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Making 'Ralph' at Build-A-Bear Workshop!

I bought Little Dude his first stuffed toy when he was only a few months old. It was a colourful caterpillar called Colin, and he loved snuggling it. As he grew older, he didn't really show much interest in stuffed toys until he turned two. He now has a stuffed teddy, a bunny, a penguin, and even George from Peppa Pig. Mostly, they become characters in his world of pretend, and he has endless adventures with them. Stuffed toys are loved by most kids because they seem like warm and cuddly friends to them, and can often be a source of comfort.

I was invited to experience the Build-A-Bear Workshop in Dubai, and I willingly accepted, knowing that it would be fun for Little Dude. We visited the outlet in Dubai Festival City, which is their oldest (five years) and busiest. The whole set-up of the store is like a little factory where kids can participate in every stage of making their toy. From choosing the toy to naming them, a level of personalization is achieved because of the kids' involvement in the process.

First up, we had to choose our toy, which was a difficult task because they were all so cute and cuddly! Build-A-Bear has over 30 toys to choose from, and new toys are introduced every season, depending on what's in demand. The newest additions to their collection at this time are characters from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) and My Little Pony, and it's not surprising that they are also the fastest selling, as John at the store informed me.

Build-A-Bear Workshop Dubai

Little Dude hummed and hawed for a while, before choosing 'the turtle', as he called him. Boys will be boys, I guess, and something about Raphael must have caught his attention! John picked up the toy to be stuffed and Little Dude was happy with his choice.


Next, we moved on to choosing a sound which is placed inside the toy, and plays when it's hand or paw is pressed. Little Dude, ever the music lover, chose Wish U Were Here by Cody Simpson over other sounds like I Love You and a lullaby.


He then helped John stuff his bear from the stuffing machine. This was an elaborate step. It involved stepping on a paddle to stuff the toy. The sound box was placed in the right spot inside the toy. Little Dude was then asked to pick a red plush heart from a box, and make a wish. I bet he wished for more toys! Then John sewed the toy up, and put on Raphael's shell.


The toy was almost ready and then was given an air shower which baffled Little Dude completely! Next, we sat at a PC to fill in information about ourselves for registration, and to enter details for Raphael's 'birth certificate'. We decided to name him Ralph, which is easier for Little Dude to say! Our certificate also has a unique ID which we can use to play with our character online. Each certificate has a signature of the Build-A-Bear founder Maxine Clark, who started the first store in 1997.


We were then asked to choose accessories which was actually harder than choosing the actual toy! I mean, look at this:


Build-A-Bear had the official weapons of each member of TMNT but after trying out a few things, Little Dude settled on a cell phone for his new friend.

Our toy looked great as it is, but if you buy a teddy bear, pup, or bunny, you can choose from hundreds of accessories including outfits (Captain America and a fireman caught my eye!), sunglasses, leashes, roller skates, hats, and more.

Prices of the toys start from AED 60 and sounds and accessories are extra.

Our happy little boy was delighted with Ralph, and he has become a loved member of our household. Little Dude was given a lovely cardboard house for the toy, which he insisted on carrying on his own!


The special thing about Build-A-Bear Workshop is that kids get a fun and interactive experience from creating their own toys and personalizing them. If you haven't tried it, I recommend taking your kids there!

And here's another reason for going. They have a special Back To School promotion running in which they are giving away a TMNT or pink teddy bag for every purchase of AED 250 or above. Aren't these adorable?


Build-A-Bear Workshop is located at Dubai Festival City and The Dubai Mall in Dubai, and Al Wahda Mall in Abu Dhabi. 

They also organise birthday parties and school tours on request. For more information, visit www.buildabear.ae.


We were invited to visit Build-A-Bear Workshop, but all views and opinions are my own. 

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6 comments

Lexis said...

We have a build a bear near us. I definitely want to take my son there and let him make a bear.

Tarana said...

You should try it, then!

Tasneem Rajkotwala said...

Looks like he had lots of fun!! We passed by Build a Bear at DFC a couple of weeks back and it looked interesting. Got to try this with Little A.

Tarana said...

I'm sure your son will enjoy the experience too!

Aimee said...

I like how they evolved from just bears to a bunch of well known characters! I love it!

Tarana said...

Yes, they do have some awesome characters!

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