Last year, Build-A-Bear had a great idea: Let everyone come to its family-friendly stores, make a new friend, and then pay a dollar amount that matched their current age.
It was genius. Everyone loved it. So much so that the DIY taxidermy stores were mobbed with unruly crowds. Stores in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. were shuttered after mile-long lines formed, while some outposts were forced to close out of safety concerns. Adults were angry, children were crying, and Build-A-Bear ended up a victim of its own success, feebly offering vouchers to ticked-off would-be customers.
But despite last year’s glorious disaster, Build-A-Bear isn’t letting the promotion go down without a fight. The company has just announced it is bringing back Pay Your Age Day for another year. This time is different, though: Build-A-Bear has learned a few things about its customers’ insatiable hunger for bargain-priced bear-stuffing, so it thought long and hard about the program, and this time there are rules, dammit, since you fiends can’t control yourselves.
- First of all: Not everyone gets to Pay Their Age. Instead, only a select number of children holding Pay Your Age “winner” tickets will get a furry friend.
- Bargain hunters must vie for a chance by signing up for the Build-A-Bear Bonus Club rewards program between June 11 and June 16.
- Once enrolled in the rewards program, some 200,000 guests in the United States, U.K., and Canada will be selected to take part in the promotion.
While last year’s promotion involved just one day of bargains, which is how some customers ended up standing in line for seven hours without once questioning their life choices, this year’s promotion will be spread out over five days from June 24 through June 28, according to USA Today.
Winners will be assigned a range of dates to head to Build-A-Bear to redeem their prize, hopefully avoiding having those 200,000 Pay Your Age winners descending upon the store at the same time, demanding those bear skins the same way that zombies want brains.