Monday, 10 June 2013

Why I wish I invented Build A Bear

So, Build-A-Bear.

Total. Genius.

It's taken the 5/6/7 year old girl world by storm around these parts.  Until they were banned at school, every second girl child had one under her arm during lunch hour.

To an extent it's also attracting older children including boys, who, while they're happy to accept their own BAB, won't walk around the shops carrying their BAB box, in case someone sees them.  So they make their Mum carry it.

The box.  A big and unmistakable cred killer if you're 8 and a boy. 
The box is quite distinctive.  I now have three.  I would have four but I used Issy's original box (from a birthday party she attended last year) to take the sick (now dead) bird to the vet in.  She has never forgiven me.

I hate our local shopping Mall.  But that's where Build a Bear is.  And Issy was the lucky recipient of a voucher for her birthday (thanks Aunty Nat).  Plus a bit of extra Nana $$ contribution.  In terms of Build A Bear dollars, Issy was loaded.

And thus, on Saturday (her 6th birthday), after sport was over, to the Mall we went.

The other two came along, pocket money saved, a bit of Nana contribution promised and got themselves a bear of their own.

So, here's how it goes.   First you pick your bear, which firstly comes as a head, with a limp, unstuffed body.  Then one of the assistants attaches it to a pipe and the stuffing is blown into the body.  You are allowed to cuddle your bear after it is filled to ensure your stuffing is most satisfactory.  You place a red heart in your bear and it gets sewn up.

Voila.  New stuffed toy to add to collection.

Oh, if only that was the end of it.

Then, there's the clothes.  For your Build-A-Bear must be dressed.  No nude teddy bears around these parts, that's so old fashioned.

Issy managed to spend her considerable fashion budget, in the blink of an eye.  And the result?

Her name, is Snowflake.  Of course. 
Yep, that's a white cat in a matinee jacket.  Your eyes do not deceive you.  She has not been out of Issy's sight since she was stuffed and handed to her.  She has white boots.  Not shown here.  Because I can't find them.

Stripy all over.  Called Colour.  
Sarah did a pretty good job herself, choosing a garish rainbow bear, more casually attired in jeans and converse sneakers, with a pretty sweater.

Josh, who still wanted a bear although he'd probably deny it if you asked him, chose a camouflage style beast, and dressed him in cricket gear (with sneakers- thanks Nana).

And finally...Camo bear.
Once your bear is clothed, you hand a wad of money over the counter and move to the computer to print out their birth certificate.  Here you name your Bear and barcode him to your address, so if he ever wanders off it's like a microchip on your dog.  He/she can be traced back to you.  Well that's a load off my mind.

We were at the workshop for just over an hour.  An endless excruciating hour mainly spent telling Issy she couldn't have a bear ipad or another pair of bear shoes because one pair of white bear boots was enough for any lucky little birthday girl.

While we were there a party of about 10 little girls were all receiving their own bear, another party group arrived just as we left.  

Once your bear comes home, it mainly lies around on the floor, completely forgotten.  It is occasionally used in games where it attends fairy school or a ninja academy or something.

I swear, these Build-A-Bear people are making a fortune.  Why didn't I think of it?  We'd have this reno paid for already.