Patient metro parents wait in line for hours to get Build-A-Bear’s ‘Pay Your Age’ deal

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The battle for a Build-A-Bear deal frustrated parents everywhere, and Kansas City was not immune.

Imagine if Black Friday had a summertime appearance: That's how shoppers at Build-A-Bear stores across the metro described it as they rushed to the chain's "Pay Your Age" promotion.

Thousands of Build-A-Bear fanatics turned out at Zona Rosa, Oak Park Mall and the company's other metro locations. It was all to take advantage of a big deal: For every year old a child is, that's the price of the bear they create.

Image of the Build-A-Bear at Oak Park Mall on the day of the "Pay Your Age Promo."

To get them, customers stood in line for hours. When asked why she was there, metro mom Mary Paine simply said, "Good question. My two-year-old wanted a bear, so I said OK."

One could say Paine wants the bear a little more than others.

"I'm seven months pregnant with twins!" she said.

Paine was one of many who saw the company's offer online and got in line before the company shut down the promo early, saying it was overwhelmed with customers and couldn't take any that weren't already lined up.

The company released a statement Thursday around 10 a.m. that said:

“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.”

As temperatures rose into the upper-90s, cold drinks and shade were in high demand at Zona Rosa.

"It's hot. It is so hot, " Elpini Gregory said.

She and her kids came for the bargain and stood in line for two hours to get it.

"You can't beat it," she said. "You're getting everything half off or more than half off half-price. That Chewbacca bear? $35. I got it for $7."

It was cooler across the metro inside Oak Park Mall, but the Build-A-Bear line wasn't any shorter. Shoppers packed into the mall where lines were long, wrapping throughout the building.

Image of the Build-A-Bear at Zona Rosa at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the "Pay Your Age Promo" when there was a two-hour wait.

Image of the Build-A-Bear at Oak Park Mall on the day of the "Pay Your Age Promo."

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