You may have heard the news. No, they’re not going out of business yet. But if you’ve heard the updates on the news, you know the end of Toys-R-Us will soon be upon us.
Because let’s be honest, if a kids aren’t getting their toys off of Amazon these days, they’re at the most going to go to Walmart or Target. They wouldn’t even recognize Geoffrey () if he had an armload of iPads shaped like fidget spinners.
But back in my day, Amazon was a river I misspelled on my geography tests and the idea of getting a toy from Walmart was beneath me. Toys-R-Us was a dream destination, and to say that I have extremely fond memories of it is a drastic understatement.
For example, I absolutely must start with the tale of the amazing
Child-Sized Battery-Powered Cars
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re either in your late 40’s, or you were one of those kids that watched PBS for fun. Toys-R-Us had a display of these cars that were…well, child-sized and battery-powered. They would go as fast as – what I thought at the time was at least the equivalent of a suburban speed limit – but what really was around 2.5 mph.
We never got one, no matter HOW many times we asked. But the second we walked into the store, my brothers and I would trample kids over and shove aside shopping carts just to get to the car section. Then when we had to leave, we would beg and plead and try to extend our time for as long as possible.
And as we were getting dragged out by our feet, we told our parents how lucky they were that they got their own car to drive whenever they wanted.
My second story is going to be an obvious one, because what “childhood memory of Toys-R-Us” blog post would be complete without a narrative about
Certainly not this one.
Every year, a few weeks following up to Christmas, my dad would load me and my brothers up in the car for our sibling Christmas shopping trip. The sibling Christmas shopping trip would go like this:
- We’d each go to our respective sections (me: the girl section for anything Polly Pocket or Beanie Baby, them: the boy section for dumb boy stuff).
- We would then decide on a variety of toys suitable to open on the big day.
- Our dad would come to our section, take notes on our selection, and find the other siblings to let them know.
- The other siblings would then pick out what toy they wanted to give as a gift.
- Then we’d all go do what we had wanted to since we arrived (the car section), and drive around until it was time to leave.
My dad, of course, paid for all of the gifts we gave to each other. Which is perhaps what I miss most about this scenario.
The next story is one of hope and inspiration. It’s a story about
The Time My Dad Almost Got a Job at Toys-R-Us
One evening, when I was in third grade, my dad came home after work and told us that his company had gotten bought out. That meant that everyone there was going to lose their job, including him. Not realizing the implications of a job loss (poverty, homelessness, us having to use our own allowance to buy Christmas presents), I deemed the announcement as fantastic news.
Now he could finally be an employee at Toys-R-Us like I had always dreamed.
I told him the good news, eager for this whole “job loss” to be behind us and the free toys to start flowing.
He appreciated my advice, but unfortunately never got around to picking up an application. Shortly after the company buy-out, he found another job at a nearby insurance company.
But instead of unlimited toys, he does my taxes, which I suppose worked out in the end.
So, in unrelated news, I don’t know how to do sidebars on this blog. But if I did, this story (well, less of a story and more of a “thank you, Toys-R-Us”) would be a
When I was an au pair in Australia, I had to find ways every day to entertain a three-year-old. When I ran out of ideas, or grew sick of feeding those scary ass ducks, we would go to Toys-R-Us. I could sit on my phone and text all of my cool Australian friends, while she would look at and touch all of the dolls and stuffed animals (that she didn’t know that were supposed to come out of the box). Thank you, Toys-R-Us. So
Toys-R-Us, this one goes out to you. I’m eternally disappointed that one day soon (just being realistic here) you’ll be shutting your doors forever. I know I don’t frequent your establishment very often (well, since 1998), but it’s a shame all of my children that I don’t want to have will only see toy shopping through the screen of a computer and never know the joy of a Toys-R-Us trip.
Thank you for all of the memories.
And more importantly, the stuff.