Pay Your Age Day is making a comeback at Build-A-Bear – but not for everyone.
After last year’s inaugural event left stores closing early due to the chaos surrounding popular demand, the company announced an altered offering that will allow a limited number of child customers to “pay their age” (e.g., $5 for a 5-year-old) for any stuffed animal in the store (excluding toys in their Pokémon and How to Train Your Dragon collections, outfits and accessories).
Build-A-Bear’s new plan is a sweepstakes, where Bonus Club members can enter by June 16 to win a special ticket that will allow them to return to the store sometime between June 24 and 28 to take advantage of the deal. Up to two people can use the ticket to pay their age for a new plush toy.
According to the toy company, more than 200,000 customers will be awarded the one-time ticket – and 10 extra-lucky entrants will win a birthday-party experience valued at $250, which kids can use anytime over the next year.
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Children who aren’t able to snag a ticket to pay their age later this month or an all-inclusive birthday bash can still participate in the Count Your Candles promotion, where they can pay their age for their own Birthday Treat Bear (regularly $14) anytime during their birthday month.
“When your child celebrates their birthday at Build-A-Bear Workshop, they get the full Build-A-Bear experience!” the company promises on its website.
That experience – offered “at no additional charge!” – includes a Birthday Heart ceremony, a birthday sticker and party hat, a birthday-cake photo prop and the chance to ring the Birthday Bell to “announce their birthday to the entire workshop.”
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Last summer, Pay Your Age Day was a one-day event held in U.S., Canadian and U.K. Build-A-Bear stores that ended abruptly due to crowd sizes.
“Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional guests at our locations due to crowd safety concerns. We have closed lines in our stores,” the company tweeted in July.
“Our Pay Your Age Day generated an overwhelming response,” the tweet went on. “Please refer to our website for info about a voucher for our Bonus Club members. Thank you for your patience and support.”