Monday, June 20, 2016

Toy Review/Party Place Review: Build-a-Bear Workshop





We were invited to a birthday party at the Build-a-Bear Workshop. I was super excited about this party, not only because we love the kid whose birthday it was, and because they just released a Peppa Pig Buid-a-Bear, and Finding Dory themed Build-a-Bears.

No matter what day it is, the Build-a-Bear Workshop always seems to be busy. I am not at the mall often, but when I do go, it’s always on a weekday, and that store is always bustling. The Build-a-Bear Workshop is a magical place, kids and big kids at heart get to create their stuffed plush from start to finish, and the process makes each character come alive.

When you walk in the store, you’re greeted by a friendly face, and you’re directed to choose a character plush. There are so many characters to choose from now, it’s amazing! You can either get the actual character like Dory, Nemo, Peppa Pig, Star Wars characters, Pokémon characters, The Minions, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, My Little Pony, Care Bears, characters from Paw Patrol and more – just to name a few. There are also the regular line-up of bears in a variety of colors and prints where you can choose to dress up your bear like a Stormtrooper, Darth Vader, Captain America, Anna and Elsa from Frozen, and more. 



They really make it hard to choose one character, which is why I think they have these great sales for 2 for $35, which just includes the plush doll, nothing else. It’s easy to spend at least $100 in that store. You can also purchase your Build-a-Bear plush character online without being stuffed, and then you can go into the store to have it stuffed. The 2 for $35 deal is also online by applying coupon code at checkout: JUNDEAL1. You can also purchase the clothes online as well, there is another coupon code that can be applied at checkout to get two select outfits for $20. Use code: JUNCLOTHES1 at checkout to take advantage of the 2 for $20 clothing deal.



At Build-a-Bear, not only do you have a choice in what your character wears, you can also choose to add sounds, fun add-ons and accessories! There are a variety of sounds to choose from – you can choose your character’s tag line, the specific theme song for your character, a hit song, or record your own voice to really personalize your bear. The character tag line sound usually includes four to five sayings, which is a good deal! The sounds range in price from $4 to $8. If you would like to add a custom scent to your Build-a-Bear, you can choose a variety of scents from the Build-a-Bear SCENTiments collection, and they are $3.50 each. I love the variety of scents, because they’re all yummy –I wouldn’t want my bear to smell like farts. You can choose Cotton Candy, Honey, Bubble Gum, Pizza, and more! Pizza for crying out loud – that’s wonderful!



Would you like to add a toy for your build-a-bear plush? How about a really nice pair of shoes? Build-a-Bear has a variety of cool and sort of useful accessories available. From slippers for Olaf, a stable for your Horses and Hearts Riding Club build-a-bear, or a heart lounge chair for your character to just relax on – there are so many possibilities.





The quality of the Build-a-Bear characters is very good. If your character comes apart at all, you can simply go into the store to have it repaired – as long as your name is in the system, you’ll be fine. 

The process to build your bear is a bit long, in my opinion, but it’s not only a create-your- own-toy store, the store has entertainment value as well. There is an order of operations that has to be practiced from start to finish:

1.       Choose your plush.
2.       Choose your sound. (optional)
3.       Choose your scent. (optional)
4.       Add a complimentary heart .
5.       Fill your plush with the stuffing (you get to press the pedal! Don’t hit the red emergency stop button on the machine like my son. They don’t like that.)
6.       After stuffing, give your plush a bath in the interactive bathtub.
7.       Choose your outfit and accessories.

If the store is busy, you won’t be waiting too long. The lines move pretty quickly, and there is so much to look at so you and your little one won’t notice the time.

If you plan to have a party there, the range per person is $18 - $45 per guest depending on which package you choose.
  •   Super Smiles Package - $18 per guest
  •   Fantastic Fun Package - $25 per guest
  • Awesome Adventure Package - $35 per guest
  • Ultimate Experience Package - $45 per guest

This price does not include any food or snacks. There is no party room. You are really just paying for little ceremonies, games, and a full order character (plush, clothing, shoes, and a sound). The party is short and sweet - just an hour long. For a small party (minimum five kids to get the Party Leader to help wrangle the kids), it’s worth it, and then you can take the kids to the food court for lunch. Or you can make the party after lunch, and in between dinner, and include a little snack in the goody bag. Also, keeping the kids engaged was a task even for seasoned parents. At the party that we attended, the Party Leader was having a tough time wrangling the kids - the majority of the party were boys, so as a mom to an energetic boy, I wouldn't recommend that this be the only activity that you have for the day. Boys, kids in general, need to run, and since there is business as usual in the background of the party, it can be a little crazy. I think it would be great if they had a party room in the back of the store, so the kids can just chill out and eat. 

If you’ve never been to a Build-a-Bear Workshop, I would recommend it. Just be prepared to spend some time and money there. It can get pricey, especially with more than two kids. To build Peppa Pig with a 3-piece Fairy Costume, one sound, and a toy for Peppa, I chose Teddy – it costs $72 online. That is a lot of money compared to just buying the Hug-n-Oink Peppa doll for about $18 at Toys R Us. It’s all for the experience, and the Limited Edition feature of the Build-a-Bear itself.



If you would like to build Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, there are online coupon codes for these ninja reptiles!

2 for $40 – 2TMNT1
4 for $68 – 4TMNT1

Take a ride over there, and see what it’s all about!


Cheers, pals!



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