Build-A-Bear promotion stuffs hundreds of people into Dartmouth mall

A promotion at the Build-A-Bear location in Dartmouth, N.S., offering deep discounts had Mic Mac Mall stuffed with customers on Thursday.

'It's a little poor-planned but you do what you do'

Hundreds of people waited in line at Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth on Thursday. (Craig Paisley/CBC )

It was stuffed in the Mic Mac Mall on Thursday as hundreds of people waited in line to build their own bears.

The Build-A-Bear store was offering an international 'Pay Your Age' promotion, where the cost to build a stuffed animal matched the age of the child building it. Normally, the bears cost well over $20 and more with accessories.

Children of all ages, along with their parents, formed a long line at the Dartmouth, N.S., mall for hours. It snaked around three walls and poured into the mall's entrance. It was still growing in the late afternoon.

Matthew Donahoe walked out of the store with two stuffed animals in the mid-afternoon. He said he and his two sons had fun and the line was bearable.

"It was absolutely wonderful, I wasn't expecting the timing," said Donahoe. "It was a little bit of wait, but you know it was fun. Everyone seemed happy."

They got in line at 8:30 a.m. and left the store at 3:17 p.m. Donahoe said he wasn't able to take a break from line that entire time.

Matthew Donahoe says he didn't take any breaks from waiting in line for almost seven hours.

Kayla Mullins was still at least 15 people away from the front of the line by mid-afternoon. She had been waiting since 8:30 a.m.

She said the seven hours were almost equivalent to a full-time shift for her, but it was worth the deal.

"It's a little poor-planned, but you do what you do," said Mullins. "We could come another day, but [my son] could get one for a toonie versus $30."

Kayla Mullins had been waiting in line for seven hours by mid-afternoon, but remained in high spirits with her two sons. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Mullins held one of her sons on her hip. Her other child ran around with one of the multiple cliques of kids that were playing and enjoying the time together.

Parents bonded in the line, too. Mullins said the wait was made easier by making "mom friends."

The line at Mic Mac Mall was so long that people at the end of the line couldn't even see the store. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Security guards stood outside of the line and two guards waited outside the store to open the security gate between customers.

Multiple security guards watched the growing line at the Mic Mac Mall on Thursday. (Danielle d'Entremont/CBC)

The company sent out a Facebook status earlier Thursday saying the large crowds were causing safety concerns. Some lines in Canada and the U.S. had to be shut down.

About the Author

Danielle d'Entremont


Danielle d’Entremont is a reporter based in Halifax. She previously worked for CBC Toronto and is happy as a clam to be back in her hometown. She’s always fishing for interesting stories. Send your story to her at,,,,,,,,,,