Build A Bear Workshop® Introduces buildabearville.com™
Company becomes the only children's retailer to have virtual world presence
ST. LOUIS (Dec. 11, 2007) – Beginning today, Guests of Build-A-Bear Workshop® can bring their furry best friends to life in the company's new virtual world, buildabearville.com™. Build-A-Bear Workshop is the only children's retailer with a virtual world presence. In buildabearville.com, children are able to create a unique character, decorate their own Cub Condo® home, participate in games and quests and learn about giving back to the community. Membership to the site is free and does not expire.
“We are thrilled to introduce buildabearville.com,” said Maxine Clark, founder and chief executive bear. “From the very beginning of the planning process, we've worked to engage our Guests in the creation of the virtual world. They were involved in everything from deciding on a name for the world to choosing games.”
Prior to going live, buildabearville.com already boasts nearly 400,000 citizens. All citizens will be entitled to many privileges, including being invited to participate in beary special events on a regular basis, such as:
On December 18, buildabearville.com will be transformed into a winter wonderland.
On December 26, 27 and 28, Maxine Clark will be making in-world appearances and handing out exclusive virtual prizes.
On January 19, 20 and 21, Huggable Heroes® from the last four years will be online characters walking through buildabearville.com and talking with other citizens. The Huggable Heroes program encourages and empowers kids to be young leaders and change the world.
“We are planning a number of activities that we think will be fun for the citizens, while also teaching them about the importance of being active in their communities, including buildabearville.com,” said Melanie McClure, interactive community event bear for the virtual world. “During the upcoming months we will be adding new features, planning community events to support various causes, cele-bear-ating holidays and adding many more surprises for our Guests in buildabearville.com.”
Birth certificates for stuffed animal friends made since October include an animal ID and key code, which Guests can use to bring these furry friends to life in buildabearville.com.
When Guests sign up at buildabearville.com, they are able to make a unique character, choosing the color of everything from skin to hair to clothing. Citizens receive a Cub Condo® home, which they can decorate with furniture, a jukebox and other items. By participating in games and quests, citizens can earn Bear Bills, the buildabearville.com currency. Beginning in the spring, Stuff Fur Stuff® Guests can earn Bear Bills for purchases made in Build-A-Bear Workshop stores.
“In the past ten years, more than 53 million stuffed animals have been made at
Build-A-Bear Workshops in North America and the UK,” noted Clark. “We feel that buildabearville.com is a great way for Guests to continue to enhance their relationships with their furry friends and with our brand.”
“The new virtual world was carefully created so that it reflects the core values of
Build-A-Bear Workshop,” added Clark. “It allows children to have fun as they grow their friendships and learn about being an active participant in the community.”
Build-A-Bear Workshop is helping to ensure the safety of Guests visiting buildabearville.com. When a child signs up at buildabearville.com, parents receive an email inviting them to enhance communication options within the world based on age and comfort level.
“We have worked with parents and industry experts to develop a system where parents are in control of the chat options for their children and the site is monitored for safe socialization,” noted Clark. “We recognize that online safety is an important issue for all parents and we have put tools in place to help ensure a safe environment for children to play with their furry friends and human friends alike.”
For more information or to find out how to join the new virtual world, please visit www.buildabearville.com or the company's Web site at www.buildabear.com.
About Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, the company currently operates more than 300 stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France. The addition of franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia make Build-A-Bear Workshop the leader in interactive retail. In November 2004, the company expanded the make-your-own concept from stuffed animals to dolls with the opening of its first friends 2B made® stores, where Guests can make their own doll friends. In April 2006, Build-A-Bear Workshop acquired The Bear Factory Limited and Amsbra, Ltd. adding company-owned stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In December 2007, the company launched its new virtual world at www.buildabearville.com. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $437 million in fiscal 2006. For more information, call 888.560.BEAR (2327) or visit the company's award-winning Web sites at www.buildabear.com and www.friends2bmade.com.
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.