Build-a-Bear's one day sale was so successful it was shut down - in some places, just hours after it began.
"We have closed lines in our U.S. and Canada stores."
**Urgent Alert:- Build-A-Bear Workshop (@buildabear) July 12, 2018
Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional Guests at our locations due to crowd safety concerns. We have closed lines in our stores. We understand some Guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible. https://t.co/aSFfPCcfsG pic.twitter.com/WZJ53tOAEH
The message went out about 11:30 a.m. EDT.
Before the stores opened in the U.S., the long lines caused the company to publish a notice on social media that it would limit the number of people who could take advantage of the deal due to safety concerns.
When the deal was announced Monday, parents were overjoyed at the opportunity to walk in and pick out a plush toy for the cost of their child's age. (A typical bear costs between $10-$25 plus the cost of accessories.)
That excitement turned to disappointment Thursday as eager children were turned away.
Livid parents took to social media in the U.S. and the U.K. to rage.
@buildabear @emma1885 angry and fuming, we are working parents, my wife is having to drive 100 miles after work to get to a store to take up the offer, and now we have a 2 year old in meltdown she's not getting a bear, perhaps your MD wants to consul her @BBCWatchdog #buildabear- Dave A (@geekonaleashuk) July 12, 2018
'Overwhelming and unprecendented'
The line for #buildabear #payyourageday at @mallofamerica goes from storefront, through a packed rotunda and the entire length of #NickelodeonUniverse. And the line is now officially closed. pic.twitter.com/PYnYuTuMJC- KARE 11 (@kare11) July 12, 2018
Lines stretched outside Build-a-Bear stores with parents reporting waiting up to six hours to buy a plush toy, according to some social media reports.
Build-a-Bear representatives told All the Moms that the response to the promotion was "overwhelming and unprecedented."
"The response to our Pay Your Age Day event has been overwhelming and unprecedented in our 21-year history, and the safety of our Guests and associates is our top priority."
The company said it is "working to address the situation" and "will reach out directly to our valued guests as soon as possible."
To earn the Pay Your Age promotion, adults had to enroll in the free Build-a-Bear Bonus Club rewards program and provide an email address.
Build-a-Bear is expected to contact customers through their email.
Also note the sign. Seems the line at Build A Bear was closed due to overwhelming response to the 'Pay Your Age' promotion pic.twitter.com/3vwWG0Rwro- Ashley Carter (@AshleyLCarter1) July 12, 2018