Your Toys R Us Memories

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Peter Paltridge

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#1
I don't wanna grow up.



Today Toys R Us announced it is completely going out of business. This is the news I've been dreading for some time but I knew was coming. The most recent development before this was the corrupt execs voting themselves a gazillion dollar bonus while closing 2500 stores. It was a pump and dump; they considered the franchise a lost cause and were just squeezing it for its remaining value before getting out of there.

I refuse to believe kids today don't want to go to Toys R Us. A giant room full of toys can't ever lose its appeal, can it? This gets even more maddening when you think about the stale businesses circling the drain who are still around in some form today. Toys R Us actually met the Reaper before K-Mart did. How did that happen???

Toys R Us was the closest thing to heaven when I was little. You'd walk in there, the automatic doors would go WHOOSH and blast that familiar smell in your face, and you'd be instantly greeted with all these incredible things stacked straight to the ceiling you knew you'd never have (because they always put the most expensive items up front). And like most of you I remember the long looooong aisle of video game box photos with pouches that had little yellow slips of paper with prices on them. You'd take them to the stock boy and he'd get your game. And often, all those illustrations were all you had to go on, because you couldn't even read the back of the box. "This game's boxart looks so rad, it HAS to be good." It usually wasn't.

But the demos! You could try out NES, SNES, Genesis, Game Boy or whatever was currently on the market, all in one place (well before other stores let you). You wished you owned the special Game Boy kiosk that transmitted the games onto a big TV. You wished the four-year-old behind you would stop tugging your leg and wait his dang turn.

You knew which of the segregated aisles were for you because the girl's aisles were blindingly hot pink and the boy's aisles smelled like a basketball. You couldn't make up your mind what to get because there were just SO.....MANY.....TOYS. Sometimes you were here to make a birthday or a Christmas list and you were free to explore wanderlust, but there was no way your mother was buying all 57 listed items on there.

A world without Toys R Us will be a cruel world indeed. What do you remember about it?
 

Dsneybuf

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Sep 22, 2011
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#3
Well, I'll at least have my work uniforms and some unopened exclusive minifigures to remember Toys 'R' Us by. (Don't worry about how this closure affects me; I stopped working for them last year.)
Thinking about some unique memories I could share:
  • The closest TRU to me still had a coin-op of the Batman Forever Batmobile at the exit last time I visited them, which occurred earlier this year. I can't recall the last time I saw someone ride it, though.
  • One Toys 'R' Us store I visited once lasted so long, that the signs on the front exterior, side exterior, and sign post each featured a different version of the company logo.
 
Aug 21, 2010
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#4
I actually went to a TRU back in January, fearing the worst-- the store I went to was one of the ones announced to be closing back in February. Thankfully, I did manage to pick up a Thunderbirds are Go! vehicle giftset while I was there (it floored me, I wasn't even aware they were importing those toys, considering said show is Amazon-exclusive in the US).
 

twilicorn

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#5
Oh boy, here comes the guide to Toys R Us raiding (if they undergo liquidation). Might not be much of interest for me but there should be lots that my 3 year old cousin would enjoy. Plus maybe some Switch games on the cheap. (We still don't have MK8 Deluxe or 1-2 Switch at home yet). I haven't felt like this since the Sears in my area closed up very early this year.
Also, you posted two threads with this title at the same time. Might want to delete the one without replies if you haven't already.
 

Dsneybuf

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Sep 22, 2011
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#6
Some memories of the Toys 'R' Us website I find worth sharing:
  • When I pre-ordered the first MCU Lego set with a Spider-Man minifigure, Tanker Truck Takedown, TRU sent it to me a few days early.
  • When TRU became the first toy vendor to offer Marceline the Vampire Queen for Lego Dimensions, quite a few collectors lamented that her Toy Tag didn't work with the game, but I lucked out, and apparently became one of the first American Lego Dimensions fans with a functioning Marcy. (Because of a promotion at the time I pre-ordered her, TRU also sent me the Adventure Time "Stakes" DVD.)
 
Jan 17, 2005
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In the refuge
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#7
I refuse to believe kids today don't want to go to Toys R Us. A giant room full of toys can't ever lose its appeal, can it?
Yeah, I know. A two year old is more likely to get a cell phone, these days. (As weird as that is. You could make an argument for a school-aged kid, but not a two year old. Come on!)

Toys R Us was the closest thing to heaven when I was little. You'd walk in there, the automatic doors would go WHOOSH and blast that familiar smell in your face, and you'd be instantly greeted with all these incredible things stacked straight to the ceiling you knew you'd never have (because they always put the most expensive items up front). And like most of you I remember the long looooong aisle of video game box photos with pouches that had little yellow slips of paper with prices on them. You'd take them to the stock boy and he'd get your game. And often, all those illustrations were all you had to go on, because you couldn't even read the back of the box. "This game's boxart looks so rad, it HAS to be good." It usually wasn't.
I forgot about the yellow slip thing, but I did go to the game section.

You couldn't make up your mind what to get because there were just SO.....MANY.....TOYS. Sometimes you were here to make a birthday or a Christmas list and you were free to explore wanderlust, but there was no way your mother was buying all 57 listed items on there.
I would've loved that.

A world without Toys R Us will be a cruel world indeed. What do you remember about it?
This sums it up, fairly well.
 
Last edited:

jaylop97

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#8
I remember going to a Toys R Us every Sunday before my second grade year, I always enjoyed seeing the toys that were available. I liked going there with my family and on occasion we would get some toys, usually action figures or rarely play sets. My favorite playset was a Hot Wheels one I bought in 2004, though too bad I lost most of the cars a year later.

Anyways it will be a sad sight when they all close for good, because this is one store that did a lot for me in my early years and I enjoyed the time I spent there for the toys I had fun playing with.
 

Storm Eagle

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May 14, 2002
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#9
And like most of you I remember the long looooong aisle of video game box photos with pouches that had little yellow slips of paper with prices on them. You'd take them to the stock boy and he'd get your game. And often, all those illustrations were all you had to go on, because you couldn't even read the back of the box. "This game's boxart looks so rad, it HAS to be good." It usually wasn't.
I remember doing that with a video game, then bringing it up to the cashier, only for them to tell me that they actually didn't have it stocked. You'd think they would, if they had any of the slips available for that game that you could just take out of the pocket.

The first game I did that with was Super Mario Bros. 3, and the last game I did that with was Donkey Kong Country 3.

At this point of my life, video games are the only thing I'd even get from them, but I usually get that sort of thing from Best Buy or GameStop, and maybe Target or Wal-Mart. I actually managed to get an SNES Classic at this TRU near me on the day it came out. I got it for someone else since Best Buy and GameStop would come through for me, and I got one of those for a co-worker.

If I wasn't going to TRU for video games, I was most likely going there to look at Power Rangers toys, although I never bought them. I'd just go to look at them when new ones would come out. There were a few times where a parent would be there with their kid, and I'd educate the parent about the show.
 

wiley207

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#13
I remember Toys 'R' Us used to be my go-to source for HO-scale model trains. Not the higher-end stuff for more advanced/elaborate model railroaders (like Atlas, Athearn, Walthers, etc.) but for the more consumer-aimed stuff like Bachmann and Life-Like. In fact, my first electric train set I got for Christmas when I was eight years old was Life-Like's "Toys 'R' Us Express" train!
 

Dsneybuf

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#14
I remember when Nickelodeon sent one kid on a free Toys 'R' Us shopping spree every year, and I just found the first ad I recall watching for that contest:
I didn't recall the floating heads' lip-flaps looking so fake, though.
 

Storm Eagle

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#15
I remember Toys 'R' Us used to be my go-to source for HO-scale model trains. Not the higher-end stuff for more advanced/elaborate model railroaders (like Atlas, Athearn, Walthers, etc.) but for the more consumer-aimed stuff like Bachmann and Life-Like. In fact, my first electric train set I got for Christmas when I was eight years old was Life-Like's "Toys 'R' Us Express" train!
For some reason, that picture makes me sad, but just sad that TRUs are actually closing.
 

twilicorn

HER AIM IS GETTING BETTER
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#19
There's a Frozen stage musical on the way so I'd say Frozen still has a bit of life in it yet. And is the Frozen 2 "synopsis" supposed to be referencing something? I know it is but I'm not sure of what.
 

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