Build-A-Bear forced to close 'Pay Your Age Day' lines due to safety concerns

Build-A-Bear forced to close 'Pay Your Age Day' lines due to safety concerns

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Build-A-Bear's 'Pay Your Age Day' had to be shut down early due to safety concerns.

The popular teddy bear company created a special for Bonus Club members where they'd be able to get their own Build-A-Bear for an extremely discounted rate.

On July 12, children would be able to pay their age for bears that typically cost $20-30.

The promotion was a massive success--too much of a success, in fact. Hours after the promotion began, Build-A-Bear was forced to end it.

An update on the company's website said local authorities forced the company to stop accepting people due to safety concerns surrounding the size of the crowds.

"We have closed lines in our U.S. stores. We understand some of our Guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible."

The line nearly wrapped around the perimeter of Wolfchase Galleria Mall's lower level Thursday. Strollers were bumper-to-bumper as parents and grandparents hunkered down for the long haul.

"We started off in front of the Children's Place at 9, and we're calling this the home stretch," grandmother Lynn Fuller said.

It was a line that tested the patience and preparation skills of parents and children alike.

"I got his juice pops, his Gerber bites, I've got everything he needs," said Jacqueline Wood, mother of a 1-year-old.

But during the hours-long wait to take home a new "fur-ever" friend the children were all smiles.

"It's well worth the wait," Wood said. "It's pay his age and he's 1. So, it's going to be a dollar bear."

But by the end of the wait, many were ready to get the bear and go.

"Oh, it was like heaven," said Shirmika Johnson, an aunt. "I was like 'We're here. Pick this bear. Pick these clothes.' And I'm ready to go."

It's estimated somewhere between 3,000 to 4,000 people showed up at Wolfchase Galleria on Thursday.

The event was so popular, the store capped off the line at 11:15 a.m. The store then gave out certificates to other people wanting to get in line. The certificate allows them to come back another day and utilize the Pay Your Age deal.

"We are laughing at the ones that are coming in at 12 and whatever, and they will say, 'Is this the line?' And we're like, 'Keep going,'" Fuller said.

Ultimately, it was a deal just too hot to pass up on a summer day.

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