AUSTIN (KXAN) — Build-A-Bear crushed the dreams of thousands of children across the world after it shut down the lines to its stores due to security and crowd concerns. Thursday was its first-ever Pay Your Age Day for the company, where people could go into the store and craft a teddy bear, then just pay the dollar equivalent to how old they are.
Stores were packed and had lines down the block in some areas, including locations in at Barton Creek Mall and Lakeline Mall. Build-A-Bear cited local authorities concerns about the number of people as part of the reason it closed lines in its stores. Some people reported waiting hours in line.
The Barton Creek Mall location confirmed with KXAN it would still stay open until all the bears are gone.
The company was offering not only its regular bears, but licensed characters as well. Prices in the store range from $6 to $75.
Parents expressed anger at the company on Twitter, hoping the store would make it up to them. One said while they understood the need to close, they still have to deal with an upset child.
Another hoped the bear would be a fun treat for good behavior, but both she and her child were disappointed.
Another person thought of the poor retail workers who had to deal with the lines (and angry customers).
However, not everyone was turned away. In the few hours it was open in Austin, one family reported it successfully got in after waiting in line since 7 a.m. at the Barton Creek Mall location with about 30 people ahead of them.
“My baby made it to build a bear & got her unicorn! Thanks to her Tia,” Chelsea Nicole tweeted. She said they paid a dollar for it because her daughter is less than 1 year old.