ST. LOUIS, MO --(Marketwire - February 9, 2011) - Build-A-Bear Workshop® (NYSE: BBW) announced today that it is developing its website, Bearville.com™, to provide high quality entertainment content to Guests of all ages. This next generation of Bearville™ expands beyond its virtual world experience into an entertainment destination with a special focus on fun and relevant cultural content for children and families. The site re-launches in open beta on March 1, 2011 featuring unique programming, celebrity interviews and a craft show in the coming months. In addition, Bearville will introduce its own blog, as well as an arcade of games to play while providing continued access to the existing virtual world. Unlike most standalone websites Bearville.com is incorporated into Build-A-Bear Workshop stores, the Build-A-Bear™ mobile App and licensed product. This full integration will enhance the brand experience for both new and existing Guests.
"As a leader in the field of interactive entertainment, we are enhancing Bearville.com with the same level of innovation we have become known for in the industry through the years. This form of digital media will enable Build-A-Bear Workshop to share, engage and learn from our fans," said Build-A-Bear Workshop Founder and Chief Executive Bear, Maxine Clark. "The new Bearville encourages Guests to use their imaginations to create and share while bringing more fun to kids' lives through entertainment."
Some of the original programming content exclusively on Bearville.com will include:
Bearville will continue to offer its free virtual world, which first launched in 2007, where Guests can personalize online characters, interact with other users from around the world, play games, buy virtual stuff, and explore. Some of the games that were previously available exclusively to citizens of Bearville will now be accessible to all Guests visiting Bearville.com without logging into the virtual word. The games provide adventure while previewing all the fun activities available to citizens of the virtual world.
When Guests play on Bearville, online safety is as important as ever. As the new site launches, the company will continue efforts to partner with parents, educators and experts to ensure the site is fun and safe for all users. The Bearville site is still free to access and shopping at Build-A-Bear Workshop or buildabear.com® continues to give bonus virtual experiences in the company's digital space.
Responding to a popular request from Guests, in addition to all the fun stuff now found at the new Bearville, Build-A-Bear Workshop is celebrating the launch with an exciting contest that begins in April, where kids can win a chance to appear on an upcoming show on Bearville.com.
Other chances for Guests to appear on the site will be available throughout the year. For more information, please visit Bearville.com or the company's website at buildabear.com.
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. The company currently operates more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, and Mexico. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop is the leader in interactive retail. Brands include make-your-own Major League Baseball® mascot in-stadium locations, and Build-A-Dino® stores. Build-A-Bear Workshop extends its in-store interactive experience online with its award winning virtual world website at bearville.com. The company was named to the 2009 and 2010 FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® lists. Build-A-Bear Workshop (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $394.4 million in fiscal 2009. For more information, call 888.560.BEAR (2327) or visit the company's award-winning website at buildabear.com.
Parental permission may be required to access bearville.com. Visit bearville.com for details.
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