Friends, yesterday I said fare thee well to Toys R Us. While some stores had already been shuttered. Such as the Retroist himself wrote about back in March. My local Toys R Us had their last day on Friday. So I had to make a final trek to give my fare thee well to Toys R Us. For the joy and most certainly for the memories I have of the toy chain.
First, I have a confession to make about Toys R Us.
Now, to be totally honest, I didn’t grow up a Toys R Us kid. Because we didn’t actually have a Toys R Us in my neck of the woods until much later. My toys were generally bought at the Kay Bee Toys at the local mall or Walmart and Kmart. Naturally though it isn’t like I did not know what Toys R Us was. Especially around the Holidays when those wonderful commercials hit the airwaves.
[Via] The Museum of Classic Chicago Television
Around 1986, construction began at one of our local shopping centers. My Grandparents knew how much I wanted to visit a Toys R Us and shared the news one was being built. They had read the announcement in our local newspaper. Sadly…that wasn’t quite true. What opened was Toys and Plus which appeared to be a wholesale toy store. Which might explain why they had a back stock of about 200 Wreck-Gar’s from The Transformers. However, having said that, it was the place to go to grab your Thundercats, Inhumanoids, and Silverhawks toys.
[Via] Retropolis Channel
Geoffrey the Giraffe finally arrives!
My local Toys R Us didn’t even arrive until…I want to say it was around 1993. That is because that was when I headed to Toys R Us to grab the Generation 2 toys of Transformers.
Since those days there generally wasn’t a week that went by where I didn’t drop in. Obviously at my age I very rarely ever picked anything up beyond a Universal Monsters collectible. However I still enjoyed walking up and down the aisles. Especially when it was announced that Toys R Us was closing down. Of course now it had an air of bittersweetness to the visits.
As I looked over the many toy lines week after week. I just felt I had to document the change between visits. To be sure the first couple of trips, you couldn’t really see any difference. Then around April as the discounts began to rise you could see people had begun buying out the store.
Through the photos I was taking I realized what I was doing. I was preparing myself for this post, my fare thee well to Toys R Us. Which made it all the more important to be there for it’s very last day in business. Thankfully a phone call to the store informed me that their last day of operation would be on the 29th.
Which is when my fare thee well to Toys R Us hit a snag.
Cue the Price is Right fail music. As I walked up to the door I was greeted by a disheartening sign. It appeared that the actual last day the store was in operation was the 28th.
Now fortunately there were still employees in the store. I tapped at the window and motioned for one of them to meet me at the exit. Perhaps being dressed in my usual business attire she thought I was an assistant manager or something?
I informed her that I knew they were closed, I wasn’t interested in purchasing anything. All I wished was to come in and take a few last photos. The young woman was kind enough to let me enter and I snapped some quick shots. Everything was literally gone.
In regards to toys and such. There was a Manager conducting a meeting and I had no wish to bother them of course. So I thanked the employee and patted the doors on the way out. My simple but still fond fare thee well to Toys R Us.
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