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Build-A-Bear Workshop

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Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is an American retailer headquartered in Overland, Missouri, that sells teddy bears and other stuffed animals. Customers go through an interactive process in which the stuffed animal of their choice is assembled and tailored to their own preferences during their visit to the store. Build-A-Bear Workshop is the largest chain that operates in this style. The company has been acclaimed for the quality of its working environment, especially for teenagers who are just starting their first jobs.[3] The company's slogan was "Where Best Friends Are Made" from 1997-2013, when it was changed to "The Most Fun You'll Ever Make".[4]

Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.
Public company
Traded asNYSEBBW
FoundedOctober 26, 1997; 21 years ago (1997-10-26)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
FounderMaxine Clark
HeadquartersOverland, Missouri, U.S.[1]
Key people
Maxine Clark (founder)
Sharon Price John (President/CEO)
ProductsStuffed toys
Sports Stuff
RevenueDecrease US$358 million (2017)[2]
Number of employees
~5,643 (2011)

After Toys "R" Us announced plans to close all 735 of its U.S. stores in March 2018, Build-A-Bear Workshop remained as the only major toy retailer to survive the retail apocalypse.[5]



A Build-A-Bear Workshop at Vaughan Mills in Toronto

Build-A-Bear has also engaged in various charities, including the WWF Collecti-bear series which has given over $1,000,000 (USD) to the World Wildlife Fund.[6] As part of its tenth anniversary celebrations, the company built 11 playgrounds throughout the U.S. and Canada in partnership with KaBOOM! and announced that it had donated over $11,000,000 to various child and family causes since 1994. A Build-A-Bear Workshop video game was developed by The Game Factory and released for the Nintendo DS platform for Christmas 2009.

Build-A-Bear created several tie-in stuffed animals for various promotional events, including a toy The Cat in the Hat, a toy Shrek, a toy Cody Maverick penguin from Surf's Up, a toy Mumble from Happy Feet, a toy E.B. from Hop, both Alvin and Brittany from the Alvin and the Chipmunks film series, a Jonas dog, a Shake It Up bunny and a Wizards of Waverly Place bear. Build-A-Bear workshop has also released several lines of miniature toys included in Happy Meals at McDonald's restaurants, running first in May 2006[7] followed by a second promotion in August 2007, a third in October 2009, a fourth one in February 2012, and fifth in November 2013. In November 2015, they came back to McDonald's. These were only available at McDonald's branches in the United States. Build-A-Bear has been licensed since 2013 by Hasbro to sell characters based on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.[8]

In 2010, in honor of the Sanrio company's fiftieth anniversary, Build-A-Bear released limited edition Sanrio characters, including Hello Kitty, Chococat, My Melody, and Keroppi. This included the release of mini-keychains of the four characters along with Deery Lou.[9]

Starting in 2011, Build-A-Bear added Victoria Justice as their new spokesperson. In the mid-year, she began appearing in all Build-A-Bear Workshop commercials. Build-A-Bear also released a feature film available on the iPad through MoPix in December 2011.[10]

In spring 2016, Build-A-Bear filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

On July 12, 2018, Build-A-Bear held an event in the United Kingdom, United States and Canada where patrons could pay their child’s age for a bear.[11] The relative low price of the stuffed bears for the ages of small children compared to their normal prices at roughly £52 for a first-rate stuffed animal accounted for the massive numbers of people who overwhelmed the franchise's stores as well as shopping malls that rent space to the franchise. Police were needed for crowd control at the Leeds store branch because disputes between customers escalated to the point of immediate danger for other customers. When asked by a journalist for The Guardian what it was like to be manager at the Fenwick store location during the chaos, the manager called her boss in a panic and replied “We’re not allowed to talk to anyone. No interviews.” [12] Because of long lines and security issues due to the relatively low costs, this event was forced to end.

Other brandsEdit


In late October 2007, Build-A-Bear Workshop opened a massively multiplayer online game called Build-A-Bearville (also known as Bearville), developed in association with Frima Studio. It allowed users to play games, explore an expanding world, partake in special events, and chat in a safe community. In addition, Build-A-Bear was featured on an episode of Undercover Boss. Redeemable codes were sold with some products from Build-A-Bear Workshops that could be used to unlock features and content within the game. However, these were not required in order to play. Anyone could create an account and play with access to most of the game's features, even if they had not purchased a product from a Build-A-Bear Workshop. In January 2015, users received an email from the company stating that the virtual world will close on March 31st, 2015 it will be no longer playable after that time. It was replaced by the kids' site "Bearville Alive!", containing a web series featuring Build-a-Bear characters. Bearville former users were very upset by the news and some even went to the extent of making petitions to bring it back. So far, nothing has changed the decision of the Build-A-Bear staff for closing the site down. Since Bearville has closed, Build-A-Bear workshop has never been the same.[clarification needed]

Friends 2B MadeEdit

Friends 2B Made was an interactive store that allowed customers to make dolls and purchase related accessories launched by Build-A-Bear in 2005. The store was open briefly in nine locations before closing in 2009.


Build-A-Dino allows customers to create a stuffed dinosaur and purchase related accessories. The first location was located inside the T-Rex Café in Kansas City, in partnership with Landry's Restaurants. The first stand-alone store was a temporary holiday location at Chesterfield Mall in Chesterfield, Missouri, which closed after the 2006 holidays to relocate to the St. Louis Science Center. There is also a Build-A-Dino inside a second T-Rex Cafe at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World. There was a build a Dino at the Myrtle Beach Build-A-Bear Workshop flagship store but it has been since closed as of 2015.

Make Your Own MascotEdit

The "Make Your Own Phanatic" shop at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, now closed.

"Make Your Own Mascot" stores trade at Progressive Field (Cleveland), Great American Ball Park (Cincinnati), AT&T Park (San Francisco), Nationals Park (Washington D.C.), and Busch Stadium (St. Louis) featuring the home team's respective mascots, as well ones for Boston Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster in the Faneuil Hall Marketplace store and Mr. Met, the mascot of the New York Mets, at their Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan, New York City.[13] A location at Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia) closed at the end of the 2010 season.

Build-A-Bear at the ZooEdit

"Build-A-Bear at the Zoo" can be found at the Saint Louis Zoological Park. This store features several types of zoo animals.[14]

Build-A-Bear Workshop At SeaEdit

Build-A-Bear Workshop At Sea is located on Carnival Cruise Ships within their Camp Ocean Children's Program. They are pop-up shops where Guests can make their own furry friends while on a cruise.


  1. ^ "New Build-A-Bear CEO upbeat on turnaround, future". St. Louis Post-dispatch. January 19, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
  2. ^ "Income Statement for Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc (BBW) from". Morningstar. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Seventeen Special – 10 Best Companies: Apply for jobs at these great companies!". Archived from the original on April 16, 2008.
  4. ^ "Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. History". Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  5. ^ BAHLER, KRISTEN (March 27, 2018). "As Toys R' Us Closes, Only One Major Toy Store Is Thriving in the Retail Apocalypse".
  6. ^ Build-A-Bear Workshop Donates $1 Million for World Wildlife Fund, March 7, 2006
  7. ^ Build-A-Bear Workshop(R) Featured in McDonald's(R) Happy Meal(R) and Mighty Kids Meals; Summer of Happy Meal Fun Series Includes First-Ever Plush Collection with Removable Clothing, May 10, 2006
  8. ^ "My Little Pony Stuffed Animals at Build-A-Bear".
  9. ^ "Hello Kitty and Sanrio Friends Celebrate Sanrio's 50th Anniversary at Build-A-Bear Workshop". Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  10. ^ "Build-A-Bear Workshop". Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  11. ^ "Shut out of Build-a-Bear 'Pay Your Age Day'? Try this birthday month deal instead". Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  12. ^ "Fluffed it! The truth about Build-A-Bear's day of mayhem".
  13. ^ Jones, Juston (August 29, 2008). "Building a Young Audience at Ballparks". The New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2009. Maxine Clark, the chairwoman and chief executive of the company, said Build-a-Bear Workshop has opened five stores so far in Major League Baseball stadiums
  14. ^ Shop at the Zoo – Saint Louis Zoo Archived February 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.

External linksEdit