Yesterday we visited what is listed as my son's favourite place in the world outside of being somewhere like Disneyland- we went to Build-a-Bear Workshop, Belfast Branch. Sadly we missed out on sharing their Valentine's themed collection this year, but we made the trip to catch the St. Patrick's Day bear.
We also had the chance to make a My Little Pony Build-a-Bear, something we've both been excited about since their launch last Spring. Quite honestly I wanted the rainbow maned one, Rainbow Dash, all for myself, but from my son's first hug of the unstuffed horse, I knew I wasn't getting a look in. The My Little Pony craze is huge, with little boys as well as girls loving the new cartoon. Adults too, of those I knew who already were Rainbow Dash owners, three of those were grown adults, and one of them male!
As with our Christmas visit, Johnathon the store manager took us through the now familiar, still as magical Build-a-Bear Workshop bringing-to-life stages.
First you choose your friend, Rainbow Dash and the snowy white, shimmering shamrock festooned teddy bear. The second stage is choosing a sound for you bear. We chose the My Little Pony theme tune, and for the bear my son settled on One Direction's That's What Makes You Beautiful. The store has lots of One Direction merch for your bear to wear.
The stuffing station is next. You have an option to add a scent which goes inside the paw of your teddy. There were a couple of new additions since Christmas, a pineapple smell which we put in teddy, which smells exactly like Polly Pineapple lollies, and Icing Sugar, which Johnathon correctly compared to Drumstick lollies' scent. Rainbow Dash got an icing sugar smelling hoof.
You also choose a satin heart to put inside with the stuffing, which 'brings your friend to life'. There's an option to buy a £1 charity heart too, or a special battery heart that thumps when pushed from outside the toy. Michael enjoys helping press the foot pedal to work the stuffing machine.
Then it's Michael's favourite part, the combing, fluffing and bathing station. Rainbow Dash's tail got a good few minutes attention!
The all important dressing step. There are beautiful capes for the ponies. Sorry for the blurry photo. Little Spike is available too, for £10.
Johnathon helped us choose a cape, and St. Patrick's Day wear for teddy, who teamed it with a cute reversible tutu (is it wrong to wish for that in adult sizes?)
Check the tounge sticking out. Serious business this fashion.
Another successful Build-a-Bear trip. My son honestly finds the whole experience a blast, and it is hard not to get caught up in the magic of making a unique friend yourself. In fact Michael is going to get me my own My Little Pony for Mothers' Day, maybe you're a mum out there thinking 'YES. I want a pony too', well even if you don't have an actual Build-a-bear Workshop near your home, you can order anything on their online store, including the ponies.
I can also reveal that next month they will be launching Pinkie Pie!