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Build-A-Bear's 'The Lion King' Limited Collection Is Going To Make You Feel All Hakuna Matata

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Excited about Disney's upcoming adaptation of The Lion King? So is Build-A-Bear Workshop. The destination for customizable, unique furry friends is launching a Build-A-Bear The Lion King collection, and I can't wait to check it out. The line will include wildly realistic and adorable furry friends, outfits, and accessories, and in true Build-A-Bear form, your child will have the ability to make their favorite Lion King character uniquely their own. Mark your calendar for July 3 when the collection will be released in stores and online. Can you feel the love tonight, friends? Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Founded in 1997, Build-A-Bear Workshop has evolved over the years into a global brand that kids love and parents trust, seeking to add "a little more heart to life," according to their website. This uplifting motto has paid off. There are over 450 Build-A-Bear Workshops worldwide, and the business continues to thrive where other toy retailers have closed their doors. In an effort to continually enhance their offerings and appeal to tech-savvy kids, their website includes a virtual entertainment center that showcases games and arts and crafts. In stores, kids can step inside a ‘selfie’ station dubbed “Smile for Me.”

I have a feeling Build-A-Bear Workshop's popularity will only increase with the addition of this collaboration with Disney. Despite the fact that the original The Lion King is over 20 years old, the movie has been voted the most popular animated film ever, according to Ranker, and its story of family, love, and friendship remains as strong as ever. It is one of my family's favorites to watch, though I cry every time a certain scene happens (even though by this point I obviously know what is about to take place). Good thing there are songs like "Hakuna Matata" to keep me going.

Specific plush character friends from The Lion King joining in the make-your-own fun at Build-A-Bear are Young Nala, Young Simba, Nala, Simba, Pumbaa, and Timon. (It appears Scar did not make the cut.) I can't wait to see what outfits and accessories have been created to go along with this wild cast of characters! Apparently your child will also have the option to add sound chips to their selected plush, like “Nants’ Ingonyama” (the Circle of Life Chant) or “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King.” So fun! I think, perhaps, that's one of the things I've always liked the most about Build-A-Bear: the way they encourage kids to use their imagination and get creative, even when it comes to a movie as classic and beloved as The Lion King.

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According to a press release from the company, after fans join the pride and select their favorite furry friend to "make their own," they can complete the deal with a special Lion King heart ceremony. Other special in-store activities will include taking a photo with their new creation against a The Lion King backdrop, taking home a lion mane paper crown with activities, great “grub” recipes and more. Fans looking to complete the experience can visit Build-A-Bear Workshops on weekends in July and August, where guests can participate in movie-themed activities and receive their own exclusive Build-A-Bear Workshop Disney The Lion King movie poster. Check your local store for more details.

So, as we all wait to hear Beyoncé's voice as Nala, James Earl Jones reprising his original role as Mufasa, and of course Donald Glover as Simba, the new Disney The Lion King collection at Build-A-Bear Workshop can keep us company. The movie hits theaters on July 19, and my family and I can't wait to see it. Will you and your child be one of the first to check it out, too, perhaps with a new plush character in tow?