Saturday, March 14, 2015

Weekly Whine: Build a Bear

If you've never heard of the store build a bear, it's sort of the bear equivalent of an American girl doll store. I try to avoid them when possible, but last weekend, we were passing the store with my mother, and somehow we ended up inside. (I blame grandma.)

The premise is sort of cool. They have all these unstuffed bears that are only slightly creepy, and your kid gets to pick out one. You do a little ritual which involves naming the bear and picking out a heart to place inside it, then you press the pedal and the bear fills with stuffing. The bears aren't cheap, but not ridiculous. Least expensive one was $12, which is not entirely out of control for a pretty large teddy bear.

It's the rest of the store that's out of control.

For starters, my daughter wanted her bear to have a headband, which was not unreasonable. Just a headband cost four dollars. Four dollars for a headband for a toy bear. I could buy 10 headbands for my daughter to wear herself for less than that.

Then of course, you have to buy your bear some clothing, because in this state, there are nudity laws against build a Bears. The cheapest outfit for a bear is $12. My daughter picked out an Elsa dress for her bear, which was $20. I kid you not. That bear is better dressed than me right now.

The accessories progress in ridiculousness from there. You can buy your bear shoes for another $10, a hat for another five dollars, and there was even bear underwear. There even appeared to be some mildly sexy bear lingerie.

For $20, you could get your bear a motorcycle, and for $10, he could wear a leather jacket to look cool on his motorcycle. And if something went wrong when he was driving the motorcycle, you could get him a wheelchair for $25.

If I ever find myself buying my child a wheelchair for her bear, you'll know that I have done something seriously wrong as a parent.


  1. I think the store should be renamed: "Grin 'n Bear it ! "
    - Paul

  2. But think of how happy your children are as they take this $60 bear home (in its neat little house), put it with all their other stuff animals, and never think about it again... Until the next time they pass by Build A Bear and decide they HAVE to have a new one.

  3. I am happy to have never heard of it and, now that I have a toddler-soon-to-be-kid I will know to cross the street if I come across such a place!

  4. Eh, the wheelchair is nice for kids who have disabilities and want their bear to be a little bit like them.

    Besides that, it's ridiculously overpriced.