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.