Toys ‘R’ Us About To File Bankruptcy
I remember as a kid (90+ years ago) there were 3 places you wanted to always go hang out at. KB Toys, Fred Meyers (this was Target and Walmart before they existed back in the Northwest) and Toys ‘R’ Us!
My Mom & Pop divorced before I can remember so I never knew them as a couple. I’d go with my Pops’ on weekends when I was young and we’d usually catch a movie and I’d always wanna go to one of those 3 stores to see toys. My Dad jokes that he thought his name was “Fred Meyer” for the longest cause I’d get in the car and immediately say “Fred Meyer, Fred Meyer, can we go to Fred Meyer?”. Jesus, what an annoying fahking kid I must have been. Luckily I evolved to be an angel.
The first time going to a TRU as a kid was just CUM EVERYWHERE. The outside looked like no other building you’d seen. Cartoonish lettering, not fully spelled out and COLORS. There were bright colors EVERYWHERE! Shelves that seemed to go to the ceiling and the sounds! Sounds of announcements over the loud speakers, toys and games making buzzing and whistling sounds, kids laughing, kids screaming, parents screaming, just excitement in the air all over.
I remember every year, about a month before Christmas, my Grandparents would take me to TRU to see what I liked or I’d pick out something from the JcPenney or Sears catalog. I remember just HOURS upon HOURS of going through those catalogs to find the perfect Christmas request for Santa or walking through every single aisle of TRU trying to make sure I didn’t miss the newest Lego set, Super Hero action figure or army man.
Then as I got “older” (teens) the Toys R Us became the Video Game mecca. This was before Gamestop or Amazon. I remember going to TRU with my buddy John Eichler and seeing some weird looking game called Mega Man that I’d never heard of, never read anything about. This was before internet review sites or youtube unboxing videos. You just had to go off your gut and cross your fingers. I basically told Johnny “let’s give it a try” and that game turned out to be one of the best ever.
And now, it’s 2017 and with Amazon, Ebay, Walmart, I guess there’s no love anymore for the brick and mortar TRU. They’re about to file bankruptcy just to try and stay operational and survive. I remember KB Toys shutting down and as a kid you’re like “what? they’re just gone? but why???” but I’m not sure kids nowadays even give a fahk about a TRU. Maybe it’s viewed as a way things use to be done and seems just clunky? Kids now can watch youtube videos of someone opening the newest Lego set to see if they’d like it. Or read 1000+ reviews on Amazon about a toy before they buy it. But there was something about the voyage, the journey of going to the Toys ‘R’ Us, seeing that box or toy, holding it and then hoping and wishing to get it one day. You’ve touched it. You’ve held that holy grail! one day… ONE DAY!
Maybe I’m just the old man set in his way, but I got a special place in my heart for good ol’ Toys ‘R’ Us and I’ll be sad to see them go.
I guess even when you don’t wanna grow up, you still have to and Toys ‘R’ Us is all grown up and part of growing up is putting your toys away.