Hundreds show up for Build-A-Bear 'Pay Your Age' Day deal in San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Build-A-Bear Workshop's "Pay Your Age" promotion proved too popular.

The chain known for its customizable teddy bears and other stuffed toys couldn't handle the crowds Thursday and had to turn shoppers away. It wrote in a Facebook post it closed lines at its stores in the US, Canada and the UK due to overwhelming crowds and "safety concerns."

Here in the Bay Area, a large crowd stood in line at a Build-A-Bear store at a San Jose mall.

Hundreds of people were in line by the time the store opened an hour early at 9 a.m. at San Jose's Westfield Oakridge Mall.

Michael O'Brien was first in line with his son Shea at 5:30 a.m. "He's 7-years-old and I figured he needs one," O'Brien said.

RELATED: Build-A-Bear closes lines for 'Pay Your Age' Day

Normally the dolls can cost anywhere from $20 to $35 each. For bigger families, "Pay Your Age Day" can save you a lot of money.
The store manager at Oakridge said they would stay open as long as they had bears to stuff. By 10 a.m., a sign was put up about a quarter of the way from the end of the line. It said the "Pay Your Age" Day line was closed due to capacity."

However, hundreds still remained in line. So, some Build-A-Bear employees were handing out $15 off vouchers for a future visit.

Here's the full statement from the company's website on the line closures:

Please be aware: Based on the unprecedented response to our Pay Your Age Day event in our early opening stores, we are experiencing significantly longer than expected lines and large crowds. Local authorities are requiring us to limit the lines and crowds due to safety concerns. We understand this is disappointing, we are working to address the situation, and we will be reaching out to our valued Guests soon.
The deal was supposed to limit one stuffed animal per guest. In order to buy an animal for a child, that child had to be present in the store with you.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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