Toys R Us 1957 – 2018

Toys R Us is going out of business. They owe more money to creditors than what they have and have declared bankruptcy. I keep reading that Toys R Us will be liquidating their current inventory with massive sales. The science fiction blog io9 said that sale was to begin yesterday. That didn’t happen.

I went to the Hagerstown Toys R Us yesterday and although the shelves were looking quite bare, there wasn’t a massive sale going on.

I’ve got my eyes on an Iron Man statue that normally costs $39.99. I have a Spider-Man statue from the same line that I was able to get for only $6.99 earlier at Toys R Us.

One of the byproducts of paying only $6.99 for a statue that normally costs $39.99 is that you don’t want to pay for retail for one ever again. You get spoiled.

The Hagerstown Toys R Us has one of the Iron Man statues in stock, but it’s $39.99 with a buy one, buy another at 40 percent off. Since they only have one, it makes that gimmick sale even worse than normal.

I have a lot of good memories associated with Toys R Us. Not as a child, but as an adult who has collected a lot of stupid stuff over the years.

It began with Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation action figures. I was in the Air Force stationed in upstate New York and my boss was collecting them. He asked me to be on the lookout for a Deanna Troi for him. Since she was a girl, toy companies made less of them since it was a toy line for boys.

Deanna Troi, the lady that started it all.

It got to be fun looking for her. I finally got her for him at a KB Toys in a “black” mall in Los Angeles when I was home on leave. My ex-wife and I were the only white people in the entire mall. I didn’t even notice until my ex-wife pointed it out. If memory serves, she cared about things like that.

I gave my boss the Deanna Troi figure when I got back and he was able to then finish his collection. I missed looking for her, so I started collecting them myself.

From collecting Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation action figures, I moved over to collecting Star Wars: The Power of the Force figures when they were released in 1995.

I then got into collecting sports-related Kenner Starting Lineup figures. I was into collecting those in a very serious way. I made many a trip to Toys R Us, KB Toys, Kmart, Walmart, and anywhere else I thought would stock them. Once they hit the pegs, they usually went pretty quickly.

I even started and maintained a Majordomo message email list for fellow collectors of Kenner Starting Lineup figures. It resulted in my very first online death threat. A member of the list got mad about something and decided to show his frustration by threatening me with death.

I still collect Hot Wheels cars off and on. I take a look at die-cast cars when we go to Walmart or Target. Sometimes I’ll pick up a car I like, but my interest in the toy cars is nothing too serious. They’re usually less than a dollar each, so it’s easy to pick one up if I see something I like.

I think I’ll miss Toys R Us, not for anything it can provide today, but for what it was able to provide before.

Thrasher Suit Batman Deluxe Figure by Greg Capullo

DC Collectibles released an action figure of Batman in his Thrasher Suit. The special suit first appeared in Batman vol. 2 issue #8. In the book, some Jehovah Witness folks knock on the front door of Wayne Manor and are greeted by Batman in a special armored suit.

Thrasher Suit Batman

At least, that’s the way I remember it.

The action figure is currently selling on Amazon for $44.95. It’s a limited edition (whatever that means) and stands nine inches tall. Normally I’m not the type of man who spends that much money on an action figure, but I have over $70 in available Amazon gift card money, so it would almost be like it was free. Plus, I did buy the NECA Adam West Batman 1/4 scale figure last year for $96 with Amazon gift card money.

It would not be like I was breaking new ground. Not really.