Ah well, the other shoe has fallen. Toys R Us will be closing all its US stores with the intention to sell all the ones overseas. They previously shuttered 180 stores in the US and all its British stores but alas, too little too late.
Even though I didn’t live in the US until my adulthood, I’m actually a Toys R Us kid! In the 1980s, there was a huge 2 floor Toys R Us store next to Parkway Parade in Marine Parade in Singapore. In those days, TRU didn’t allow kids under 13 to go in unaccompanied so my mom would bring me in, leave me in the store and walk out to do her shopping. I’d then spend about 1-2 hours just browsing the aisles till she came back to pick me up. Good times!
In the 1990s, I moved to Los Angeles to further my studies. Near my apartment was a TRU (Sepulveda) where I’d go with my like-minded friends to peruse the aisles for Lego. I still remember lining up in 1999 for the midnight launch of Star Wars The Phantom Menace toys with my friends at the La Cienega branch. We lined up for 3 hours and I hoarded a few Star Wars Lego sets then.
Now that I’m a parent, TRU is still a must stop in whatever country that has them. I’m glad my kids got the chance to go to a big box store where all you see are toys and stuff for kids. It’s too bad that it won’t be for much longer.
In 2015 I brought my family back to Los Angeles and wouldn’t you know it, the Toys R Us at Sepulveda was still around! We went twice and memories of my trips there during my college days flooded back. The aisles were different but the experience remained the same. The difference being I was spending on my kids now instead of myself.
KB Toys and FAO Schwartz were the other big box toy stores that came and went during my lifetime. But Toys R Us is the one that has stayed in my memories the most, simply because it was around since my formative years.
Good bye Toys R Us. I will forever be a Toys R Us kid.