picking things with the help of grandma. There was alot of choice and unisex choice which is important. She enjoyed doing the special heart dance and wish before it goes into the bear.

shaunying Thu 29-Mar-18 20:19:13

1. Please upload a photograph of your bear and any other photos of your in-store experience.

We visited the Solihull build a bear workshop.

2. Please tell us all about your DC’s new bear. We would love to know the name of the bear, the reason that your DC chose this name, in addition to any other background details regarding your child’s bear selection process such as their reason for choosing particular clothes, scents or accessories?

Our son chose The Beast from Beauty and the Beast as it's currently his favourite film.

3. Would you recommend Build-A-Bear Workshop to a friend or family member? If so, why?

Yes, it's a warm and friendly store, the staff are very friendly and helped our son to choose his bear and helped to dress him.

4. How did you and your DC find the overall in-store experience? What were the highlights?

We enjoyed it. Staff were great. Would definitely consider visiting again.

tworonnies1957 Thu 29-Mar-18 20:32:42

Right I got hold my hands up and say I have really messed up , I enter my be 20 or 30 competitions each week across the internet and being the nerd I am I never remember what I was hoping to win or who the competition was from, so when got a email from build a bear saying I had got a £50.00 e voucher I was really happy, there was no information on the email of who I won the voucher from but that didn't stop me had the choice to go online and order the bears or go in store so I picked the easy pain free option no dragging the kids around town no parking charges and there were going be a surprise for kids for Easter along with Easter eggs, so away I go and place the order only to find out 2 days later via a Mumsnet email that me and kids should of been product testing them in store but to late to cancel the order as had already had a email from build a bear saying the goods had been despatched , so really sorry to everyone got egg on face this time that's for sure.

Signoritawhocansway Thu 29-Mar-18 20:37:31

1. Please upload a photograph of your bear and any other photos of your in-store experience.

2. Please tell us all about your DC’s new bear. We would love to know the name of the bear, the reason that your DC chose this name, in addition to any other background details regarding your child’s bear selection process such as their reason for choosing particular clothes, scents or accessories?

This bear is called 'Happy Pete'. My DS does have trouble choosing things, including names, so it was called Happy, then he read Pete on the screen so hence the name! The selection process included day clothes and pyjamas, plus glasses to make the bear look clever. He was quite taken with the hairdryer too, but we were running out of budget!

3. Would you recommend Build-A-Bear Workshop to a friend or family member? If so, why?

I would, as long as I knew they would be able to afford it. It's ridiculously expensive for even the cheapest bear with the cheapest clothes. It's a lovely experience though, my DS is still thrilled with his bear and talking about making him, so a big thank you to Mumsnet and BAB for the very generous opportunity to have the experience.

Also, I do think it's more likely to appeal to girls than boys.

4. How did you and your DC find the overall in-store experience? What were the highlights?

Our in-store experience was great. Great enthusiastic customer service with not too much pressure to oversell. He loved putting the heart in and the stuffing machine - he's very mechanically minded! We went to Solihull store on a Thursday morning - I imagine I might not enjoy it so much if it was busy!!!

LouiseHumphreys81 Thu 29-Mar-18 20:58:32

1. Please upload a photograph of your bear and any other photos of your in-store experience.

2. Please tell us all about your DC’s new bear. We would love to know the name of the bear, the reason that your DC chose this name, in addition to any other background details regarding your child’s bear selection process such as their reason for choosing particular clothes, scents or accessories?

My DC picked the pink bear and then a blue jumper and tutu skirt. The bear is called Teddy the Bear and has been having lots of cuddles today. He picked this bear because he decided we already had lots of boy bears so we need a girl bear now. He loved putting the heart in, and helping with the stuffing.

3. Would you recommend Build-A-Bear Workshop to a friend or family member? If so, why?

Yes, the staff were lovely and friendly and the fact that DC did most of the work picking and making the bear made it truly his. He loved the whole process and is very pleased with his bear.

4. How did you and your DC find the overall in-store experience? What were the highlights?

Overall he loved it. He loved the process of picking which bear to have, and he really enjoyed the magic around stuffing the bear and putting the heart in. He had free reign to pick whatever he wanted and he did enjoy choosing clothes. In fact picking the clothes took longer than picking the actual bear.

My only negative comment is that the staff forgot to put the birth certificate in the bag. We made one and it printed behind the till but when we got home it hadn't been put in the bag. Not the end of the world and my LB wasn't bothered but it was a bit of a shame to not have it.

Overall we were very pleased with the whole experience. The shop was well designed and bright, the staff were friendly and
enthusiastic and really engaged my LB in the whole process. I would definitely recommend the workshop and go again.

nuttybird88 Thu 29-Mar-18 21:09:24

My 7yo daughter chose 2 teddies and decided they could share an outfit shoes and skates. Her first choice was a sweet smelling cat. We have 4 so kitties are always a winner with her! This one is called Candy kitty it also sings songs from trolls. The second one she chose was a bunny as it's coming up to easter, (she doesn't really like chocolate so a teddy was a much better treat) it's name is Rainbow bunny.

I would recommend build a bear to people it was our first time at build a bear and it was lovely! The staff were friendly and helpful without being in our faces or overbearing. It is quite expensive but as a special treat I'd happily take my daughter back.
We went to the Brighton B.A.B and my daughter loved it! The staff were lovely there was a good selection and it was all very easy to navigate and find the clothes etc. We didn't have to wait at all and everyone was really nice. We were told they are filled with magic which my daughter loved!

MESSING2 Thu 29-Mar-18 22:36:56

My 6yo DD chose Rainbow the unicorn. The name is fairly self-explanatory smile
She is obsessed with both rainbows and unicorns, so didn't take long to select this bear. She chose a matching Rainbow skirt and shoes plus a hairband.

We had the option of recording our own voice message, but DD wanted the standard 'I love you' message. She also chose a beating heart.

DD loved the process of personalising the bear, particularly choosing the clothes and shoes. She could easily have spent far longer choosing an entire wardrobe of clothes, but I had to reign her in and remind her that we could buy more items at a later time.

The quality of the toy and clothes is good, and the option of adding a heartbeat/spoken message is a nice touch.

The Build A Bear experience was really enjoyable and I would recommend it to others. Choosing options at each stage was straightforward and being involved in it all made the bear extra-special to DD.

I will say, however, that it's very easy to spend more than you perhaps intended with all the add-on items, particularly when you have an overexcited small person in tow.

We will be back for more outfits...DD has already decided what new clothes she'd like for Rainbow for her next birthday.

Coconutcreampie Fri 30-Mar-18 09:38:28

Our children chose a pokemon bear each. An Eevee that was renamed cupcake due to the cupcake scent they added, and a Meowth called Lovely Teddy. Meowth has the standard Meowth sound implant. Unfortunately there was an issue with the Eevee sounds but the assistant was very apologetic and advised we could pop in another day and they would resolve this for us.
They chose a chair that turns into a bed as an accessory, 2 outfits and a brush. In addition to the voucher we added an extra £13 of our own money which is think considering how much we came away with is excellent value.

I would recommend Build-A-Bear Workshop as it's a very unique experience and was very enjoyable
The best part of the experience was how involved the kids were able to get. They were able to really personalise the bear and the whole thing was led mainly by them. The assistant treated the child as the main customer, speaking to them for the majority of the time, asking their opinion and really making the children feel in control.

Cd89 Fri 30-Mar-18 11:22:59

Meet Chewy and Rey 😊
Chewy for Chewbacca and Rey for Rey!

Ernest is currently getting a bit ahead of himself with his Starwars interest (i.e. we know all the names but haven’t watched it and don’t really know who’s good, who’s bad or why) But, he knows Chewbacca!
The reason for two bears is because there was an offer on where if you bought Rey for £28, you could get any other Starwars bear for £5. We decided that the Starwars bears were a good option as they required minimum accessories as they were already dressing in character clothing.
Both bears got their accessories though, a lightsaber (which lights up and makes sounds) and a crossbow (which makes sounds).

Both bears also have their own sounds in, 5 in 1 sayings for each character. It was between this and Starwars music....I can’t handle Starwars music on a loop so we opted for the sayings. Although Chewys is more a series of interesting sounds!

We got birth certificates for each, and Ernest decided he wasn’t ready for the level of responsibility that comes with caring for two bears so gave one to his 11mo brother, so officially they have one each, but they conveniently both live in Ernest’s room.

I would recommend as a extra special treat, as normally I wouldn’t justify the amount of money on teddies. We put a little bit of money towards ours and it came to £66 in total. Obviously it helped that ours already wore costumes so cut the clothing and accessories options but if E had had free reign the cost would’ve increased significantly.

The experience was great, and Ernest loved seeing the different stages of his bear coming to life, and being involved throughout.

The store experience was much better than I had anticipated. It was extremely busy, (our own fault for going on a Saturday afternoon), but despite this, the staff were extremely attentive to each child, taking time to really talk to them, and listen. The quality was not compromised despite the queues, and each child was given one on one attention. Ernest helped fill his bear, and Zoe went through a ritual to make the bears hearts magical which Ernest loved. I thought the customer service and the interaction with the children was a real selling point for me. I liked that they spoke to the children directly.

Thanks for the experience Mumsnet and BABW!

Intotheclouds Fri 30-Mar-18 13:01:49

1.Please upload a photograph of your bear and any other photos of your in-store experience.
2.Please tell us all about your DC’s new bear. We would love to know the name of the bear, the reason that your DC chose this name, in addition to any other background details regarding your child’s bear selection process such as their reason for choosing particular clothes, scents or accessories?

Both my sons love star wars so seeing the star wars bears it was a quick choice. And with the offer on the star wars teddies we managed to get both our sons a teddy. The one is called Ray after the character the teddy is after Rey, and the other is stormzy after both the stormtrooper and storm-z.

3.Would you recommend Build-A-Bear Workshop to a friend or family member? If so, why?
Yes as it's good quality and good experience for the kids but it quite expensive.

4.How did you and your DC find the overall in-store experience? What were the highlights?
The children loved picking their teddies and accessories. They had fun filling the teddies and my youngest loved the heart ceremony. I didn't like the fact that the staff were constantly trying to sell us something us else. And even when we said 'no thank you' they kept asking. Even at the till as I was trying to pay, they asked me a total of 6 times if I wanted to buy a gift card even though I had said no the first time they asked.

Kidssendingmenuts Fri 30-Mar-18 13:22:56

1. Please upload a photograph of your bear and any other photos of your in-store experience.

Photos taken in the white rose store in Leeds.

2. Please tell us all about your DC’s new bear. We would love to know the name of the bear, the reason that your DC chose this name, in addition to any other background details regarding your child’s bear selection process such as their reason for choosing particular clothes, scents or accessories?

There is a high selection of bears to choose from such as cartoon characters, unicorns, bears and bunnies. Thomas chose the chase from law patrol after a 20 mins decision on whether to get that or toothless. He has gone with the name chase as he didn't want to chose another name for him ha ha. Isabelle chose a unicorn because she is unicorn and glitter mad! So that was a no brainier.

Both went for the strawberry smell too and the sounds for each bear.

We also got a sparkly skirt for the unicorn along with a tiara and a wand and chases outfit for Thomas's bear.

It was great when they got to press the pedal to fill there own bear too really exciting!

3. Would you recommend Build-A-Bear Workshop to a friend or family member? If so, why?

Definitely!! We have never been before and if it wasn't for the voucher we probably wouldn't of. I split it between both of my kids so it was fair and it really is fun. They both highly enjoyed it (though I was happy to get out of there with all the crazy kids running about 😂😂)

4. How did you and your DC find the overall in-store experience? What were the highlights?

Loved it. I was as a bit scared going in as I hadn't a clue what to do but an assistant helped me and she was fab explaining what we can get for it and what it includes.

Best bit was pressing the button to fill the bear! The loved it!

Uzma01 Fri 30-Mar-18 13:35:00

My daughter loved the whole process as it was a chance for me to spend some quality time with her and she got an amazing keepsake at the end of it.

She choose to call it Becky due to the alliteration! She got a couple of tops, pair of jeans, sparkly shoes, sunglasses and a headband. Plus a rucksack to put it in. She chose stuff she liked the look of. She got a beating heart put in and 2 sets of sounds - including the manically laughing minions!

It was a great experience and I would recommend it as a one off, as I can imagine it’d get quite expensive.

Stuffing the bear and ‘activating’ the fabric heart was fun - the staff member was really engaging and got my daughter to do lots of silly things and then put the heart into the bear. She enjoyed getting the birth certificate typed up. I think the fact that I let her choose a lot of accessories (within reason!) so she could have a range of play things helped. I told her she could give her a toothbrush from home and use one of the small floral suitcases for her bear - so that added to the fun. The staff member on the till did her best to upsell, for the most part I declined. But I did get 2 £10 giftcards at half price as I thought I could treat my daughter again when it’s her birthday. Overall, both of us really enjoyed it and my daughter was in control of what she wanted.

SnotGoblin Fri 30-Mar-18 15:00:57

1. Please upload a photograph of your bear and any other photos of your in-store experience.

2. Please tell us all about your DC’s new bear. We would love to know the name of the bear, the reason that your DC chose this name, in addition to any other background details regarding your child’s bear selection process such as their reason for choosing particular clothes, scents or accessories?

My little girl's bear is Olivia Belle because she's currently obsessed with the name Olivia (taking over from Lilly) and Belle because... Disney. My boy's name is 'Big Girl' I have no idea why. I was plumping for Mr Rainbow or simply Rainbow.

3. Would you recommend Build-A-Bear Workshop to a friend or family member? If so, why?

I would recommend Build-A-Bear which surprises me because I expected to feel differently. It was a mine field of upselling and extras adding but overall the experience was okay and I was able to set limits my children could cope with/understand.

4. How did you and your DC find the overall in-store experience? What were the highlights?

My kids enjoyed the process but were completely overwhelmed about choosing a bear and didn't fully understand the 'build your own' aspect of it as my girl kept trying to pick the already completed display models.

I thought the 'give your bear a bath' stand after making it was a really nice touch.

keeperofthetrolls Fri 30-Mar-18 16:10:59

Please tell us all about your DC’s new bear. We would love to know the name of the bear, the reason that your DC chose this name, in addition to any other background details regarding your child’s bear selection process such as their reason for choosing particular clothes, scents or accessories?

DDs bear is Queen Elsa. She is the Frozen inspired bear. It says Elsa on her foot, so she wouldn't call her anything else. I was rather surprised she picked Frozen over My Little Pony. She chose the blonde hair (which is in the bag), Elsa dress, Glass slippers and Frozen knickers (apparently she needs pants on). DD chose a strawberry scent and Let It Go sound button.

There were a few different coloured Frozen inspired bears but she chose the blue as it was 'icy, twinkly and sparkly' as it has silver through the plush. I thought she would choose pink. Then she spotted the name on her foot and it was decided.

3. Would you recommend Build-A-Bear Workshop to a friend or family member? If so, why?
Yes i would, but only as a very special occasion as its very expensive. I found it to be a very magical experience. The fact you choose everything from the animal, fur colour to shoes and pants. The bears are individually made and personal to the child.

4. How did you and your DC find the overall in-store experience? What were the highlights?
We were welcomed warmly when we arrived at the store. We were told the building progress and the offers. DD loved helping work the machine. She was fascinated watching it 'inflate'. She loved to attention from the staff and being involved. We weren't pressured in to buying accessories.

We did have to wait a while to stuff our bear as the couple in front had two children and there was a fault with one of the bears. But DH took her to choose an outfit whilst i waited and another member of staff came on the shop floor and attended to us.

All staff were very friendly.

DD has been playing with her bear and singing along since we got home. DD says she LOVES it!!

Kidssendingmenuts Fri 30-Mar-18 16:25:19

@AaronMumsnet please could you send me the link to the survey please? I can't seem to find it, I've used the voucher etc but can't find the survey to take anywhere x

SaltySeaBird Fri 30-Mar-18 16:32:23

Oh so disappointed not to get into this one as my DD has been wanting to go in the store forever but I can’t justify that amount on a soft toy plus accessories! Reading the experiences it does sound expensive!

Boooom Fri 30-Mar-18 16:43:38

2.Please tell us all about your DC’s new bear. We would love to know the name of the bear, the reason that your DC chose this name, in addition to any other background details regarding your child’s bear selection process such as their reason for choosing particular clothes, scents or accessories?

My DD chose the name Storm I have no idea why and she won't tell me. We chose not to get a voice thing mainly because I convinced it would be annoying full as I find any talking things really annoying! We also didn't do the smelly thing as I hate air fresheners and that sort of thing if I think they will probably will give us cancer (cheerful!). She got lots of clothes and really enjoyed choosing them and love picking the rabbit.
3.Would you recommend Build-A-Bear Workshop to a friend or family member? If so, why?

If they could afford it absolutely. The toys are of a really good quality and there was lots of choice. It was very busy (bank holiday) but the staff were very kind and had lots of time for us. I was surprised at how much we both enjoyed it.
4.How did you and your DC find the overall in-store experience? What were the highlights?
I did find the store very busy and extremely noisy. I could barely hear near the stuffing machine and did have worries about the staff gettig ear damage (I work with deaf people and a few as a result of industrial work). The highlights were the incredibly friendly and helpful staff who really did go above and beyond to make the experience really special.

PerfectlyAdequateFamilyCook Fri 30-Mar-18 17:18:13

We went to the Bluewater store, and the staff were very attentive - made sure we were seen to, greeted all dc and gave stickers etc, and then left ds space to choose his bear.

2. Please tell us all about your DC’s new bear. We would love to know the name of the bear, the reason that your DC chose this name, in addition to any other background details regarding your child’s bear selection process such as their reason for choosing particular clothes, scents or accessories?

Ds chose a tiger. He then spent a loooong time going up and down the bear wall, thinking it over, but eventually came back to his original choice. He called it SuperTiger, and he has a Superman 5 (or 6?)-1 sound thingy in his paw. Ds is very impressed with this. Ds is all about Superheros at the moment, and was adamant he would be choosing a Superman costume for his tiger. He actually then chose a Justice League outfit. He spent a long time choosing accessories, and picked a Cars sleeping bag - he originally wanted the chair bed, because apparently that would be great when we went camping, as it turns from a chair to a bed (NB, ds has never been on a camping holiday 😀, so no idea where he got that idea from!) he then chose a sleeping bag, as that would be easier to pack than the chair/bed. SuperTiger has a silver heart - ds went straight for this one, with no wavering, and no scent (yippee!).

3. Would you recommend Build-A-Bear Workshop to a friend or family member? If so, why?

I would. There is a lot of choice, and no girl/boy divide in the bears or costumes. I like that eg an Elsa bear could be dressed as a firefighter, or a Star Wars bear could have a sparkly top, whatever the child wants. And there is a wide range of bears and accessories. Ds liked (and is angling for!) the wheelchair, and I liked that this was available too. I also liked that there are extra sets to extend play value - vet sets, or picnic sets, etc, not just clothes.

4. How did you and your DC find the overall in-store experience? What were the highlights?

Ds enjoyed it. He has been wanting to go to build a bear for ages. He has ASD, and so found the actual making experience a bit full on - I don’t think he was expecting so many questions/things to do (make a wish etc), and just wanted to get it finished so he knew for certain the bear was his 😀. The lady helping us was lovely, but I would add that maybe the patter could be varied a bit of the child is looking overwhelmed. Not every child likes being the centre of attention, and not every child wants a drawn out process. Ds did still enjoy his visit, but maybe food for thought (while we were waiting to pay, there was a birthday child who got stood up on a podium, a loud bell rung, and she was introduced to the store and had everyone sing happy birthday to her. She honestly looked uncomfortable, and like she didn’t want everyone looking. My dd (age 11) commented that she would have hated that to happen to her (she always wanted a build a bear party, but never had one) but also said that didn’t happen when her best friend had a party a few years back, so maybe it’s a choice thing and todays little girl did want to do it).

I think ds enjoyed the clothes/accessories more than choosing the bear, and the best bit for him is definitely the sound chip, with the sleeping bag a close second. Ds does like his toys to be comfy and cosy 😀

LemonScentedStickyBat Fri 30-Mar-18 18:14:17

Here is Vulpix!

Dd loves Pokémon and knew it might be possible to get a Pokémon bear - we didn’t look online first as wanted to avoid disappointment, and I thought it might be fun to prolong the experience of walking around and choosing a bear... but she spotted Vulpix in the first second and that was it. We still had a little walk around but she wouldn’t consider anything else. I was impressed with the ranges available.

The staff at the White Rose Centre in Leeds were very sweet with DD & she enjoyed the process of choosing accessories very much. She was adamant that there would be no scents or noises included since she was going to be cuddling up in bed with Vulpix every night & she didn’t want to be kept awake - this from a child who uses every excuse in the book to stay up as late as possible but that’s by the by.

DD absolutely loved helping stuff the bear, making a wish etc and as an adult I can definitely see the appeal- I would have loved this experience as a child.

We were new to this & didn’t realise that you could make a birth certificate for the bear until we went to the till - the assistant there sorted that out but it was all a bit rushed.

I would certainly recommend the experience to friends and family, but would tell them to explain that they are first timers & ask a member of staff to talk them through the process first. We weren’t always sure where to go next, what to do etc. & it’s not clear from the store layout.

Overall DD had a lovely time and wants to spend her pocket money on more accessories.

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