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Build-A-Bear Is Bringing Back “Pay Your Age” Day With a Slight Twist

They're much more prepared this time.

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You may be surprised to find out that Build-A-Bear Workshop is bringing back “Pay Your Age Day” after last summer’s fiasco. But this year, the retailer is tweaking the promotion to allow for a better (and safer) customer experience.

Previously, “Pay Your Age” Day was pretty much exactly what it sounds like. For one day only, customers could pay their current age for any bear of their choosing. (So, a five-year-old could snag a furry friend for just 5 bucks.) Due to the limited restrictions on the event, parents and their kids showed up in massive numbers, storming malls across the country. In addition to unruly crowds, Build-A-Bear simply didn’t have enough supplies to go around. In the end, the retailer shut down the entire event, turning away customers who had waited hours to get in.

Even after such a disastrous outcome, Build-A-Bear is bringing the promotion back this month. There’ll still be huge discounts for families but in the form of a sweepstakes rather than a free-for-all. From June 11-16, customers can register for the Build-A-Bear Bonus Club rewards program for a chance to win a ticket to a “Pay Your Age” event. Ticket winners can redeem during the week of June 24-28, paying their child’s age for up to two bears.

Customers can also enter the Count Your Candles Birthday Party Experience Sweepstakes. The grand prize winner is granted a birthday party experience at Build-A-Bear Workshop, valued up to $250 and redeemable anytime in the next 12 months.

The new system is designed to allow kids to get their hands on a custom stuffed animal, without the chaos and potential danger of last year’s event. And though there are more restrictions this time around, Build-A-Bear expects over 200,000 Pay Your Age ticket winners, so lots of families will be able to enjoy the promotion.