This is my niece, aka the 6 year old. The picture is slightly blurred. Apologies. It is slightly blurred because when I took her for her birthday treat to Build-a-Bear she went kind of demented ( as her mother put it )
Armed with £30, she bought a bearskin, had it stuffed after kissing and wishing on a fabric heart that went inside said bear. She jumped on the pedal to stuff it with such gusto I thought the shop assistant was going to get stuffed too. We then bought a Cinderella outfit with matching glass slippers. She also tried to convince me to buy a new bed because her new bear couldn't possibly go to sleep on her bed. She also tried her best to convince me to purchase 2 pairs of roller skates for her other build a bear (a dog ). Maybe next time. She was, as you can see, absolutely ecstatic.
We had been accompanied by my Lancastrian Very Good Fiend and her 10 year old daughter who were already familiar with the phenomenon that is Build-a-Bear with the 10y old already clocking up 2 bears. After Sunday she added another 1 to her collection. She was powerless to resist their charms. Even She-ra was tempted and she didn't come with us.
Why didn't I think of the Build-a-Bear concept. What a money making machine that is. Is the owner sunning themselves on some remote island counting out their dosh? cried Lancastrian friend. A Sunday afternoon and this shop was heaving. What recession?! My personal favourite outfit was a Star Wars combo. Fortunately my nephew, aka the 4 year old, has asked if he could have a similar treat when it is his birthday and could well make a bee line for the Jedi Knight clobber. This shop will certainly see out a few present ideas for years to come. I am sure though that there are some people somewhere( OK so let's just say America ) that have collected all the Build a Bears complete with the full wardrobe.