Author Topic: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores  (Read 11946 times)

11ducks

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I went in to Build-a-bear today. If they aren't widespread, it's a kids store where you fill and customise a stuffed toy. You buy the sewn shape (ie teddy bear), add a mini heart, a soundbite thingy, fill it with fluff, and add clothes/accessories. I went in to look as I was waiting for my partner, with mingled bewilderment/disgust/grudging respect. I added up the total cost for the basic bear (body starts at $25), and once you add clothes, accessories, tiny bear passport etc, you very easily go over $100 aus. That's assuming you only buy 1 outfit.

This kind of store just amazes me. It is utterly frivolous. most stores can at least claim their products are partly necessity/function (ie everyone needs food, clothes, cars), but I can see no need for a customised toy bear. It's such a brilliant business model- totally useless, plays on parental guilt/emotions, encourages a billion add-one under the guise of individuality. The tiny glittery skinny-leg bear jeans alone cost $19.95 (my actual jeans cost less). I'd argue it is the one of the  most anti mustachian / frivolous shops in existence. Can you think of anything more deserving for the title?

chouchouu

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2015, 04:48:15 AM »
I don't think they're doing that well actually. Even at the fancy pants Bondi junction they closed their store.

I think pandora has caught onto a winner cash cow. It's a bracelet where you add a charm each birthday/special occasion. The actual value is a pittance but the charms cost about $50 or so. It seems about the price point the average joe blow can afford to scrape together on such occasions. The women love them because its a gaudy status symbol and the men have found an easy gift that requires no thought. After only a few years you end up with a thousand dollar bracelt worth about $10 in silver. They must make a motza! They had an advertising campaign about how each bracelt is unique and individual or some other crap.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2015, 06:50:58 AM »
Here (midwest United States) build a bear is always filled.  I'm amazed at the vast number of these bears kids seem to have.

They are outrageously expensive.

MandyM

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2015, 07:44:14 AM »
I don't think they're doing that well actually. Even at the fancy pants Bondi junction they closed their store.

I think pandora has caught onto a winner cash cow. It's a bracelet where you add a charm each birthday/special occasion. The actual value is a pittance but the charms cost about $50 or so. It seems about the price point the average joe blow can afford to scrape together on such occasions. The women love them because its a gaudy status symbol and the men have found an easy gift that requires no thought. After only a few years you end up with a thousand dollar bracelt worth about $10 in silver. They must make a motza! They had an advertising campaign about how each bracelt is unique and individual or some other crap.

+1 I would also add in the whole engagement ring/diamond industry. The whole racket about spending 2 months of your salary is nonsense that everyone just believes.

partgypsy

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2015, 07:48:23 AM »
I have to admit each of my kids has a build a bear. My oldest daughter a giraffe (they had a wild animal series associated with WWF for awhile), and another (don't remember how she got that one). Youngest daughter a knock off made at Dollywood. I knew not to even bring my youngest to one of those places during her "vulnerable period: as I could imagine her becoming completely obsessed. These are some of the personalizations: the clothes, the voice box (what the bear or animal says when you squeeze the paw), whether it is stuffed light or heavy, and then you pick out its name and get a "birth certificate" for it.
However it is a relatively short period of time that kids are interested in these.

The store advertised "birthday parties" where each partygoer got to make a bear. I cannot even imagine how much that would cost.

 


partgypsy

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2015, 07:53:27 AM »
I don't think they're doing that well actually. Even at the fancy pants Bondi junction they closed their store.

I think pandora has caught onto a winner cash cow. It's a bracelet where you add a charm each birthday/special occasion. The actual value is a pittance but the charms cost about $50 or so. It seems about the price point the average joe blow can afford to scrape together on such occasions. The women love them because its a gaudy status symbol and the men have found an easy gift that requires no thought. After only a few years you end up with a thousand dollar bracelt worth about $10 in silver. They must make a motza! They had an advertising campaign about how each bracelt is unique and individual or some other crap.

Pandora was a fad, and it seems no longer a big craze. I think people realized at some point you can go to Etsy and get a similar bead for 1/10 the price.

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2015, 07:58:15 AM »
I don't think they're doing that well actually. Even at the fancy pants Bondi junction they closed their store.

I think pandora has caught onto a winner cash cow. It's a bracelet where you add a charm each birthday/special occasion. The actual value is a pittance but the charms cost about $50 or so. It seems about the price point the average joe blow can afford to scrape together on such occasions. The women love them because its a gaudy status symbol and the men have found an easy gift that requires no thought. After only a few years you end up with a thousand dollar bracelt worth about $10 in silver. They must make a motza! They had an advertising campaign about how each bracelt is unique and individual or some other crap.

Pandora was a fad, and it seems no longer a big craze. I think people realized at some point you can go to Etsy and get a similar bead for 1/10 the price.

I think Alex and Ani is the new Pandora craze.  At least here. 

Jack

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2015, 08:01:42 AM »
Build-a-bear et. al. are amateurs. The kings are De Beers, Hallmark, and professional sports leagues.

Insanity

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2015, 08:49:42 AM »
Our daughter has a couple.  One my parents took her to.  The other was a after daughter one that we did together and had our picture done. 

Expensive?  Yes.  A nice treat once in a very long while....  Like once... Eh.

jba302

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2015, 09:06:24 AM »
I live about 20-30 minutes from the Mall of America. There is an American Girl Doll salon. Hair stylist for dolls.

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2015, 09:45:29 AM »

The store advertised "birthday parties" where each partygoer got to make a bear. I cannot even imagine how much that would cost.

My local store offers packages from $12 to $44 per kid.

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2015, 09:45:49 AM »
I live about 20-30 minutes from the Mall of America. There is an American Girl Doll salon. Hair stylist for dolls.

They'll pierce the dolls ears too!

Chris22

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2015, 09:59:55 AM »

The store advertised "birthday parties" where each partygoer got to make a bear. I cannot even imagine how much that would cost.

My local store offers packages from $12 to $44 per kid.

If you don't go crazy with the headcount, that's not an unreasonable amount of money.  I'm about to pay ~$200 + $20 Costco cake and a couple pizzas for ~20 3y/os to spend 2 hours at a "Jump Zone" which is basically just a big warehouse full of inflatible bounce houses.  For that $200 they set it up, watch the kids (to a point) and clean up when it's over.  Quite frankly, it's worth $200 to keep 20 booger-eaters out of my house and not have to clean up before and after. 

Bob W

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2015, 10:05:54 AM »
Like someone told me about restaurants here  --- You're not paying for the ingredients,  you're paying for the experience,  the staff,  the location overhead etc..

So really if you go there with your daughter or son and spend 90 minutes building their dream bear it is a pretty comparably priced activity.  (you could get out under $50)   A movie for two would run 35-40 if you did the popcorn and soda.   A nice dinner for 2 would be over 50.   

With the bear at least you get to take the thing home with you.   Many kids will keep these for years and have a great memory of the day they made them with mom. 

But if you are a creative Mustachian you could probably build something of equal worth at home for cheap.

If you are a super musatachian then head over to the Saturday once a month building workshops at Home Depot and Lowes.   These are the greatest free kid things ever.   They always have very cool projects --- cars,  pirate ships,  bird houses,  mother's day gifts.   The give you the whole kit,  a vest,  a achievement patch and certification,  all the paint etc..   Most kits can be assembled in 45 minutes or less and it is a very fun experience.

I haven't done that in awhile but my  son and daughter and I have done at least 15 projects there.     Totally free!

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2015, 10:38:38 AM »
I'll assume you don't have children?  :)

 I don't find anything wrong with it.    I think it's a pretty cool experience for some young girl...it's pretty hilarious watch these kids get into it.   Now $100?   Probably not

Tjat

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2015, 10:39:45 AM »
3 words... American Girl Doll


These things are like $300 a doll and sell similiarly overpriced custom add ons. At my wedding, I had 3 nieces that had these dolls wearing a doll version of their dress. So not only did parents shell out $400 for the doll and doll apparel, they spent another $100 on the matching dress for their daughter! sheer genius business model

Chris22

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2015, 11:34:50 AM »
3 words... American Girl Doll


These things are like $300 a doll and sell similiarly overpriced custom add ons. At my wedding, I had 3 nieces that had these dolls wearing a doll version of their dress. So not only did parents shell out $400 for the doll and doll apparel, they spent another $100 on the matching dress for their daughter! sheer genius business model

They're expensive but not that expensive.  Seems the standard doll is $100-125. 

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2015, 11:59:17 AM »

They're expensive but not that expensive.  Seems the standard doll is $100-125.

Yep- $300 a doll is a gross exaggeration.

They are $115 including a book.  (Girl of the Year is $120)
And it is really really easy to find used ones for like $50, in decent condition.


IMO, American Girl doll books are some of the best reading for a girl age 7-9.  They are fabulous books.
When the dolls first came out they were marketed to 8+.  I'm always sad when I see a 3 year old with an AG doll. They were meant as learning toys, really. And when Mattel took over they became very expensive dress up dolls.



forummm

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2015, 03:08:30 PM »
Baby clothes. $50 Nikes the kid is going to fit into for a month, and isn't even going to be walking around outside at all? I don't spend $50 on my shoes and my feet are 30 times bigger. Or a $50 professional sports team jersey for your or your friend's baby that they will wear once or twice.

At least you can keep that overpriced bear for decades and still get some use out of it.

Hunny156

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2015, 03:55:15 PM »
Depending on the location, American Girl dolls offer the "full experience", including meals after you visit the salon.  My NYC friends take their daughters there for special mommy & me days, and then follow it up w/a show.

http://www.americangirl.com/retailinfo/experiences

Tjat

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2015, 04:39:20 PM »

They're expensive but not that expensive.  Seems the standard doll is $100-125.

Yep- $300 a doll is a gross exaggeration.

They are $115 including a book.  (Girl of the Year is $120)
And it is really really easy to find used ones for like $50, in decent condition.


Well, that's the last time I take my mother's word for granted!

chouchouu

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2015, 09:26:27 PM »
Like someone told me about restaurants here  --- You're not paying for the ingredients,  you're paying for the experience,  the staff,  the location overhead etc..

So really if you go there with your daughter or son and spend 90 minutes building their dream bear it is a pretty comparably priced activity.  (you could get out under $50)   A movie for two would run 35-40 if you did the popcorn and soda.   A nice dinner for 2 would be over 50.   

With the bear at least you get to take the thing home with you.   Many kids will keep these for years and have a great memory of the day they made them with mom. 

But if you are a creative Mustachian you could probably build something of equal worth at home for cheap.

If you are a super musatachian then head over to the Saturday once a month building workshops at Home Depot and Lowes.   These are the greatest free kid things ever.   They always have very cool projects --- cars,  pirate ships,  bird houses,  mother's day gifts.   The give you the whole kit,  a vest,  a achievement patch and certification,  all the paint etc..   Most kits can be assembled in 45 minutes or less and it is a very fun experience.

I haven't done that in awhile but my  son and daughter and I have done at least 15 projects there.     Totally free!

You don't even need to be creative. With some basic sewing skills you could sew a bear together and customise it exactly how you want. That would teach your kid the real cost of production and some actual skills in sewing and a sense of achievement at creating something themselves.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2015, 07:02:13 AM »
Depending on the location, American Girl dolls offer the "full experience", including meals after you visit the salon.  My NYC friends take their daughters there for special mommy & me days, and then follow it up w/a show.

http://www.americangirl.com/retailinfo/experiences

Their diner has "loaner dolls" for girls who either don't have one or don't bring one.  So you can still have the experience of brunch with a doll, even if you don't own one.  (The meals are ridiculously expensive.)

iris lily

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2015, 08:08:27 AM »
Maxine Clark's Build a Bear company was founded and resides in St louis where I live. Glad to hear it has expanded to Oz. it does indeed produce express useless crap, just like all of the mall stores. I guess there are too many grandmas and grandpas with money to throw,around who need an activity with their grandchildren.

I will confess that when it was brand new here we took nieces to build a bear and yes, it was expensive.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 08:57:46 PM by iris lily »

Hunny156

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2015, 08:59:52 AM »
Depending on the location, American Girl dolls offer the "full experience", including meals after you visit the salon.  My NYC friends take their daughters there for special mommy & me days, and then follow it up w/a show.

http://www.americangirl.com/retailinfo/experiences

Their diner has "loaner dolls" for girls who either don't have one or don't bring one.  So you can still have the experience of brunch with a doll, even if you don't own one.  (The meals are ridiculously expensive.)

The experience of brunch with a doll?  OMG, I think we have hit a new level right there!  Can you then buy the loaner doll when the date goes really well?  ;)

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2015, 09:44:14 AM »
Depending on the location, American Girl dolls offer the "full experience", including meals after you visit the salon.  My NYC friends take their daughters there for special mommy & me days, and then follow it up w/a show.

http://www.americangirl.com/retailinfo/experiences

Their diner has "loaner dolls" for girls who either don't have one or don't bring one.  So you can still have the experience of brunch with a doll, even if you don't own one.  (The meals are ridiculously expensive.)

The experience of brunch with a doll?  OMG, I think we have hit a new level right there!  Can you then buy the loaner doll when the date goes really well?  ;)

Why would anyone buy the doll when they're getting the silicon for free?

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2015, 09:55:53 AM »

The experience of brunch with a doll?  OMG, I think we have hit a new level right there!  Can you then buy the loaner doll when the date goes really well?  ;)

No, you'll have to go get the full priced new option :)


Every doll loving kid should experience brunch (or a tea party) with a special doll.  I would just argue it shouldn't be out at a cafe.

partgypsy

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2015, 10:03:37 AM »
Like someone told me about restaurants here  --- You're not paying for the ingredients,  you're paying for the experience,  the staff,  the location overhead etc..

So really if you go there with your daughter or son and spend 90 minutes building their dream bear it is a pretty comparably priced activity.  (you could get out under $50)   A movie for two would run 35-40 if you did the popcorn and soda.   A nice dinner for 2 would be over 50.   

With the bear at least you get to take the thing home with you.   Many kids will keep these for years and have a great memory of the day they made them with mom. 

But if you are a creative Mustachian you could probably build something of equal worth at home for cheap.

If you are a super musatachian then head over to the Saturday once a month building workshops at Home Depot and Lowes.   These are the greatest free kid things ever.   They always have very cool projects --- cars,  pirate ships,  bird houses,  mother's day gifts.   The give you the whole kit,  a vest,  a achievement patch and certification,  all the paint etc..   Most kits can be assembled in 45 minutes or less and it is a very fun experience.

I haven't done that in awhile but my  son and daughter and I have done at least 15 projects there.     Totally free!


Thanks for the tip, I will look out for these! Our 8 year old is very interested in helping Dad build things; this may be a safe way to do so.
Yeah we have done various things to personalize their dolls. For the stuffed animals a number have them have capes (I don't know why, that's what she wanted). The Barbie dolls have a bed made of cardboard but with cloth sheets pillows, and fleece blankets. The polly pockets have a number of various cushion type beds, and blankets and sleeping bags all sewn from colorful cotton, fleece, and yes some socks. the Barbies have a house, and a few of the rooms are decorated with ribbons and cloth divider curtains for the balconies, etc, as well as a long strip of cloth they use for "ariel ballet".   

Hunny156

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2015, 10:06:36 AM »
Those Home Depot projects are awesome, even for adults!  I learned how to lay tile at one of their classes.  Great resource.  :)

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2015, 10:38:26 AM »
Those Home Depot projects are awesome, even for adults!  I learned how to lay tile at one of their classes.  Great resource.  :)

Lowes and Home Depot both offer the Kids project builds for free on different Saturdays.  Made lots of free cool stuff there.  Mom always loves her handmade mother's day gift from there.

In my area there is no sign up,  but in cities you will want to sign up ahead of time on line as they are very popular.  Check their sites.

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2015, 10:43:13 PM »
I did try and organize a local children's roof re-shingling  project day - but apparently there are all these "laws" about child labor.
Now if I had the idea of charging the parents for the experience ......

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #31 on: June 06, 2015, 10:29:01 PM »
I live about 20-30 minutes from the Mall of America. There is an American Girl Doll salon. Hair stylist for dolls.

I will admit that I did this, but hear me out. When I was 10, I saved up all the money I earned babysitting over the summer to buy my very own American Girl doll. I loved that doll. Still do. But of course I messed up the hairstyle she came with (Kirsten, braided pigtails), and her hair was a mess. At 25, I got into a conversation with some good friends about American Girl dolls, and one mentioned the doll styling. So the three of us brought our dolls to the mall, got their hair styled for $10 each, and then took the dolls to a happy hour. Was it the most mustachian spending ever? No. But it was $20 and it was a fun evening.

Of course, I found out a few months ago that the secret to fixing ratty doll hair is fabric softener. Oh, well, live and learn.

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #32 on: June 07, 2015, 01:13:34 PM »
I live about 20-30 minutes from the Mall of America. There is an American Girl Doll salon. Hair stylist for dolls.

I will admit that I did this, but hear me out. When I was 10, I saved up all the money I earned babysitting over the summer to buy my very own American Girl doll. I loved that doll. Still do. But of course I messed up the hairstyle she came with (Kirsten, braided pigtails), and her hair was a mess. At 25, I got into a conversation with some good friends about American Girl dolls, and one mentioned the doll styling. So the three of us brought our dolls to the mall, got their hair styled for $10 each, and then took the dolls to a happy hour. Was it the most mustachian spending ever? No. But it was $20 and it was a fun evening.   

Of course, I found out a few months ago that the secret to fixing ratty doll hair is fabric softener. Oh, well, live and learn.


That actually sounds like fun!
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 09:07:04 AM by Bob W »

MgoSam

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #33 on: June 07, 2015, 06:32:08 PM »
I live about 20-30 minutes from the Mall of America. There is an American Girl Doll salon. Hair stylist for dolls.

Where in the TC are you? I live in Colombia Heights.

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2015, 03:04:46 PM »
If you are a super musatachian then head over to the Saturday once a month building workshops at Home Depot and Lowes.   These are the greatest free kid things ever.   They always have very cool projects --- cars,  pirate ships,  bird houses,  mother's day gifts.   The give you the whole kit,  a vest,  a achievement patch and certification,  all the paint etc..   Most kits can be assembled in 45 minutes or less and it is a very fun experience.

I haven't done that in awhile but my  son and daughter and I have done at least 15 projects there.     Totally free!

Shhh.... You're giving away the secret!

I can't wait for my daughter to turn 4 and take her to both HD and Lowe's. She's almost 3 and refuses to play with toy tools, she wants daddy's 'toys'.

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2015, 04:00:37 AM »


If you are a super musatachian then head over to the Saturday once a month building workshops at Home Depot and Lowes.   These are the greatest free kid things ever.   They always have very cool projects --- cars,  pirate ships,  bird houses,  mother's day gifts.   The give you the whole kit,  a vest,  a achievement patch and certification,  all the paint etc..   Most kits can be assembled in 45 minutes or less and it is a very fun experience.

I haven't done that in awhile but my  son and daughter and I have done at least 15 projects there.     Totally free!

Whoa that sounds amazing I'll look out for that when I get stateside :D

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #36 on: June 09, 2015, 04:50:09 AM »
I'd like to nominate Rolex.

Firstly because, it's a watch. So a clock you can carry around on your wrist, probably shouldn't cost thousands of pounds.

But also, because one of my colleagues was talking about buying her husband a Rolex for Christmas this year and mentioned that she was really happy because when she spoke to Rolex they offered a plan, whereby you pay them £100 (or something... something extortionate) a month, and then you get free repairs for as long as you're in the plan.

Which sounds like built-in-obsolescence in something that's marketed as an 'heirloom'.

Or at least, a promise from Rolex that when you pay £xxxxxx for one of their watches, there is a high chance it's going to break. And they're even admitting that to you. And then taking more of your money.


jba302

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #37 on: June 09, 2015, 06:52:27 AM »

Where in the TC are you? I live in Colombia Heights.

Minnetonka, close to 494/62.


I will admit that I did this, but hear me out. When I was 10, I saved up all the money I earned babysitting over the summer to buy my very own American Girl doll. I loved that doll. Still do. But of course I messed up the hairstyle she came with (Kirsten, braided pigtails), and her hair was a mess. At 25, I got into a conversation with some good friends about American Girl dolls, and one mentioned the doll styling. So the three of us brought our dolls to the mall, got their hair styled for $10 each, and then took the dolls to a happy hour. Was it the most mustachian spending ever? No. But it was $20 and it was a fun evening.

Of course, I found out a few months ago that the secret to fixing ratty doll hair is fabric softener. Oh, well, live and learn.

That's not expressly what I have problems with regarding these dolls. Your experience is more using dolls as a social lubricant. I could replace any of my hobbies with and have the same type situation. Here's what I have trouble with more than anything:

http://www.americangirl.com/shop/meet-molly-paperback-d1652

vs

http://www.americangirl.com/shop/saige-f2444


merula

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #38 on: June 09, 2015, 10:19:38 AM »
That's not expressly what I have problems with regarding these dolls. Your experience is more using dolls as a social lubricant. I could replace any of my hobbies with and have the same type situation. Here's what I have trouble with more than anything:

http://www.americangirl.com/shop/meet-molly-paperback-d1652

vs

http://www.americangirl.com/shop/saige-f2444



I'm confused. You prefer the classic characters to the new ones? Saige's skirt is too short? A grandmother's injury is incomparable to the death and destruction of WWII?

jba302

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #39 on: June 09, 2015, 11:51:03 AM »
I'm confused. You prefer the classic characters to the new ones? Saige's skirt is too short? A grandmother's injury is incomparable to the death and destruction of WWII?

In a nutshell, I think the classic characters show strength enduring true hardship, while the newer ones seem to be pseudo-problems of middle-upper class white girls. Here are the other contemporary book suggestions -

http://www.americangirl.com/shop/contemporary-fiction/grace-paperback-book-chj87
-summary: The difficulties of having to vacation in Paris.

http://www.americangirl.com/shop/contemporary-fiction/isabelle-book-f8042
-The hardships of being sent to a ballerina school and not being omgthebestever.


Do I overtly care to the point of picketing places like this? No, it just bugs me enough to comment when I sense the opportunity. I have 2 girls (12 and 14) that get hammered with this kind of stuff all the time, fake lifestyles of the type of rich you can never be. My younger one about had a nervous breakdown recently because she had to go to a water park with her friends and she was terrified of how she looked in a swimsuit. Or my god, I listen to how her hair looks because she has friends who have these toys with better salon work than they will ever have.

I'll gladly take the parenting opportunities to help them understand real vs. purchased love and how to develop a real personality, it would just be -nice- to not have it be a requirement against the materialistic din of societal pressure.

Chris22

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #40 on: June 09, 2015, 12:09:29 PM »
I'd like to nominate Rolex.

Firstly because, it's a watch. So a clock you can carry around on your wrist, probably shouldn't cost thousands of pounds.

But also, because one of my colleagues was talking about buying her husband a Rolex for Christmas this year and mentioned that she was really happy because when she spoke to Rolex they offered a plan, whereby you pay them £100 (or something... something extortionate) a month, and then you get free repairs for as long as you're in the plan.

Which sounds like built-in-obsolescence in something that's marketed as an 'heirloom'.

Or at least, a promise from Rolex that when you pay £xxxxxx for one of their watches, there is a high chance it's going to break. And they're even admitting that to you. And then taking more of your money.

Rolexes are mechanical (automatic) watches and require servicing to continue to function, just like a car.  If you're a watch geek, you love the craftsmanship and experience of dealing with such a tiny mechanical object, and you don't object to servicing it, just like someone with a vintage car puts up with its quirks.  If you're a badge snob just wanting fancy arm jewelry, yes, you'll be pissed a Rolex requires servicing.

Me, I wear an Ecodrive, wife bought it for me for a wedding present for like $250 8 years ago and it's still going strong. 

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2015, 12:10:15 PM »
I'm confused. You prefer the classic characters to the new ones? Saige's skirt is too short? A grandmother's injury is incomparable to the death and destruction of WWII?

In a nutshell, I think the classic characters show strength enduring true hardship, while the newer ones seem to be pseudo-problems of middle-upper class white girls. Here are the other contemporary book suggestions -

http://www.americangirl.com/shop/contemporary-fiction/grace-paperback-book-chj87
-summary: The difficulties of having to vacation in Paris.

http://www.americangirl.com/shop/contemporary-fiction/isabelle-book-f8042
-The hardships of being sent to a ballerina school and not being omgthebestever.


Do I overtly care to the point of picketing places like this? No, it just bugs me enough to comment when I sense the opportunity. I have 2 girls (12 and 14) that get hammered with this kind of stuff all the time, fake lifestyles of the type of rich you can never be. My younger one about had a nervous breakdown recently because she had to go to a water park with her friends and she was terrified of how she looked in a swimsuit. Or my god, I listen to how her hair looks because she has friends who have these toys with better salon work than they will ever have.

I'll gladly take the parenting opportunities to help them understand real vs. purchased love and how to develop a real personality, it would just be -nice- to not have it be a requirement against the materialistic din of societal pressure.

Ok, I get where you're coming from, and I will grant you that my ability to name the girls, their eras and their traits is limited to the older dolls; I have basically no exposure to "Girl of the Year" outside of seeing it in a store window. But in the historical context, most of the classic girls were upper-middle-class white girls facing what would have been seen as petty problems for the era.

Felicity: I know my country is in the middle of a revolution, but I just want to ride my horse.
Kirsten: Yeah, sure, my mother is pregnant and could easily die in childbirth, but will she remember my birthday?
Samantha: I wish people didn't treat me like a poor little rich girl just because I have money!

etc. etc. Addy is the exception to this, but in the interest of an uplifting story all those she left behind in the South are ignored.

What would people reading Girl of the Year stories 100 years from now think? Would they see Saige as petty and Molly as strong, or would they see each as facing the issues unique to their time?

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2015, 11:29:12 PM »
If you are a super musatachian then head over to the Saturday once a month building workshops at Home Depot and Lowes.   These are the greatest free kid things ever.   They always have very cool projects --- cars,  pirate ships,  bird houses,  mother's day gifts.   The give you the whole kit,  a vest,  a achievement patch and certification,  all the paint etc..   Most kits can be assembled in 45 minutes or less and it is a very fun experience.

I haven't done that in awhile but my  son and daughter and I have done at least 15 projects there.     Totally free!

Good tip. Thank you.

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #43 on: July 13, 2015, 06:32:10 PM »
I'm confused. You prefer the classic characters to the new ones? Saige's skirt is too short? A grandmother's injury is incomparable to the death and destruction of WWII?

In a nutshell, I think the classic characters show strength enduring true hardship, while the newer ones seem to be pseudo-problems of middle-upper class white girls. Here are the other contemporary book suggestions -

http://www.americangirl.com/shop/contemporary-fiction/grace-paperback-book-chj87
-summary: The difficulties of having to vacation in Paris.

http://www.americangirl.com/shop/contemporary-fiction/isabelle-book-f8042
-The hardships of being sent to a ballerina school and not being omgthebestever.


Do I overtly care to the point of picketing places like this? No, it just bugs me enough to comment when I sense the opportunity. I have 2 girls (12 and 14) that get hammered with this kind of stuff all the time, fake lifestyles of the type of rich you can never be. My younger one about had a nervous breakdown recently because she had to go to a water park with her friends and she was terrified of how she looked in a swimsuit. Or my god, I listen to how her hair looks because she has friends who have these toys with better salon work than they will ever have.

I'll gladly take the parenting opportunities to help them understand real vs. purchased love and how to develop a real personality, it would just be -nice- to not have it be a requirement against the materialistic din of societal pressure.

Ok, I get where you're coming from, and I will grant you that my ability to name the girls, their eras and their traits is limited to the older dolls; I have basically no exposure to "Girl of the Year" outside of seeing it in a store window. But in the historical context, most of the classic girls were upper-middle-class white girls facing what would have been seen as petty problems for the era.

Felicity: I know my country is in the middle of a revolution, but I just want to ride my horse.
Kirsten: Yeah, sure, my mother is pregnant and could easily die in childbirth, but will she remember my birthday?
Samantha: I wish people didn't treat me like a poor little rich girl just because I have money!

etc. etc. Addy is the exception to this, but in the interest of an uplifting story all those she left behind in the South are ignored.

What would people reading Girl of the Year stories 100 years from now think? Would they see Saige as petty and Molly as strong, or would they see each as facing the issues unique to their time?

I think that part of the point of a lot of the stories is that kids are kids and the things they worry about aren't so different from what you worry about. Their "normal" is different--Molly is used to the war and her dad being away, Kirsten is used to the sparse lifestyle of a pioneer, etc--but they still worry about being dumb in school, getting their parents' attention, their clothes, and so on. Compare the Little House books and alongside things like Laura's worry about her dad hunting bears, the whole family getting malaria, etc. we also see Laura bickering with her sister, stressing out about having to wear hand-me-downs, dealing with obnoxious classmates, and so on.

Build-A-Bear... never again. I took my daughter, then 3 1/2, to the party for a close friend. She made a rainbow tiger that she bonded with intensely, the first animal she has done so with. Well, a few months later were invited to another BAB party and I really hated the idea. I didn't want her to learn that her close friend and companion was easily replaceable or that she should always get a stuffed animal at a party or anything like that. Ultimately my husband took her (I had to work) and talked her into getting a new outfit for her tiger. Crisis averted. But if we're invited to anymore BAB parties I think I will just say "no thanks". It teaches all kinds of lessons I don't want my kids learning. I think it would be one thing to go really occasionally (like once a year or less) but if all her friends' parties are going to be there... ugh.

rocketpj

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #44 on: July 14, 2015, 01:32:34 PM »
Build-a-bear et. al. are amateurs. The kings are De Beers, Hallmark, and professional sports leagues.

Yes, charging $200 for a shirt that costs 25-30 cents to make is marketing genius.

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #45 on: July 14, 2015, 02:23:07 PM »
Those Home Depot projects are awesome, even for adults!  I learned how to lay tile at one of their classes.  Great resource.  :)

Lowes and Home Depot both offer the Kids project builds for free on different Saturdays.  Made lots of free cool stuff there.  Mom always loves her handmade mother's day gift from there.

In my area there is no sign up,  but in cities you will want to sign up ahead of time on line as they are very popular.  Check their sites.

This sounds awesome, thank you for the great idea. What kind of age range is this good for? (are there power tools and what not involved). Can not wait till my son is old enough.

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Re: Build-a-bear workshop, and other totally frivolous/brilliant stores
« Reply #46 on: July 14, 2015, 02:32:47 PM »
Those Home Depot projects are awesome, even for adults!  I learned how to lay tile at one of their classes.  Great resource.  :)

Lowes and Home Depot both offer the Kids project builds for free on different Saturdays.  Made lots of free cool stuff there.  Mom always loves her handmade mother's day gift from there.

In my area there is no sign up,  but in cities you will want to sign up ahead of time on line as they are very popular.  Check their sites.

This sounds awesome, thank you for the great idea. What kind of age range is this good for? (are there power tools and what not involved). Can not wait till my son is old enough.

The kids classes are for age 5-12, but I know a few people who lie and say their 4 year old is 5, and the kid does the project fine. (Whether or not lying to participate in an activity is fine is another matter.)  Our home depot does turn away kids under age 5, I don't know about over age 12. They don't use power tools.

The adult classes, like laying tile, are not intended for children; though a teen might do 'faux painting' or something with a parent. They just aren't taught by staff wanting to work with kids.