Build-A-Bear's Pay Your Age returns with chaos-proof plan! Some kids still won't get a toy

Build-A-Bear Workshop's Pay Your Age promotion is back, and this time the company has a plan to avoid long lines, store closings, crying children or angry parents.

Only a select number of children holding Pay Your Age "winner" tickets will get a furry friend. But this way, hopefully the company won't have to apologize as they did after last summer's debacle. 

»RELATED: Beware the ‘smart toys’ that spy on your kids

Everyone has an equal chance at a winning ticket if they sign up for the Build-A-Bear Bonus Club rewards program using their email from June 11 through midnight on June 16. The Pay Your Age sale for a plush toy is exactly as it sounds — if your child is 2, parents pay $2, if he or she is 4, parents fork over $4.

'Winners' shop during a 3-day window

Once enrolled in the rewards program, guests will be notified via email by June 21 if they are among the 200,000 guests in the U.S., U.K. and Canada to receive a "winner" ticket. The notification includes a barcode they can print out or take to a Build-A-Bear store on a device to be scanned. When registering for the promotion, a parent can use one ticket for up to two children. 

Build-a-Bear Workshop is making a second attempt at the Pay Your Age promotion for a limited time in store June 24-28.

This year the promotion lasts for five days from June 24 through June 28. Last year, the sale in July was a single-day promotion and some customers waited in line for up to seven hours. Other stores, overwhelmed by hundreds of people awaiting the sale, shut down before they opened, citing "safety concerns." 

To avoid that catastrophe, Build-A-Bear is staggering guests in three-day windows to visit the store. Guests with winning tickets will be assigned a date range to visit their Build-A-Bear store: June 24-26 or June 26-28.

Kids can still score a bear during their birthday month 

The Pay Your Age sale began as a promotion for the company's Count Your Candles birthday program, which is responsible for one-third of the company sales. 

 Even if your child isn't chosen a "winner" for this Pay Your Age promotion, children 14 and younger can still catch a deal during their birthday month. By registering with the rewards program, children Pay Your Age for the Birthday Treat Bear at stores during their birthday month.

Those new to the Bonus Club also could win a grand prize birthday party experience valued at $250 to use during the next year. Ten prizes will be awarded.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

X