SOURCE: Build-A-Bear Workshop

Build-A-Bear Workshop

October 14, 2009 16:30 ET

Santa's Elves Report Top Gift Requests From the North Pole

Build-A-Bear Workshop Ranks High on Everyone's Holiday List

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - October 14, 2009) - Santa's elves are chattering (and tweeting) about the new holiday gift ideas from Build-A-Bear Workshop®. According to early "Dear Santa" letters, the elves report that the hottest gift requests can be fulfilled with one-stop shopping at any of the more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores around the world or online at buildabear.com®. Straight from Santa's right-hand helpers, here are the top picks for everyone on the list and for every budget:

Quick, Convenient Gifts

Time-starved and stressed shoppers will find it easy to plow through their holiday lists with a variety of convenient new gift options from Build-A-Bear Workshop for less than anyone might think. For the first time in select stores, Build-A-Bear Workshop is offering "Gifts on the Go," an array of customized furry friends that are stuffed, dressed and conveniently packaged in gift sets making it easy and fun to find the perfect present for anyone -- family member, best friend, teacher, babysitter, boss, co-worker, college student -- and everyone. The sets are modestly priced starting at $15 and ranging to $40, with an array of price points in between. In addition, some stores will feature a special Build-A-Gift station offering pre-stuffed animals and a selection of clothing and accessory options all in one place for easy access (both options are available beginning in mid-November). Finally, holiday online shopping is easy and fun at buildabear.com (which has a whole new look set to launch on Nov. 3). Beginning in early November, shoppers can go through the Amazing Gift-O-Matic "gift generator" process that helps them identify the perfect gift based on an individual's character traits. And, there's always the "one click shopping" option that lets you choose a fully attired furry friend, click on it and you're set to go. Time online: A matter of minutes. And the elves ship fast.

Classic and New Holiday Gifts

Naturally, the elves follow the trends, but never leave tradition behind. In the classic gifts category, best bets to ensure holiday happiness include: Frosty the Snowman™, that jolly happy soul who's been delighting all of us for 40 years, is back by popular demand at Build-A-Bear Workshop, to once again laugh and play -- just as he promised. Frosty is joined by Holly and Hal Moose™, the antlered sibling duo introduced last year along with their story book, "Holly and Hal Moose™: Our Uplifting Christmas Adventure," and a series of webisodes. This year, families can start a new holiday tradition by watching Holly and Hal in a one-hour animated television special based on the book that will premiere on ABC Family during Thanksgiving week, Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 7:00 PM ET/PT (with an encore presentation on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 10 AM ET/PT). Families can relive the excitement of the movie by making their own Holly and Hal stuffed animal friends and dressing them in new signature outfits and accessories from their debut TV appearance. In addition, Build-A-Bear Workshop is introducing Lil' Robot Hal, a rogue robot in Santa's Workshop until he becomes Holly's loveable sidekick. "Holly and Hal Moose™: Our Uplifting Christmas Adventure" will be released on DVD on Nov. 25. In the new arrivals category: Make your own Alvin, star of the new movie "Alvin and the Chipmunks, the Squeakquel," will be joined by mini plush versions of his brothers, Simon and Theodore, and introducing Brittany, one of the Chippettes (arriving Dec. 11). Winter Hugs Bear, the fourth in the 2009 Seasons of Hugs Beary Limited® edition Collectibear® friends, and Polar Bear are other popular items for the snowy season ahead. And, don't forget Lil' Chocolate Cub Dressed as a Boy Elf and Brown Sugar Bear Dressed as a Girl Elf -- both timeless and adorable gift options.

Personalized Gifts

Of course, the elves know first-hand that the best part about Build-A-Bear Workshop is the opportunity to make a unique gift yoursELF and give it to that special someone:

--  For sports fans: Dress a furry friend in the uniform of a favorite
    sports team (like Champ Bear in Ohio State University Gear).  Official
    licensed sports gear like football uniforms, tees, college caps and
    bandanas from universities around the nation is available.  Ohio State
    enthusiasts can add the university fight song to any OSU attired animal.
--  For foodies: Chef Curly Teddy will make the pawfect gift for your
    favorite cook, bedecked as he is in a bright white chef's hat and jacket
    with checked pants and dressy tie loafers.  Chef le Bear outfits are sold
    separately for other furry friends as well.
--  For boys:  "Must-haves" for "Star Wars" fans and collectors are the
    great new character outfits designed to turn any stuffed animal into one of
    the coolest heroes or villains to ever hit the galaxy.  Give a Darth Vader
    or a Clone Trooper, or ensure that the Force is with you, and give a Jedi
    Knight or Anakin Skywalker (available in select stores and online).  Snow
    boarders can hit the slopes with Cuddly Hugs Blue Teddy decked in a Snow
    Patrol Outfit complete with a Swirl Snowboard and Silver Sport Sunglasses.
--  For girls:  Little princesses will be enchanted with the line of
    apparel inspired by the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures animated theatrical
    release, "The Princess And The Frog."  Dazzle her with a Princess Tiana
    outfit and the Frog Prince (Tiana costumes available beginning Nov. 1; Frog
    in prince costume available in December.)  For beary stylish girls, select
    from the following favorites:  Read Teddy with Blue Lace Bow Dress, Cool
    Kitty with Pink Fairisle Sweater and Endless Hugs Teddy in a Fuchsia Ruffle
    Vest and iPod.
--  For music fans: Fans of the Jonas Brothers will enjoy the soft, cuddly
    JONAS Dog, adorned with the JONAS print design, and including a JONAS dog
    tag necklace.  Accessorize the rock star pooch with a guitar that plays
    songs from the JONAS TV show; and an officially licensed JONAS outfit.  For
    boys who like to rock out, there's the Scruffy Puppy in a Cool Vest and
    Guitar.
--  For babies:  Velvet Teddy is a sweet gift for the newest arrival and
    is asthma friendly.  Add an embroidered "Baby's First Christmas" Bib and
    Diaper Set or a special Build-A-Sound® personal message to complete this
    little bundle of joy.
--  For soldiers:  Honor their service by shipping a furry friend to the
    front lines.  Nearly all Build-A-Bear Workshop plush animals can be
    outfitted in camouflage (four piece camo outfit, camo tent, camo hat,
    camoBEAR boxers) or in the uniform of any service branch.  Or choose Camo
    Bear with camouflage fur and complete the look with green camouflage
    jacket, matching pants, black hat, black boots, dog tags and an American
    flag.  Add sound to personalize for your special hero.  In addition, Peace
    & Hugs Bear comes with an array of stylish tie-dyed and denim outfits and a
    peace t-shirt with a dove.
    

Say It With Sound®

Build-A-Bear Workshop Guests can add a personalized message in their own voice to any furry friend. Gift givers ordering online can call a special toll-free number to record their own personalized Build-A-Sound ten second message. The recipient hears the message with the press of a paw. Pre-recorded sounds also are available including: Jonas Brothers' songs, heartbeat effect, lullaby, animal sounds: dog, frog, pony, owl, monkey and elephant, take me out to the ballgame, Hannah Montana and more.

Make it a Two-fer with "Gifts that Give Twice"

Purchase paws and benefit a cause with gifts that give twice. When Guests make certain furry friends, a portion of the proceeds ($1) benefits charitable organizations that support children's health and wellness, literacy, domestic pet programs and endangered animals and their habitats. The two newest friends that give back are the Portuguese Water Dog, just like the popular Presidential pooch, and the World Wildlife Fund Gray Wolf. Champ - A Champion Fur Kids benefits causes that support children's health such as juvenile diabetes, autism, children's cancer research or other important wellness causes for children. Read Teddy® supports literacy and education programs for children and makes a great gift for teachers.

Give the Experience

Give friends and loved ones the Build-A-Bear Workshop experience with Bear Buck$® gift cards. If purchased online, Guests can customize an e-gift card with a message, character and special background. This holiday season, Guests who visit a Build-A-Bear Workshop store will receive a free Elf Access Card Kit that provides access to special elf fun including listening to the new interactive store elves, becoming an honorary elf, finding out your secret elf name and earning elf ears. Use the code on the back to get an elf outfit in Build-A-Bearville.

Virtual Giving

Anyone who buys a furry friend from Build-A-Bear Workshop is eligible to register that friend free at buildabearville.com®, a virtual world where friends can hang out, play games and shop for cool virtual stuff. Years ago, when the elves first started working for Santa, they never thought kids would ask for virtual gifts! Now they've learned a lot about computers and recommend Build-A-Bear Workshop for the best line of virtual gifts they've ever seen. This year everyone wants credits to shop for virtual rides, clothes for furry friends, the new Ski Lodge Home Away From Home (available Nov. 30) and interactive furniture -- at the Build-A-Bearville® Bearville Outfitters™ store. So, load up on three-month, six-month and one year "V.I.B." Subscription Cards with monthly credits and bonus Bear Bills® (valued at $15; $25; $40, but discounted to $10; $15; $25 from Nov. 1 through Jan. 3) and plenty of Bearville Outfitters Virtual Stuff Game Cards with credits (priced at $1, $5, $10, $15). Then stuff them in the stockings and be the coolest gift giver ever. Better yet, five percent of the purchase price from either card will be donated by Build-A-Bear Workshop to the charity of the donor's choice at buildabearville.com. Build-A-Bear Workshop works with several charitable partners to provide options on where donations are directed. This holiday season U.S. visitors can donate to Toys for Tots, DonorsChoose.org, Save the Children and Junior Achievement.

About Build-A-Bear Workshop

Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the leading and only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. Founded in 1997, the Company and its franchisees currently operate more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. In 2007, the interactive experience was enhanced -- all the way to CyBEAR™ space -- with the launch of buildabearville.com, the company's virtual world stuffed with fun. The company was named to the 2009 FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $468 million in fiscal 2008. For more information, call 888.560.BEAR (2327) or visit the company's award-winning Web site at www.buildabear.com.

TRADEMARKS

We would like to thank you for your interest in covering our business. As you write your story, we would ask that you use our full name: Build-A-Bear Workshop and that when referencing the process of making stuffed animals you use the word "make" not "build." Build-A-Bear Workshop is our well-known trade name and our registered trademark of Build-A-Bear Retail Management, Inc. Build-A-Bear Workshop should only be used in capital letters to refer to our products and services and should not be used as a verb. Note: Parental permission may be required to buildabearville.com. Visit buildabearville.com for details.

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