Build-A-Bear Workshop Opens Pop-Up Shop in Times Square

Times_Square_Grand_Opening_PhotoJust in time for the holidays, Build-A-Bear Workshop has opened a new pop-up workshop in Times Square, New York. Primly located at 1619 Broadway, this new shop is officially open to the public after a ceremonious ribbon cutting by Build-A-Bear CEO Sharon John Tuesday morning.

The new store celebrates the arrival of Olaf, Elsa Bear, and Anna Bear, merchandise that is exclusively available at Build-A-Bear Workshops.

The first 200 guests to arrive were invited to build a “Stuffed with Hugs” bear that will be donated to a local charity.

Build-A-Bear Workshop Partners with Hasbro for My Little Pony Plush

buildabear_5Build-A-Bear Workshop will bring the My Little Pony brand to store shelves with a collection of characters under license from Hasbro Inc. Arriving April 1, Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash will be available at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores throughout North America and online at Buildabear.com. The first ever make-your-own My Little Pony plush allows customers to personalize the characters.

Build-A-Bear Workshop stores nationwide will hold a series of special events from April 1 through April 7. Customers and associates will be encouraged to dress up in their favorite My Little Pony fashions. Additionally, while making a My Little Pony friend, guests can take a pony personality quiz, recite the pony promise, and learn how to style their pony’s hair with a special hair care brochure. Pinkie Pie has signature pink locks, and Rainbow Dash has a multi-colored mane that can be brushed, combed, and braided. Guests can dress Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash in their signature capes or a variety of other fashions.

Cody Simpson Helps Kick-off Build-A-Bear’s Toys for Tots Drive

Australian teen pop singer Cody Simpson helped Build-A-Bear Workshop kick-off a nationwide weekend campaign to make donations of more than 25,000 stuffed animals to the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation.

The 15-year-old singer, whose album Paradise was released this month, posed for photos with young fans and helped stuff bears with Marine families at the Build-A-Bear Workshop store on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. Build-A-Bear’s “Stuffed with Hugs” campaign will take place this weekend at stores across the country. The company is inviting guests to help make stuffed animals for free that will be donated to local Toys for Tots Foundation programs. The first 100 guests in all U.S. stores on Saturday and Sunday will have a chance to craft a stuffed animal that will be given to a needy child. More than one in five children under the age of 18 live in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Report: More Than Half of Children Own a Toy Based on a Virtual World

Moshi Monsters

Dubit Research has released a new study focused on the popularity of toys based on online worlds. The study looked at Disney’s Club Penguin, Mind Candy’s Moshi Monsters, Build-a-Bearville, Poptropica, and Webkinz.

In the survey of 500 kids, 55 percent of children owned a toy from at least one of these games. Disney’s Club Penguin took the top spot with 32 percent of children owning a Club Penguin-branded toy. Moshi Monsters was a close second with 24 percent, followed by Build-A-Bearville (16 percent), Webkinz (5 percent), and Poptropica (2 percent).

Most of the surveyed children, 73 percent, had played at least one of these online games, with half having played Club Penguin and 47 percent stating that they have played Moshi Monsters.

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Build-A-Bear Enters Kinectimals World

Build-A-Bear Workshop is working with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 to introduce a new interactive entertainment experience for store visitors. Starting October 11, select stuffed animals sold in all Build-A-Bear Workshop stores and at www.buildabear.com can be imported into the new Kinect for Xbox 360 game, Kinectimals Now with Bears.

Each of the four bears will include a special Kinectimals hangtag that features a Microsoft Tag. When the tag is scanned with the Kinect for Xbox 360, the bears are imported right into the game. Kids can then engage in activities, including training, caring for, and playing with their cubs, as well as embark on challenges across two mysterious islands.

Select North American and United Kingdom Build-A-Bear Workshop stores will have Kinect for Xbox 360 stations set up to showcase Kinectimals Now with Bears, along with Kinect-enabled Build-A-Bear Workshop bears.

Chipmunks Franchise Increases Merchandising Program

Leading up to the holiday release of Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked!, Fox Consumer Products and Bagdasarian Productions have enlisted a wide range of partners to fuel an increased merchandising program for the Chipmunks franchise. The new program aims to widen its consumer base to reach young girls with products based around The Chipettes, the fashionable female rock stars of the group.

Just Play, LLC will create basic feature and novelty plush items, with Vivid Imaginations as the UK distributor. Santa’s Best will produce a holiday merchandise line, and Gipsy will introduce a specialty plush line in France.

Majesco will once again spearhead the development of the video game based on the upcoming film. Ty will continue to produce a specialty toy line, and Build-A-Bear will re-offer its top-selling line of stuffable plush featuring Alvin and Brittany, as well as pre-stuffed plush of other main characters.

HarperCollins will rejoin the program with a wide variety of published products, including beginning readers, novelizations, sticker books, and storybooks. Bendon Publishing will publish a line of activity, board, and coloring books along with flashcards and workbooks. Editora Alstro Astral will introduce a book program in Brazil.

There will also be increased merchandising in food, apparel, and accessories products.