Build-A-Bear pay your age promotion closed as thousands line up at local malls

Build-A-Bear Workshop stores closed lines to shoppers lined up for the Pay Your Age promotion.

Crowds at the Tacoma Mall were estimated at more than 5,000 people, and there were huge lines at Alderwood Mall in Snohomish County and Westfield Southcenter. Build a Bear locations across the country experienced huge lines Thursday morning.

According to the company, local authorities across the country have told the stores to close the lines and not accept "additional guests" in stores in the U.S. due to crowd and safety concerns.

See video from the crowd in Tacoma below.

Huge crowds also gathered outside Build a Bear at Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood. See Joanna Small's raw footage from that scene below.

For a live report on KIRO 7 News at 7 p.m., we're asking how Build a Bear can recover from this marketing fiasco. Watch with us on TV or use this link for the KIRO 7 Livestream.

The company said in a statement that it was "limiting lines," so it is not known if some people who lined up first will be allowed to take part in the promotion.

The company released the following statement:

The response to our Pay Your Age Day event has been overwhelming and unprecedented in our 21-year history, and the safety of our Guests and associates is our top priority. The crowds have greatly exceeded our expectations and, per local authorities, U.S. stores cannot accept any additional Guests for this event and are limiting lines due to extreme crowds and safety concerns. We understand our affected Guests may be disappointed, and we are working to address the situation. We will reach out directly to our valued Guests as soon as possible.

For more information, please visit

Original story: Build-A-Bear Workshop has a new age-based promotion -- where you pay an amount equal to your age for one of the company's stuffed animals.

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For today, July 12, only, your age or your child's age will net you a new furry friend for the amount that matches the age.

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But don't worry. If you're 60, you won't be plunking down $60 for a stuffed animal. Officials with the company say no one will be over the age of 29 on Thursday. But if you do take a 1-year-old to the store, the bear will only cost you $1.

There's a catch, though. The deal is only available for members of Build-A-Bear's Bonus Club. The deal is only while supplies last and is limited to one per customer. It is only available in stores, not online.

For more information, click here.