Waiting in any line can be pretty miserable if you have 2-year-old twins. But Eric Clark said the lines Thursday at a Braintree Build-A-Bear Workshop were unlike any other.
Clark, 33, of Quincy, brought his children to the South Shore Plaza store and intended to join the bandwagon of parents who wanted to take advantage of the company’s “Pay Your Age Day” event, where customers could make and buy a furry friend for the price of their age.
But he never got his chance.
The promotion gained widespread attention because of the steep discount on the wares: The bears, which are normally valued around $35, would cost between a minimum of $1 and a maximum of $29 during the promotion, the company said. (The one condition: Customers must be a “Bonus Club” member, which the company said is free and easy to sign up for.)
The promotion proved so popular, the company said, that it had to turn shoppers away, closing lines at its stores in Canada and the United States because of overwhelming crowds and safety concerns.
“We could not have predicted this unprecedented reaction,” the company said in a statement on its website, adding that “disappointed guests” were given vouchers for a future purchase.
Clark can attest to the craziness outside the store. The lines were much too intense, he said, and not worth his time. He arrived at the local store around 10 a.m. — just an hour after it had opened — and decided to walk around the mall for about half an hour until the line dwindled.
It never did.
“It was not like waiting for high-end concert tickets,” Clark said, noting that the line snaked through a good portion of the mall. “I was getting a teddy bear.”
Although he did not wait in the line himself, he said the crowd seemed “pretty mellow.”
“The intent was to have the experience and buy a bear, but my attention span is about as short as [my little ones’],” Clark said.
Katie Camero can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org