Cuddly toys face a lot of competition for the affection of a child, from technologically advanced games consoles and gadgets. Build-a-bear intend to change that with their series of customised cuddly toy stores.
For those not aware of the store, Build-a-Bear is a shop which offers a customised cuddly toy service. Customers can choose the type of toy, the sound box, outfit, accessories and even the birth certificate. It's a great gift for a child, and a great way of breaking up a shopping trip for your little one.
They also do build-a-bear birthday parties from £8 per head, which is cheaper and hopefully less stressful then letting them all pile into your house!
Here's how I created my very own personalised Teddy bear on a visit to my local store.
Arriving at the store, I was introduced to the store supervisor Sarah, who walked me through the process. First stop is choosing a cuddly toy. Prices range from £8 for a basic teddy to £18 for the special edition ones. I plumped for a special edition High School Musical one, seeing as the birthday girl is a very excitable Zac Efron fan.
Next, you choose a sound box to be inserted into the paw or chest of the toy. There are lots of different sounds to choose from, including a beating heart, a collection of songs and even a sound box to record your own message.
Once your toy and sound have been chosen, you move onto the stuffing stage, which isn't nearly as morbid as it sounds. A giant machine filled with fluffy white stuffing is lit up as customers are encouraged to press the button in order to fill the toy. Then, you add a soft heart into the teddy and the back is sewn up.
Finally, There's the vital task of choosing an outfit. There are a huge range of stylish outfits, shoes, and accessories for your teddy. This cheerleader outfit (below) is very cute and, at £10, definitely fits in with the High School Musical Theme.
The whole process takes around 10 minutes. Hopefully the cuddly toy will hold your child's interest for much longer!