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Forum » Chew The Fat » Farewell Toys R Us
blueluigi
As I'm sure we all know, Toys R Us has officially announced that they're closing doors. All 735 of the current stores are soon going to be shut down. The local store where I live, didn't specifically say that they're going out of business, but it does seems to be in liquidation mode as I saw some empty shelves while going there. So, I decided to go there and buy a few things.


The first I bought is a five-figure Ren and Stimpy set. I found it fitting to get something based off a 90s Nick property as one of the last things I bought from Toys R Us. Why? Well, remember Nickelodeon's Super Toy Run?

Second, is of course, Kirby Star Allies. I was going to buy that digitally, but it made sense to buy a video game from Toys R Us, as that was where I got some of my games from as a kid. Not to mention the poster they had for the SNES Classic gave me a nostalgic flashback, as it felt like an ad I'd see at a place like Toys R Us back in the day.

As for why Toys R Us shut down, some have pointed to e-commerce, and tablet devices as the main culprit. And while that may be a big part of it, the biggest reason is because of debt. In 2005, Toys R Us went through a leveraged buyout, where they shifted to being a private company, and were bought by Bain Capital Partners (which, by the way, was owned by former presidential candidate, Mitt Romney), Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and Vornado Reality Trust for 6.6 Billion dollars... all of which were paid through by loans. And when you make loans to buy a big company, or even a house payments, then you better be damn sure you have enough money to pay it off... hence where the debt comes from.

On top of all that, the market of toys has been changing, as the world was shifting to smartphone apps and e-commerce. And because the suppliers needed to be paid to supply their products to Toys R Us, it was much harder for the company to do so. In other words, they were royally screwed. 

But then, the part that I absolutely hate the most is that the executives are going to be receiving payout bonuses, despite them doing a very crappy job running Toys R Us. So in other words, they're receiving a golden parachute, including the CEO of the company, where they're basically fired from their jobs, but they receive millions of dollars to stay fired. Can you imagine working a 9-5 job, and you receive a bonus like that where you would never have to work another day in your life? Well, that's what the Toys R Us executives are receiving. And I guarantee you the average worker is barely going to get anything after Toys R Us is completely gone for good. But that's crony capitalism for you.

Either way, it's very sad to see Toys R Us go away. While I haven't shopped there a whole lot as a kid, I remember at the occasions when my parents would take me, it felt like a wonderful place to look around in. My biggest memory was probably when my parents got me this Fisher-Price house that I kept in my room for the rest of the time I lived in that old house, though I would later use it as storage.

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Mr Magic
You guys know the gal who created the Toys "R" Us jingle?

http://money.cnn.com/2018/03/13/news/companies/toys-r-us-jingle/index.html
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"Wise men say 'Forgiveness is divine.' but never pay full price for late pizza."

ThatDudeintheHoodie
Expect me to mention the Nickelodeon toy run in my Toys R Us article. Also was the game on sale?
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blueluigi
No, the game wasn't on sale. I'm not sure if anything was on sale. I just saw that the store seemed to be on clearance. How long my local Toys R Us will stay open, I'm not sure.
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Rick Ace Rhodes
Unfortunately, I have no idea where a Toys R Us is even near me. I thought about going to one to pick up something for old times sake, but sadly that looks like that isn't even going to happen.
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VillechaizeLove
I worked at Toys R Us back in 2009/2010. Great place to work. Only reason I left was due to my mom's illness.. we were just talking about how screwed I'd be right now if I had stayed. Really hoping all the workers can find other work.
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jkatz
I have good memories of going to TRU like everybody else, but honestly, I'm not that upset about them closing down. It's not like toys themselves are going away forever, just a certain retailer. 
I should stop by my local one, while I still have a chance. Maybe pick something up for old time's sake (to quote RAR).

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Michelangelo
There a few Toys 'R' Us buildings that are still open where I live, but sadly it's only a matter of time before they close for good. It's a shame, really, because I used to go there and buy Star Wars toys when I was a kid. It was fun while it lasted.
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vkimo
I worked at Toys R Us for approximately 2 days. This was back in 2008 or so, and even then the manager was explaining how TRU was trying to rebrand somethings, like making the "R-Zone" a Bestbuy like shopping ceneter for electronics. IMO, the reason they closed was because when you go to TRU it's strictly for buying toys. Where as you go to Wal-Mart you can get your groceries and toys all in one trip. I'm sure a lot of parents liked taking their kids to TRU but it was also probably an ordeal as well.

The term, "Can we go to the Toy Store" is now dead, that's so strange to me.
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Superman
Oddly enough, I don't think I've ever been to a Toys "R" Us store, even though I remember seeing commercials for it on TV as a kid. I'm not sure if the reason was because there wasn't one close enough to us when I was a kid or if it was that because the closest one to us wasn't easily accessible by public transportation. My mom didn't drive until I was almost in high school, so most everywhere we went was by bus.

That's not to say I never visited a toy store as a kid. We visited Kay Bee Toys, which has long been out of business, quite frequently. Still, even having never been to a Toys "R" Us store, it is sad to see them go. It's just one more example of how the world is changing.
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echidna64
Toys R' Us is a nostalgia gold mine. It was my favorite store to go to as a kid and I have so many great memories of buying TMNT figures, Legos, Pokemon cards, and even video games in my teen years. Outside of a theme park, I've never seen a greater collection of Lego sets. Also, the Toys R' Us Christmas Catalog would be fun reading.

I would be interested to find out what toys were some of its best sellers in its final years. 
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