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.