Ms C’s birthday is coming soon and she is going to be 4 years old. It’s amazing how quickly that time has passed. She adores her soft toys and loves to have them share her bed. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to experience the Build-A-Bear workshop. Before we visited the shop, I did some research on their website with my children. I tried to talk them through what we were going to do. They were so excited! Last Saturday, we wake up fairly early and arrived at the Derby Westfield. We were kindly shown around by their lovely staff who briefly explained the process.
1. Choose Me
This is the first station where they get to choose their un-stuffed Bear/Cat/Dog/Rabbit/My Little Pony/Hello Kitty and get to cuddle the sample. Last month, they launched their Autism Awareness Bear and My Little Pony. Each animal’s price start from £9 onwards, which I think is very reasonable price. Ms C went for the Disney Princess Bear with six different princesses printed on the foot while Mr K chose a more traditional looking Sweet Velvet Teddy.
2. Hear Me
This is the second stop where there are a whole range of sounds for us to listen to and choose from which will be placed inside the cuddly toy. They were all so excited that they just randomly pressed any button! Miss C chose a Happy Birthday Bear song as she is currently obsessed with the fact that it’s almost her birthday. Mr K went for Star Wars as he is a big fan of Star Wars.
3. Stuff Me
Each bear comes with their unique bar code and the staff places the strip of bar code inside the bear. If it ever gets lost, it can be traced by scanning the bar code. That is so useful! How many times do you lose a toy and find yourself having to buy a substitute only to be told it doesn’t look/feel/smell the same?
At Stuff Me station, there is a big machine spinning a tank full of cotton where they placed the un-stuffed bear into the end of the pipe. They let the children operate the machine by getting them to step on the foot pedal. The loud noise from the machine was a bit scary for Ms C but she soon got the hang of it.
4. Stitch Me
Before the bear gets stitched up, there are two options to choose from. You can either have a Heartbeat Effect (extra cost £4.50 and it will beat 5 times each time) or a red satin heart (Free) to place it inside the bear. Say your secret on the Heartbeat Effect or the heart before it gets stitch up.
5. Fluff Me
Once filled and stitched up, the bears are placed in the bath to get a good comb and again there is a foot pedal to operate the fan disguised as a shower. Ms C was not keen on the loud noises but Mr K was only too happy to give it a go.
6. Dress Me
My eyes went crossed when I saw so many gorgeous outfits and accessories to choose from. They have Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Iron Man, Spider Man etc.
Ms C who is a big Disney Fan went for a pink Princess Outfit. We tried on a couple of pairs of shoes with heels, but they were not suitable for the Princess Bear. Anyway, I think it would be such a shame to cover her feet with shoes because it has a lovely picture of all the six princesses.
Mr K keep the Star Wars theme by getting a Jedi Knight outfit. He also went with the Light Sabre and a Black Rubber Boots. I was so surprised to find out that it actually lights up. How cool is that!
7. Name Me
Lastly, before we could bring our bears home, we needed to name them and print out their Birth Certificate. We sat down in front of the computer and keyed in the details. It was very simple to follow. Once complete, it prints the certificate at the counter. They will pop it in the carrier box plus a colouring book.
I rate this whole experience 5 stars out of 5. Both of my children were so pleased with their bears and the quality of each item in the shop are excellent. Any child will be spoilt by the amount of choices on offer to personalise your own bear. We spent over £30 for each bear which I think is very reasonable and comparable to off-the-shelf bears that you can buy. Why not create your own unique, personalised bear instead? We all give it a big thumbs up! We can also go back in future to get different outfits as the outfits are designed to be one size fits all. Or maybe have a Birthday Party with them?
Disclosure: We were provided with the Build A Bear experience for the purposes of writing this review, however, all thoughts and opinions remain our own.