Build-a-Bear Brings Back "Pay Your Age" Promotion, But With New Rules

Build-a-Bear Workshop caused a bit of a stir last year, when the company's "Pay Your Age" promotion went a little haywire. To the surprise of some, the event is back for 2019 -- but with a few changes.

Build-a-Bear revealed on Tuesday that the "Pay Your Age" deal will be handled in a completely new way, with a limited ticket offer through June 16th. Anyone who is part of the company's free Bonus Club program can enter to win one of 200,000 vouchers, which can be redeemed for up to two stuffed animals during a specific period of time.

"To kick off the second year of our successful Count Your Candles birthday program," the company's website reads in part, "we are offering an opportunity to enter a new sweepstakes for the chance to win a birthday party experience and have the chance to participate in a limited ticket offer event to Pay Your Age for a new furry friend at most retail locations in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom, in stores, select days from June 24-28."

Additionally, ten lucky guests will win the "Count Your Candles Sweepstakes", which gives them a birthday party experience to use any time at Build-a-Bear in the next twelve months.

As the name suggests, the promotion allows members of the Build-a-Bear rewards program to pay their age number for a stuffed animal. Last year, reports quickly came out of massive crowds across the country, leading to Build-a-Bear closing the promotion for "safety concerns". The company then distributed $15 vouchers to those who were affected by the dismay.

“Instead of Build-A-Bear being a place of happiness or joy, it became a place of frustration and disappointment,” said Timothy Calkins, clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, told the Chicago Tribune last year. “It really is a disaster for Build-A-Bear. You desperately want your brand associated with happy parents and happy kids.”

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For anyone who doesn't win the contest, a version of the "Count Your Candles" promotion is still available year round. For those in the Bonus Club program, the Birthday Treat Bear can be purchased for the same number as your child's age at any point during their birthday month.

What do you think of these changes to Build-a-Bear's "Pay Your Age" deal? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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