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The New Build A Bear Experience {& Giveaway!}

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Just before we left on our Disney Cruise Line Vacation earlier this year, we learned a Build-A-Bear Disney Princess Bear was being released.

Well now there’s an even newer way to experience Build-A-Bear workshops with a new store design to make the guest experience even more interactive!

Not a time goes by when we walk by Build-A-Bear Workshop in the Mall and my kids don’t ask if they can, well, build a bear…

Without a doubt, the experience of Build-A-Bear Workshop is what sets it apart from any other stuffed animal you’ll pick up off a store shelf. Getting to hand pick your favorite animal, stuff it, put a heart in, wash it, dress it and then ultimately bring it home with you – there’s nothing quite like it for my kids.

And now that experience just got enhanced. Build-A-Bear Workshops across the country are remodeling their stores to offer…

Honestly, for awhile I was in a Build a Bear rut – I felt like the more you made, the less special the experience became. So when my kids wanted Vexy and Hackus this summer after seeing Smurfs 2, I thought it was just a fad and a whim. (After all, every time they see a new movie they like, that becomes their “favorite movie of all time!).

I wasn’t prepared to spend $25 on these gray Smurfs, not to mention their coordinating outfits.

So they waited…and they saved. One way my kids can prove to me if they really want something is if they’re willing to buy it with their own money. We rarely let our kids buy something on the spot, even with their own money, but I frequently use the question as a gauge to see if they’d even be willing…

They repeatedly showed that they were willing to purchase said Smurfs themselves, but we still made them wait…until Black Friday.

I’d wanted the kids to experience the new Build-A-Bear Workshop (The folks at Build-A-Bear Workshop sent me a couple gift cards for the kids to do so) and I thought I’d heard that the very Smurfs they wanted this summer were not only still available to purchase, but they were now half off!

As we started to pass by the store front (by this point they’d learned not to ask every time we’d go to the mall), my husband and I made the turn to enter. A quizzical look came over their faces, as if to ask, “Really?”.

We’d barely nodded yes before they went dashing to the bins of unstuffed animals to find their beloved Smurf friends.

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Once again, we asked the question, “Are you willing to pay for this with your own money.” After we received a resounding “YES!”, we told them that because they’d been patient and waited, the animals were now half off. That meant that they could now afford both the Smurf and an outfit with the money they’d saved…but because they’d waited and obeyed, they were each going to get a $25 gift card to use so they didn’t even have to spend their own money!

Between the enhanced experience and the sweetness of rewarded obedience, the moment became that much more special.

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Our local store Build-A-Bear workshop at the Cool Springs Galleria recently underwent this amazing transformation and when you visit the new store, you will see a noticeable change to the company’s trademarked stuffed animal-making experience including:

*An interactive storefront that is enabled by Microsoft’s Kinect technology and interactive touch elements. Guests can play games and view the latest product offerings as they enter the store.

*The Love Me station allows Guests to customize their furry friends with special personality attributes displayed as emoticons on an interactive table. Guests add unique traits – like brave, silly, and smart – to their red satin heart, which is added to their stuffed animal during the Stuff Me process.

*The Hear Me station features an assortment of high quality sounds that can be added to stuffed animals. Using an interactive touch screen, Guests can select and load popular hits from current music, sounds, or their own voice onto a chip to further personalize their stuffed animal.

*The Fluff Me station features a digital bath tub with Microsoft® PixelSense technology. The tub magically recognizes the items as they are placed on it and reacts with sensory effects such as virtual bubbles that appear when play soap is placed on the “water surface.”

*The Name Me station, where Guests use a viewfinder or “Bear-O-Scope” to reveal the special attributes they added to their stuffed animal. At Name Me, Guests also create a one-of-a-kind birth certificate that includes a photo of their new furry friend.

Through these interactive elements, you can personalize the bear-making process and have a different experience each time you visit (and you know every time you pass by the store, your kids want to make a new one – the experience of making an animal is what Build-A-Bear Workshop is all about after all!)

The newly re-imagined stores also include a number of technology platforms that enable Build-A-Bear Workshop to continue to update the store experience. Similar to how one might download a new app to a mobile device, the company is able to update the stations inside the store with interactive experiences that are relevant to certain product launches and seasons.

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You can even click here to tour the newly imagined Build A Bear experience!

Build-A-Bear Workshop provided a gift card so my kids could have a personal experience of their own and now I have TWO $25 gift cards to give away so your kids can experience it too! Wouldn’t that be a fun surprise for the New Year?

If you want to experience the newly re-imagined stores for yourself, hurry and enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

24 comments

  1. After reading your blog post I actually relate to it all. We always pass by buildabear but its so pricey we usually try not to go in, and if we did with two kids it’s a definite big expense. My Daughters birthday is coming and for 6 months shes been saying all she wants is a buildabear trip. I love all the features in the new interactive experience. Bear-O-Scope is so awesome. I also like the Hear Me feature.

  2. I WOULD LOVE TO WIN A BUILD-A-BEAR CERTIFICATE FOR MY GRANDDAUGHTER…WHAT A FUN WAY TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH HER WHILE SHE’S OUT OF SCHOOL ON CHRISTMAS/NEW YEAR’S BREAK !

  3. the interactive touch my daughter loves this place

  4. I like that the Fluff Me station recognizes the items placed in it, my kids would have a lot of fun with this.

  5. The Fluff Me station sounds like a lot of fun!

  6. My kids love the fluff station already, so now that it’s interactive I know they will be that much more excited. We sometimes visit the fluff station with lovies that we already own, just for a quick spa trip and to fill the void when nothing is purchased :)

  7. The name me part sounds great!

  8. The fluff me station sounds really fun!

  9. The love me station sounds amazing :) These stuffed animals symbolize many attributes in the eyes of those who adore them.

  10. never went to a build a bear would be a experience for the first time

  11. The Love me station. Sounds awesome

  12. I am looking forward to the Fluff Me station!! Love all the new characters they have besides just bears. LOVE Build-A-Bear!!!

  13. Birthday month for us. Thanks for the chance to win

  14. oh the name station – for sure!

  15. I would love to take my son who has never been.

  16. I like the Hear Me station, I know my kids will love adding sound to their creation.

  17. my daughter LOVES the bath area for the bears :)

  18. The kids love Build A Bear so I’m the most excited abt another opportunity to carry them somewhere they love.

  19. thanks for the chance to win!

  20. I love the interactive side of the bath technology!