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Retroist K·B Toys Podcast
Welcome to the 9th episode of the 15th season of the Retroist Podcast. Today’s episode, number 282, is all about everyone’s favorite mall-based toy store, K·B Toys.
The show begins with a story about how I got a taste of freedom while at the mall as a kid. This liberating experience for me, was an alarming one for my family. Good or bad, the adventure started and ended at K·B Toys, or as it was known back then, Kay-Bee Toy & Hobby.
Next, I talk about the store chain, its founding, growth, management shifts, name changes, and eventual demise. And, of course, I cover the great Nickelodeon Super Toy Run! Along the way, you’ll hear some fun retro advertising that ran over the years.
K·B Toys was a presence in young people’s lives for decades. It felt like an institution that would always be around. Rumors continue to circulate of a brand revival, which could be fun to see, but right now, they are just rumors.
In the meantime, all we can do is reflect on the history of this great chain, commune over our shared memories, and dream of what toys we would grab in a 5-minute dash around our favorite store.
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9th episode of the new season and the 282nd episode of the Retroist Podcast.
I only have a handful of mall chain stores that I actively miss, K·B Toys is at the top of that list.
Cut out a little bit about the Bros who founded the original stores. Just about a minute. Didn’t add much.
Removed a bunch of stuff about the financial wranglings behind the scenes as the company imploded. It was becoming a business/finance podcast and I didn’t want that and I am not good at that.
I had gone a bit overboard on the retro audio and cut about 2 minutes of it out. Love the toy run commercial.
Was really happy to learn about Paramus Park’s place in mall history.
I had a little walkthrough of a sale that I picked up a circular for, but while I enjoyed looking at it, it wasn’t particularly compelling once edited. That chopped off two minutes.
I discussed Circus World/Child World in what I later learned was a confusing way, so I cut that out.
Had some more stuff about the companies attempt for less violent toys, but I think the gun example was enough.
Music on the show is, as always, by Peachy.
Thanks to Christopher Tupa for the fun K·B Toys promotional art he supplied this episode.
Thanks for listening to the show and I hope you have a great weekend.