Woman talking(l+r), Build a bear workshop(c)

Gunther Hagleitner/Flickr @jyeeezy/Tiktok (CC-BY)

‘$31 for a subpar experience’: Build-A-Bear customer expects to pay $3 for birthday bear promo, claims she got scammed instead

'Build a bear is a big ole scam.'


Charlotte Colombo


Posted on Nov 28, 2023   Updated on Nov 28, 2023, 10:20 am CST

When she took her son to Build-A-Bear Workshop for his birthday, TikToker Julia (@jyeeezy) ended up with more than she bargained for—literally. In the video, which at the time of writing has amassed 662,100 views, Julia explains why she believes the toy store is a “big ole scam.”

“I just wanna say that the Build-A-Bear thing where you pay however old your kid’s age is on your kid’s birthday month is a scam,” she declared, showing photos of her son at Build-A-Bear Workshop in the background.

“Because, obviously, when we went in there, we weren’t walking out with a $3 birthday bear. We’re walking out with a $31 reindeer that we named Panda Bear. And I obviously said no to all the extras, but $31 for this,” she added, holding up the clothes-less reindeer Build-A-Bear. “$31 for a subpar experience.”

@jyeeezy build a bear is a big ole scam #buildabear #greenscreen #birthdaybear ♬ original sound – Julia

In the comments section, several viewers pointed out that the deal only applies if you buy a specific birthday bear.

“It’s not a scam, you just need to make it clear to your child that they’re getting the birthday bear when they go,” one viewer wrote. “Girl you, have to get the birthday bear,” another added. But as commenters continued to tell Julia that the deal only applied to the birthday bear, she took to the comments section herself to clarify the truth behind her TikTok.

“THIS IS SATIRE GUYS..I know it’s not a scam,” she wrote. “It’s a scam because we all know kids are going to want a cool bear and not what they are offering for $3!”

While some commenters seemed less forgiving, with one even saying it’s her “own fault as a mother who doesn’t set boundaries,” others empathized with Julia’s position.

“What’s the point of going [if] they’re like,’ You don’t get to pick the bear you want, you only get this one’?” one commenter asked.

The Build-A-Bear website states that the “Count Your Candles” offer is “only available on the new Birthday Treat Bear to mark the special occasion.”

Julia didn’t immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Nov 28, 2023, 9:30 pm CST