Build a bear... now, I know you are wondering, what do they do there? If only they'd give some sort of hint, a clue even as to what might happen, what might be on offer when you walk through the doors. I had no idea.
Luckily I have a well informed four and a half year old who had a very good idea of what might happen and was only too glad to fill me in on the details... in exchange for permitting him to go through the process of getting a bear er.. built.
To an adult it all looks a bit contrived.... A cynical person sees all the accessories and extras that are on offer, knows that the process doesn't just involve picking up a suitable/desirable cover/empty bear, getting it stuffed, putting in a heart (a free cloth one or a 6Euro 'beating' one), sewing it up and paying the nice girl at the desk.
A child sees it differently, they see:
1. A huge choice of new best friends, just waiting to be filled and named and personalised
2. A chance to actually help in stuffing their own teddy, thereby making it that bit more special
3. An opportunity to put in the teddy's heart before the closing surgery
4. A chance to give the new teddy a big hug to see if it is too hard/too soft.. and have it adjusted accordingly
5. Getting to help make and print the teddy's birth cert
6. The possibility of getting clothes and shoes and all manner of extras for the new best friend
And yes, for the most part, they are absolutely correct; my lad loved the whole process and the guys in the shop do their best to make a big deal of each child and their new teddy. They also try to constantly up-sell the extras which is a bit annoying but completely understandable.
My lad wasn't getting extras and while not overly happy about this at first, he was made up and extras forgotten about when he saw that the bear came in a cardboard box, shaped like a house that he could colour in... he has spent the last 4 days personalising it.
For a cost of 21Euro it is not bad value, sure these aint Steiff Bears, but not bad quality and the kids enjoy the process.
So, yeah, I was very sceptical about the whole thing when we went in but actually it was a lovely experience and one I am keen to repeat with one of my many Goddaughters very soon!
For some reason, the idea of taking an animals skin, filling it with cotton, sewing in its eyes and then carrying this poor animal around with you like a beloved best friend really appeals to children, as opposed to the normal and far more appropriate response of sheer terror.
Kids love it. Bring your nieces and nephews. Scares the bjeesus outta me though.
Wait... hold on..... how *^$*-ing much for a pair of tiny %&*^-ing pants?
Are you serious!? You would honestly consider spending copious amounts of money on an overly priced product that isnt even a one off purchase?? If you have any sense you would come to this store... get your bear made in the first place...get all the things you need.. pay the price and give it to your child or whoever... but never...NEVER EVER tell that child where the bear came from! the second they realise that you can get the bear some new pants or a hat or something utterly rediculous for a stuffed animal they will WANT WANT WANT.... im sorry but i am not spending more on jeans for a bear than i would for myself....
This is the kind of thng that should be avoided in a recession.... and probably the cause of one too.
I have to agree with previous reviews. The prices here are absurd. I had to take a look, cause when I was a kid, I had a favourite teddy. I would dress him up, make him school-books and pretend I was his teacher. The teddy had a school-uniform, sport outfit and dinner wear. But the good thing was, my mom made them all. When I was growing up, shops like these didn't exist so my mom didn't really have much choice but to knit tiny sweaters and hats. But I seriously doubt she would ever had bought a a teddy-dress for over 20 Euros!
Kids do like dressing up, but instead of spending a fortune on some uniform the kid grows tired of in a few weeks, buy yourself wool and needles, fabric and threads, or better yet, teach your kid how to make tiny teddy-clothes. Cheaper AND inspires the imagination.
Build a bear is a really cute place to bring kids. Essentially it's a toy shop that stocks teddy beards exclusively, but the magic part is that you build it yourself. Not at all obvious from the name, right?
The first stage is pick your bear (animal, classic, character etc), then you help stuff it, then you help sew it, brush it's hair, name it, pick out an outfit and finally place it in a little house shaped box and bring it home.
Not only that, but it's a really cute place to go for a gift. I've a friend who got a teddy from her boyfriend here, and they have a service where you can record a little message so that when you squeeze the bear, it plays the message. How cute is that?
When I first stepped into this shop, I really enjoyed seeing all the different stuffed toys you could get not just bears as the name might suggest but hello kitty teddys, dogs, elephants etc. I went with my friend to buy something for my birthday.
After being undecided between two bears I eventually picked one which was really cute and a traditional bear. Although the others were really nice, I had my heart set on a teddy bear. It had lovely soft fur and a nice brown colour.
Once I picked the teddy bear, the next step was to get it stuffed by a machine they have in the store, I chose cuddly but you can get it stuffed soft or hard also. Next a velvet heart is chosen and who ever buys it makes a wish for who they get it for.
My friend made a wish for me and put the heart into the teddy bear. Once the teddy was sown up I got to make him a birth cert which was free with the cost of the bear and I done this on a computer which they have in the store. I called my bear Buster and they have a book with names in the store just in case a name does not spring to mind which is handy.
They have a wide variety of clothes and shoes and costumes etc for the toys to be purchased after the toy is made up which is nice if you wanted to dress you toy up.
Although most of toys in this shop were bought for children, I would reccomend it as a place for all ages and I enjoyed the experience of making up my bear
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