The Build-A-Bear Workshop's "pay your age" promotion overwhelmed local stores throughout the U.S. with long lines Thursday morning.
The large amount of people caused safety concerns with local authorities, which caused many of the stores to cut off the lines.
Customers began lining up hours before store openings with people across the country posting pictures and videos of the "Black Friday-esque" turnout.
A long line of people wrapped around the outside of the Build-A-Bear Workshop location at the San Tan Village early Thursday morning.
People were lined up inside Chandler Fashion Center for the promotion. That Build-A-Bear location was handing out $15 vouchers and stopping people from entering the line due to fire marshal concerns.
The Glendale Police Department said it received a call from Arrowhead Mall security as early as 6:04 a.m. saying they had about 15 people already in line. That call was canceled by security.
Glendale police said security called back again just over two hours later requesting help as there were about 1,000 people in line and that Build-A-Bear location did not have enough bears to accommodate that many people.
Officers are at Arrowhead Mall "maintaining a presence," as security addresses the large number of people, Glendale PD said.
Jayme Agan said the line was "crazy" at Arrowhead Mall.
"The line wraps all the way around to one end of the mall and back down towards build a bear," she said.
The official Build-A-Bear Facebook page posted an urgent message Thursday morning:
"Per local authorities, we cannot accept additional Guests at our locations due to crowds and safety concerns. We have closed lines in our U.S. and Canada stores. We understand some Guests are disappointed and we will reach out directly as soon as possible."
Some customers nationwide, however, did have a positive experience, noting that the Build-A-Bear staff was "attentive," "quick-moving," and "made their children very happy."
The “pay your age” day promotion allowed customers to purchase a character and pay their current age with a cap set at $29.
The entire store's collection of toys, including popular licensed characters, were available at the event.