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Boise mall Build-a-Bear mobbed for big sale

“Be careful, it’s a jungle out there,” the clerk at the JC Penney jewelry counter warned to passing customers.

The jungle was filled with bears – or at least kids wanting bears.

A line of more than a thousand kids, teen, parents and grandparents started at the Build-a-Bear Workshop in the Boise Towne Square and wrapped all the way down to Dillard’s, back around and toward Kohl’s.

The jungle-like crowd was there to purchase a bear for the age of the person getting the toy. Three-year-olds get the deal for $3, 10-year-olds for $10 and so on.  That doesn’t include accessories or upcharges – but the base toy is still a bargain.

In some places, according to USA TODAY, the sale was shut down – but that wasn’t the case in Boise.  For a time, parents were not allowed to join the line, according to one parent who didn’t want her name used, but they later opened the queue back up.

Some parents had been told they may wait in line but not be served due to a shortage of some supplies.

Folks at the front of the line had been waiting since 8 a.m. – and were still waiting as of noon.  One grandma said it was worth the wait.

“I’m a grandma, so,” Bonnie Little said.  But, she probably wouldn’t do it again. “It’s great, it’s been fun… but no. If I knew this would be anything like this, I wouldn’t do it.”

Mom Erica Benson learned about the sale last week – before it caught wide notice in the media.

“I decided to do it before the news announced it, and told the four-year-old,” she said. “I instantly regretted it as soon as soon I saw it all over the news.  I should have just brought her yesterday!”

But Benson said it was an adventure.

“We are here with friends – and we made new friends,” she said – motioning to Little and her family.

“If it were on Black Friday, I’d be more apt (to do it again) because it other stores would probably have deals.”

An employee at a nearby store said the line when he arrived was so long it actually extended outside.  He said his business hadn’t seen a bump in sales.

“People come in, go straight to the line and leave,” Giovanni Georgia with Forever Flawless said. “It’s crazy.”

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Don Dayhttp://linkedin.com/in/donday
Don has been covering news in Boise for 20 years. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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