I have been a fan of the Build-A-Bear Workshop for a long time. I love how friendly they are and how you can personalize your bear with everything from the sound you put inside to the outfit to the name you give on the birth certificate. The store is so friendly and inviting, and there's always something new. I suppose there's a reason Little Miss's bed is completely covered in animals. And Mister Man's, too.
The Build-A-Bear Workshop regularly comes out with new animals from those that support a particular charity such as Turner the Owl, who supports literacy and education programs and the new Star Wars bear. This holiday season, there is a whole line from Rudolph, including Rudolph himself, Clarice, and Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster. Hal and Holly Moose are also back, as is their holiday special.
Just as Build-A-Bear Workshop supports charities with the specially designated bears they sell, you can help, too. Through the end of November, you can donate $1 for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In December, you can donate $1 to support Toys for Tots. The weekend of December 3-6, there will be a toy drive for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation in all stores if you have any new and unwrapped toys to share.
Mister Man and I visited a Build-A-Bear Workshop near us to make a new bear for Mister Man from one of their new lines. Not surprisingly, Mister Man immediately gravitated towards the Star Wars collection. He decided upon the Midnight Teddy immediately, but the clothing was a more difficult choice.
Fortunately, I forgot my camera, so we had to head back to my car to retrieve it, giving him more time to think about his choice. Of course, it wasn't in my car either, so I was reduced to using my phone, but it works.
Once we returned to the store, Mister Man finally decided on a Darth Vader costume, and we were ready to stuff. Interestingly, we had yet to be approached or even acknowledged by any of the four people working at Build-A-Bear in either of our trips into the store or around the store. Mister Man actually had to walk up to the counter and interrupt three of them having a conversation (and not about a work topic, mind you) to ask if he could stuff his bear. Fortunately, he wasn't bothered by it, but it definitely was not their usual above and beyond customer service this time around.
As always, he did the extra special wishes for his bear's heart before he put it in, rubbing it on his muscles to make it strong, on his cheeks so his bear would always smile, on his ears so his bear would always be there to listen to him, and the like. He loves all the ways he makes that heart really mean something rather than it simply being a piece of the puzzle.
Once his bear was adequately stuffed, he gave it a bath. I cracked up as Mister Man held it under the "shower" and made the water noise before using the brush to scrub it. The imagination brought out by Build-A-Bear Workshop is always precious to me.
The Darth Vader costume Mister Man chose included the (correct color!) light saber, a cape, a hood, and the main costume. Because it had multiple pieces, it requires an adult to carefully remove the tags to ensure the costume doesn't rip before you get it out of the store. Getting it on is fortunately something that Mister Man can do (mostly) himself. We did discover that the costume would have better fit the smaller $10 bear, but we got it on. It gives me leverage for a $10 bear next time! And you know there will be a next time - the two Star Wars costumes I've already purchased and have hidden away in the basement are testament to that.
Once his bear was fully costumed, Mister Man went to create his birth certificate. I learned the last time we went to Build-A-Bear workshop to make a bear that I want to leave myself plenty of time so we aren't rushed at any particular spot. Creating the birth certificate is something that Mister Man is old enough to do, but it takes him time as he thinks about what each question is asking and then has to find the keys on the keyboard. I love giving him this bit of independence, and kudos to Build-A-Bear Workshop for making it simple enough that a child can do.
The process may have taken us longer than I anticipated (partly due to my own forgetfulness with the camera!), but Midnight the bear is now a happy member of our home. And Mister Man couldn't be prouder.
Yes, I have lots more photos, but I'm still waiting for them to arrive from my phone to my email - I'll update as soon as I can!
Are you jealous? Build-A-Bear Workshop has exclusive offers available on their Facebook page, and they now have an iPhone app, too! I've heard that there will be great offers on Thanksgiving Day and Black Monday online, as well as in stores throughout the weekend. I advise you go check it out.
Oh, did I forget to mention that I have a $25 gift card to Build-A-Bear Workshop to give away? Silly me. Apparently it's not just my camera that I'm forgetting!
So what do you have to do to win the gift card? First of all, let me stress that you must follow all the rules. If you do not follow the rules, your entry will not count!
This contest is open until Tuesday December 7 at 7pm CST. I must have a valid way to reach you, so leave me your email address in your comment or be sure your profile has your email address visible. No duplicate comments will count. This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and older. Winners will be selected via random.org and must respond within 24 hours of being notified by me or I will select a new winner.
Mandatory Entry: What furry friend would you create from the Build-A-Bear collection?
Bonus Entries (leave a comment for each entry - if you put it all in one comment, I'll count it as one entry):
1) Earn one additional entry for following me on Twitter and tweeting this contest with the following tweet: "Win a $25GC from @buildabear from @honestandtruly. Details: http://honestandtrulyreviews.blogspot.com/2010/11/giveaway-build-a-bear-giftcard.html" (leave a link to your tweet as your comment and make sure you do all the steps!)
2) Earn one additional entry by following this review blog publicly via Google Friend Connect.
3) Earn one additional entry by following my “regular” blog Honest & Truly! publicly via Google Friend Connect.
In the interest of full disclosure, I received a $25 gift card from Build-A-Bear to purchase a bear for review purposes. I received no compensation, and all opinions expressed are my own.