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Buy Me, Fanboy! Presents: Da Bears!

JediCole here with a long overdue report from the Buy Me, Fanboy! department. We have just recently returned from the Build-a-Bear Workshop at Ridgemar Mall in Fort Worth, TX where they officially launched the new Star Wars bears and costumes in a big way!

Tanya the store's manager made us feel right at home and put on quite a show to introduce these incredible Lucas saga inspired bears to the world. While the official launch at other stores in the region is tomorrow (Saturday, September 24, 2010), this particular store took full advantage of stage set up nearby in the mall and got the party started early. With lots of stuffed animals decked out as Darth Vader, Han Solo, Anakin Skywalker, and even C-3PO both in the store and out by the stage they really were spreading awareness of the latest option to clothe your brand new cuddly pals! Especially if you are like me and love the Star Wars!

To help kick off the new releases they hosted a costume contest for the kids and even had a pair of Stormtroopers and one of the Emperor's own Royal Guard on hand for the event! A trio of young fans showed up to vie for best costume and were undoubtedly quite pleased to get to take the stage alongside some incredible Imperials! Proud parents and a great many other folks enjoyed the show out in the mall while back in the shop lots of new bears were receiving their stuffing and their new suits of clothes. From the more traditional offerings that the folks at Build -a-Bear have always provided to the brand new (and I dare say incredibly cool) Star Wars costumes. Many a new Jedi or Clone Trooper came to life during our visit this evening.

Build-a-Bear Workshop offers eight costume styles that can outfit bears as well as almost any other comparably sized critter in the shop (they have cats, monkeys, and rabbits to name a few). You can choose from Princess Leia, Han Solo, Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker (Clone Wars style), C-3PO, Jedi Knight, Clone Trooper, and even a tribute to Star Wars fans, the Star Wars PJs! While they offer a full range of cuddly creatures there is also an official Star Wars bear available that features a Star Wars logo embroidered on one foot. The individual costumes are quite well designed and close attention was paid to details in every single one. The Han Solo costume features the red blood stripe down the pant legs and a belt with holster. The Princess Leia and Jedi costumes both have hoods and the Clone Trooper and Darth Vader costumes will lend even the cutest bear a menacing look!

Bears and other animals range in price from $18-25 each (the Star Wars bear is $22) with costumes ranging from $12 (Star Wars PJs) to $15 (all other costumes) each. Considering the elaborate nature of these costumes, with three to six individual pieces, this is not a bad price in the least. Do bear in mind that only Leia and 3PO come with cloth footwear. Black boots (for Han or Vader) and brown boots (for Jedi) are an additional $10 for a pair. So it just comes down to whether or not your particular Star Wars bear likes to go bearfoot! A sound box that plays the Star Wars theme can be a permanent part of your new bear or other friend for a mere $6.00 more.

Discount coupons were provided in the gift bags given away at the launch event tonight which provided a $5 savings, a really nice touch indeed! So if you can get out to your local Build-a-Bear on Saturday they may be doing something special to mark the launch of the line. Do call ahead to see if they are as the folks at this one store could not say with certainty what was planned on a national level. Though there will be launch events at least in the region of Texas and Oklahoma.
Here's hoping these will prove a success for Build-a-Bear and that it will spawn a second series of costumes. Come on! Bearba Fett is a no brainer!

A young Jango Fett contemplates what to do next. Leia to one side, a Stormtrooper to the other. What's a bounty hunter to do?

Sales of newly created bears were quite brisk the evening of the Star Wars bear launch at the Fort Worth Build-a-Bear Workshop.

Star Wars characters take the stage for the Costume Contest accompanied by much taller Imperial Troops. The Empire rules! No, really, the Empire rules. That's what makes it an Empire after all.

The influence of the Empire is more far-reaching than we had imagined! Even the Build-a-Bear store has its own Imperial Guard Bear! Imagine the surprise of this member of Palpatine's elite when he caught a glimpse of who was beside him!

"Hey! I didn't know they were recruiting Ewoks into the Emperor's Royal Guard! I swear that Lucas just lost it after The Empire Strikes Back! "

But wait, there's more! While we really did not plan to do so, we did come home with our own Build-a-Bear creation! And one that will have significance in the coming months, but that is an announcement for another day. For now we invite you to meet...Horn Solo! This bovine smuggler is ready for action. While a mercenary by trade he really has a heart of gold. In fact in this case he has two hearts! It seems when you build your bear or other stuffed creation, just after the assistant fills your new friend with stuffing you take a heart (or in our case two) from the bin and place it inside before the last stitches are tied off and you take your new friend to be dressed and registered. Since Mrs. JediCole and I each put one inside him, Horn Solo here has a lot of heart! I could not resist pointing out that had the entire USG staff been on hand he might have been a bit like an earthworm!

So be sure to stay tuned for more of the adventures (and future purpose) of Horn Solo, captain of the Moollinium Falcon!

Horn Solo says farewell to a couple of his old friends.

No more for me, thanks. I'm completely stuffed!

Oh no! Horn Solo has been frozen in cardboardnite!


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