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Nintendo DS finds the pawfect partner

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A children’s toy phenomenon that is sweeping the malls of the world by allowing kids (and adults) to make their own stuffed animals has gone digital. Build-A-Bear, which is as interactive as the retail experience gets, seems an odd partner for Nintendo DS, but the game has enraptured fans as much as the stores have. It is being released in South Africa this month.

They call it an ‚interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience‚ , which sounds like hype but almost understates the fun kids have in Build-A-Bear stores. Now the fun goes on long after the store has closed, coming to life on Nintendo DS as Build-A-Bear Workshop. Already a best-selling game in the USA, with more than 165 000 units shipped, it launches in the South Africa this month, according to an announcement from video game publisher The Game Factory.

This follows the June launch by Build-A-Bear Workshop South Africa of its virtual Build-A-Bear Workshop world on the Web, at www.buildabearville.com. For the web site, visitors need a welcome pass, which they get free when they buy any animal at any Build-A-Bear Workshop store. They can then bring their furry friends to life online, and take them on a ‚friendship adventure‚ .

The Build-A-Bear Workshop video game brings the furry fun of making their own stuffed animal to young gamers. The gameplay offers an immersive experience, which replicates the process of shopping and creating their own furry friend when entering a Build-A-Bear Workshop store. The game allows consumers to approach the Build-A-Bear Workshop concept with the same hands-on, do-it-yourself formula found in the retail outlets. This level of interactivity is achieved through the use of Nintendo DS touch screen and wireless technology, microphone capabilities, 3D graphics, and an innovative control mechanism.

Using the Nintendo DS stylus to play, the game teaches young fans an array of fun tasks from how to cook meals for their friend in the kitchen, to teaching it new tricks in the garden, to learning how to groom and dress with the many outfits and accessories.

If the player has a friend who also has Build-A-Bear Workshop for the Nintendo DS, they can take photographs, trade costumes and play together wirelessly in this colourful interactive world and personalise many new stuffed animals.

In the Build-A-Bear Workshop game, players can ‚

The Build-A-Bear Workshop Nintendo DS video game is available exclusively from Build-A-Bear Workshop stores, at R395 – and in a bundle with a console for R1950.

Stores are located at Sandton City, East Rand Mall and Clearwater Mall in the Johannesburg area, Menlyn Park in Pretoria and V&A Waterfront, Canal Walk and Somerset Mall in Cape Town, as well as Gateway Theatre of Shopping and The Pavilion in Durban.

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