Welcome to Trips 'n Toys!

Welcome to Trips 'n Toys!

Build-a-Bear at Hamilton Place Mall - Chattanooga, TN

Today we set out to spend our accumulated Build-a-Bear gift cards, and I'd say we were successful.

The first trick in using gift cards is to remember to actually bring the gift cards with you. Check! (I'm not admitting to how many failed attempts we've clocked for this particular endeavor.)

Actually, that's really the only trick. Otherwise, it's pretty easy to spend money on teddy bears.

Everyone else in our crew has 3 Build-a-Bears, and Ribby only had one, so we decided it would only be fair to even it out.

Over the Christmas shopping season, we were NOT impressed with the selection in any of the several locations we visited. But, apparently Valentine's Day is an AWESOME time to Build-a-Bear! These animals were SO precious! And there were a few others we'd still like to add to the collection some day...

So, without further ado, meet Lubbas the Bear and Lisa Leopard!

Lubbas' super-soft pink and red hearted fur is scented in a sweetness reminiscent of old-school Strawberry Shortcake Dolls. It definitely conjures up many a childhood memory for me! While smelling the bear directly, the scent doesn't strike me as being too overbearing.  (he he!)  Within a matter of hours after bringing Lubbas inside Ribby's room, however, the entire 12 x 12 area smells like a Strawberry Shortcake doll factory. So far, I'm okay with this. After all, Ribby's room is a bakery. So, the scent works great for us. But, if you or your little ones have any smell sensitivities or issues with fragrance, you might want to give the fur a good, solid smell test before purchasing.  

Lisa Leopard, in all her rainbow spotted adorableness, is named for Lisa Frank, the iconic 90's graphic artist and designer of all things 90's kids HAD to have. We are HUGE Lisa Frank fans, and are anxiously awaiting the second coming of the Lisa Frank empire. I have collected tons of Lisa Frank items that I'm in the process of framing into wall art for Ribby's Room. In the mean time, of course, we HAD to have this Lisa Frank-esque stuffed Leopard, and are saving pennies again for her black and rainbow cousin Zebra, also currently available at Build-a-Bear. We would have bought both today, if Lubbas the Bear hadn'ta been so darned irresistible herself.


All in all, we had a good time. But a lot of that has to do with the fact that we adore anything that makes Ribby happy, and Ribby was pretty happy to get her new bears.

The ladies manning the store location were perfectly functional cashiers, but there was no magic whatsoever in their construction of either animal. I miss the days when Build-a-Bear employees made the whole building-a-bear experience feel like the kids was actually building a darned bear. They used to speak in sweet, happy voices. They'd talk the kid through pressing the foot pedal on the stuffing machine like they were filling the bear's crevices with a magic like no other. They'd let the kids rub their hands together and warm each heart before it was kissed and placed inside to radiate love for an entire childhood.

Now, it's just, "Do you want $100 worth of extra stuff crammed inside? Nope, well, press this pedal and shove some fluff in the animal's tuchus."

Yep...  We definitely miss the Build-a-Bear magic touch. But, watching your baby girl give it all she's got to carry her new buddies through the mall is still worth it!

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