Build-A-Bear abandons ‘Pay Your Age Day’ due to overwhelming crowds

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NEW YORK — Customers hoping to “pay your age” to buy a Build-A-Bear Thursday are out of luck as lines have been closed across the U.S. and Canada due to crowds clamoring for the deal, the company said.

“Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional Guests at our U.S. Build-A-Bear Workshop locations due to crowd and safety concerns,” the company said shortly after 11 a.m.

“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 company announced the promotion on Tuesday as a way “to kick off its new, everyday celebration of birthdays.” Customers would be allowed to pay their current age for any make-your-own furry friend in all stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Depending on the size, collection and accessories, stuffed animals from Build-A-Bear can cost between $16 and $75.

Massive lines appeared outside Build-A-Bear workshops in the U.S., Canada and the UK.

Outside the Build-A-Bear’s 34th Street location in Manhattan, the line stretched for blocks.

Hundreds of hopeful customers showed up to the Staten Island Mall, according to

BBC reports that police officers were called to several shopping centers to keep the peace and customers reported waiting in line for about five hours.

In a statement to PIX11 News, the company said they’ve given vouchers to customers who were in line so they can get a Build-A-Bear at a later date. Members of the Build-A-Bear Bonus Club in the U.S. and Canada will receive vouchers on their accounts by midnight on July 15.

Customers were encouraged to “consider delaying their trip to Build-A-Bear” to cash in on those vouchers.

“We feel it is important to share that, based on the information available to us before the day began, we could not have predicted this reaction to our Pay Your Age Day event,” the company said in a statement.

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