An Ode To Toys R Us

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!
Today was supposed to be another Top Tuesday post, but I decided to skip it and talk about something else.
Toys R Us Closing |
Toys R Us is closing. I’m sure that’s no news to anyone who reads this. We’ve all heard about it at this point. They filed for bankruptcy a couple of months ago and, while they tried to reassure us, we all knew this was coming.
This was, of course, one of my favorite stores growing up. I used to go with my sisters and parents most likely heading for the Pokemon or Ninja Turtle aisle. Kris and I would always look at the video games as well, though admittedly we usually bought our games at Gamestop. Still, we bought some things there.
I remember most going to the store to pick out something for a friend’s birthday party. I’d often get (or try to convince my mom) to get me a little something as well. It was usually a booster pack of Pokemon cards.
My mom found a $20 gift card to Toys R Us the other day. I had wanted to go to check out any sales and to walk through the store one last time. My mom gave me the card and told me to use it for whatever.
It’s been a while since I’ve been in my local store but I remember all the transformations and changes they made to the store. It’s huge – one half being Toys R Us and the other half being Babies R Us. I mean, I remember going there with my friend to pick out a crib for her daughter (who is now 3).
So, I went to Toys R Us while everyone else was at work. And believe me when I say it was a sad sight to see.
First, when I walked through the door there was a sign that said, “Now Hiring – all positions! (Temporary).”
I found that completely strange, but I’m sure some people are leaving without waiting for the doors to close. I guess if I found out I was going to be losing my job, I’d search for a new one. If something new came along before the store officially closed, I’d leave too.
The store was mobbed. So many people were there with their young kids allowing them to pick out toys – seriously, there were some people who were letting their kids get whatever they wanted. I wasn’t sure if they had originally gone to check out any sales (which, surprisingly enough, there were none) or if they were going for nostalgic reasons.
The store was a mess too. With so many customers rummaging through the shelves, none of the employees were bothering to clean the place up. Not that I blame them, they have other things to worry about, but it took me a while to find anything I was looking for.
The shelves were bare too. It didn’t occur to me that they wouldn’t restock the shelves, but it was such a sad sight to see. I went to the back of the store where the video games are kept and I looked inside the casing that held all the Nintendo Switch and 3DS games. There were sporadic choices and only about one or two copies of each game.
Long story short, I had no idea what to get. There were barely any games to choose from and the rest of the store was such a mess that I couldn’t find anything. There were no Pokemon cards… I checked the store top to bottom.
I ended up getting two Amiibo – Crom from Fire Emblem for Kris and Tom Nook from Animal Crossing for me. We don’t have any Fire Emblem or Animal Crossing Amiibo yet, so I figured, why not? I also ended up with a giant coloring pad of the movie Cars for my nephew.
I stood in line for about 15 minutes with my stuff, paid with a very unpleasant cashier, and then I walked out of the store for the very last time.
I haven’t been in Toys R Us in a long time, but I will miss it, that’s for sure.

Was Toys R Us a big part of your childhood? Have you gone to your local store recently? Let me know in the comments below!

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Readers Comments (9)

  1. It wasn’t a huge part of my early childhood because we had another, now long gone, toy store that was closer but by the end of grade school a new mall opened near us and a Toys R’ Us adjacent to it. I remember clearly buying both my Turbo Grafx 16 and Sega Genesis at that new Toys R’ Us. Shortly after that though Funcoland opened up and EB Games and Babbage’s in the mall so I didn’t have much reason to go to Toy’s R Us unless it was for LEGO.

    • Yeah, Toys R Us was the big one around here. We have a couple of other toys stores scattered about, but they’re small and honestly, I can’t even remember the name of them now that I’m trying to think of them. I’ll be honest, I haven’t heard of the toys stores you just mentioned, lol.

      • Funcoland, EB Games, and Babage’s were all video game and computer game stores. I believe Gamestop bought all three at some point.

        • The other big toy stores we had we Kiddie City (which was closer to my house than TRU) and KB Toys, which I hated going to as it was always a super cramped store and gave me claustrophobic feelings.

          • Gamestop is really the only video game store I can think of that’s around here. To my knowledge, we never had Funcoland or any of that. I think we had a KB Toys at the mall at one point though… it went out of business a long time ago.

  2. I have a post coming next week on Toys “R” Us but I’ll share some of my thoughts. As a kid I loved the place. I remember getting many action figures I begged my mom for and of course SNES and N64 games such as Mariokart 64. Eventually when EB Games and Gamestop came into town and not to mention the mom & pop stores there was no reason for me to go there (unless I was buying a toy for a kid). Looking at the place now it never adapted in my opinion. Target, Wal-Mart and Amazon rolled prices on toys. What reason do people have to go there? For a collectors edition or an exclusive you can’t find anywhere else? But for a generic toy let’s use Hot Wheels for example. If it’s cheaper at Target than it is Toys “R” Us where do you think I’m going to buy it? It is going to feel weird that there is no exclusive toy store in America now.

    • I agree with you on that one. I haven’t been to Toys R Us for so long mainly because places like Amazon are cheaper. It’s still sad and certainly weird, but I do understand why it’s gone under. Everywhere kind of is.

  3. I worked for Toys R Us for 8 days in about 2001 and I can really see why they failed. It was such a backward place. The stores are always badly layed out, they stock too much of the same thing and they were often overpriced even when compared to shops like John Lewis nevermind online retailers.

    • That I can understand. I definitely see why they went under. I have never worked in retail before so I can’t say much from that side of things, but my sister has worked in retail and I’ve heard stories. I’m sure Toys R Us wasn’t much different.

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