March 15, 2018

Toys R' Us

I'm probably a bit too old to be a "Toys R' Us" kid. Growing up in York, PA, there was no Toys R' Us nearby - we had a local toy store, which a quick internet search IDs as "Roger's Toy Store" (not in my memory banks, although I'm sure we shopped there). We more likely did our toy shopping at department stores - Hills, Woolworth's, McCrory's, Sears, Montgomery Wards. I've written here of the Sear's catalog being a holiday staple - pouring through the toy catalog each year.

Pretty sure the first we knew of Toys R' Us was during visits to Cherry Hill, NJ to visit our friends the Quinn family or family visits to Long Island where the commercials hit the local television stations.Those Toys R' Us commercials, jingles, and iconography are permanently seared in my head.

When we moved to Framingham, MA, there was a Toys R' Us store at Shopper's World; we'd ride our bikes down there to hang around in the summer, but high school me was probably a bit old to be that interested except for video games and such. And even then, there was competition; I remember a Child World in nearby Natick more clearly than Toys R' Us.

It's sad to see any retail store closing, but in some ways it's a combination of retail apocalypse and a hangover from the leveraged buyouts of the 00's (reportedly, a $5B debt left over from 2005 sealed the deal in terms of the company's liquidation)

There's a soon to be closed store near my house; I've been in there perhaps 5 times in the years I've lived here. I much prefer shopping at small local toy shops; or buying online.

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