Build-A-Bear Workshop has had to close the lines for for their "pay your age" promotion at stores throughout the U.S as long lines have caused safety concerns among local authorities.
Customers began lining up hours before before store openings nationwide, with several users posting pictures and videos of "Black Friday-esque" turnout. Social media posts from Dallas-Fort Worth malls showed the chaos unfolding for the sale.
The official Build-A-Bear Facebook page posted an urgent message Thursday morning:
"Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional Guests at our locations due to crowds and safety concerns. We have closed lines in our U.S. and Canada stores. We understand some Guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible."
The madness wasn't just in DFW, or even in the U.S. Twitter users in England and around the world shared stories online about their hours-long waits for the special bears. One user, @JohnLuke_PW, joked that he'd spent "41 days" in line.
"Mums are starting to turn," he wrote. "The only currency is queue spots."
Some customers, however, did have a positive experience, noting that the Build-A-Bear staff was "attentive," "quick-moving," and "made their children very happy."
A woman named Rebecca wrote WFAA Thursday morning from a Garland shopping center calling the Build-A-Bear lines a "happy, hot chaos."
The “pay your age” day promotion allowed customers to purchase a character and pay their current age with a cap set at $29. The entire store's collection of toys, including popular licensed characters, were available at the event.
"Build-A-Bear Workshop’s Pay Your Age Day event generated an overwhelming response, resulting in long lines, extensive waits and disappointed Guests," the company said in a statement late Thursday afternoon. "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 vouchers were given to guests who were in line to be used on a future purchase.