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Build-A-Bear brings products to life via mobile game

Build-A-Bear Workshop has launched the mobile game Bear Valley to let consumers interact with bears in a new way.

The Bear Valley mobile game allows consumers to engage in various activities such as taking their bears shopping or to the spa. The company partnered with 505 Games to produce the new application to increase revenue.

“Mobile platforms are currently where younger audiences can be found,” said Joel Breton, senior vice president of product development at 505 Games, Woodland Hills, CA.

“Creating a game app allows well-known brands like Build-A-Bear to engage their core audience where they can be found,” he said. “Several years ago this would have been one of the console platforms. Today, it is clear that the majority of young players are now very comfortable playing games on smartphones and tablets.

“Creating a mobile game app offers a fantastic opportunity to find your audience on these platforms as consumer tastes have shifted toward mobile devices.”

Bear Valley
In the app, consumers can build and create their own furry friends. Then they can explore Bear Valley with their bears.

Consumers can customize their own Cub Condo, visit Paw Print Park and prepare food at Bearemy’s Bakery. They can also visit the Toy Vendor to ride skateboards, fly kites and ride a tube down the Bear Valley River.

Additionally, consumers can use Build-A-Bear Workshop codes to unlock more furry friends.

The game also allows consumers to grow crop, milk cows and gather eggs on the Bear Farm.

The app is available for $4.99 in Apple’s App Store for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

According to Mr. Breton, 505 Games and Build-A-Bear decided on this price because they believe that the app is a premium game that can provide countless hours of entertainment.

Mobile Bears
Build-A-Bear has maintained a large mobile presence in the past.

For example, the company recently launched an Instagram contest to support a new promotion (see story).

Build-A-Bear also leveraged Passbook’s location-enabled push notification feature to drive a promotional offer. The company achieved a 58.7 percent Passbook download rate (see story).

“Mobile has become so personal – it is ever-present in the home and more and more relevant to children of all ages,” said Matt Garrity, director of business development at Canvas, New York. “Build-A-Bear can leverage mobile to further develop their brand connection with families. In addition, it can ultimately be a new revenue stream.”

Mr. Garrity is not affiliated with Build-A-Bear or 505 Games. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

“Build-A-Bear Workshop understands children and its market place exceptionally well,” he said. “Parents and children are clamoring for mobile experiences that are both fun and educational and worth their time.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York