It was a great idea that went horribly wrong. Build-a-Bear Workshop, the popular stuff animal retailer, invited kids to make their own toy bears and soft animals as part of their first-ever “Pay Your Age Day” on July 12. It allowed a child to choose any make-your-own furry friend and only pay their age rather than the usual cost.

However, higher than expected demand led to thousands of eager parents and children queuing in long lines outside shops across Great Britain, the U.S., and Canada. Due to insufficient stock, many went home empty-handed and disappointed.

If you missed out on the special event, there’s another way to get a ‘pay-your-age’ bear from the Workshop, and it’s available all year round.

Get a ‘pay-your-age’ deal with birthday month promotion

If you weren’t able to buy a bear for your child during the deal, there’s another Build-A-Bear offer that might turn a frown upside down. Build-a-Bear’s “Count Your Candles” promotion allows children to visit a shop and “count their candles” on any day during their birthday month. They can build a Birthday Treat Bear, usual cost £14, and pay their current age. The minimum cost is £1.

How to get the “Count Your Candles” deal?

To take part in the promotion, parents or guardians over the age of 18 need to enrol in the Build-a-Bear Bonus Club rewards programme. The programme is completely free to join and also gives members the chance to build-up points that can be spent on rewards.

Is the Count Your Candles available for any bear?

The Count Your Candles offer is only available on the new Birthday Treat Bear, pictured below.

Build-a-Bear Pay Your Age birthday deal

Here’s what else you get with Count Your Candles offer

The Build-A-Bear Workshop Count Your Candles deal includes a few added extras, including a special birthday heart for your child’s bear and a celebration ceremony to go with it. Your child will receive a birthday hat and sticker, and you can take a photo using a birthday cake photo prop. Then they’re invited to ring the birthday bell and join in the Happy Birthday song.

Do I need proof of age?

When the birthday child visits a shop, you just need to let staff know you’re celebrating a birthday. No need to bring in any proof of age or identification.

For more information and to join the Build-a-Bear Bonus Club visit: