Tuesday, April 10, 2018


You've heard about Toys R Us closing? Got a tissue in your hand? Save that tissue for another time: toy manufacturer Isaac Marian of MGA Entertainment, Inc. has a plan to save the Toys R Us brand AND about 400 of the 735 U.S. stores due to close. Yippee! Wolf whistles and feet pounding. Head bobbing and snatches from the old Toys R Us jingle - "the greatest selection ..." I am excited.

Even better, I could help. No, we could help.

What's the plan?

Well, Mr. Marian and two unidentified investors have started a GoFundMe campaign with a $200 million dollar contribution. The goal of the campaign is $1 billion dollars by Memorial Day, May 28, 2018. We can contribute to the possible saving of this unique toy store brand. The campaign does not guarantee that Toys R Us can or will be saved, but it offers Toys R Us enthusiasts an opportunity to contribute. I am enough of a fan that I could see myself making a contribution. Possibly. 

More to the question though is, should I? Should I contribute to the restoration of Toys R Us? What do you think?


Jewell said...

This comment is going to piss off some Toys R Us kids who long to see the store stick around BUT I am of the opinion that the only thing Toys R Us needs saving from is itself. For too long, they have charged too much for the same toys that shoppers can get elsewhere. Even as they go out of business, they're charging more than the competition! On top of that, the whole store "experience" that people used to love is a thing of the past. I don't mind paying a premium for good customer service and a unique shopping experience. I'm looking at you Build-a-Bear workshop and Publix. But Toys R Us offers neither of those things, so I say, why bother?

Jaye said...

I have to agree with Jewell. I can remember Toys R Us did some dirty dealing to put Kiddie City out of business years ago. Then they used that sneakily gained benefit to corner the market on toys and charge crazy prices. Now that online shopping, Target and Walmart are in the game (albeit not with the same amount of selections, but good enough) they don't come down on those prices. The clearance prices are even higher than regular prices at other places and they still think they are offering a deal. They ran themselves into the ground, so I would not contribute a dime (a dime I'd still get ripped off for while shopping there) to the cause of saving them. They had a good run, but it's over now. Sorry, I consider it a waste to invest I them.

Muff said...

If you have the funds and the passion then sure, I say make a donation. My passion for TRU however, waned a long time ago. I hadn't been to TRU for more than a year, maybe two. It was an effort to get there only to come away empty handed. They just got too pricey for me. The stores in my area closed and I didn't even bother to go scavenge. Mainly because I did have some good times there, so I wanted to remember it in its heyday and not as a wasteland of empty shelves.

D7ana said...

Hi and thanks for your thoughtful comments, Jewell, Jaye, and Muff! My initial impulse was to save Toys R Us, but after further reflection, I felt less inclined to do so. Aside from the way the stores were run - the inflated prices and smaller range did not live up to their early promise - there is no way I'd feel guaranteed that the store would return to its glory days. I don't have the passion for it or the funds. My two recent purchases will be my contribution to Toys R Us.

Muff said...

Oh no! Well, now I feel like a negative nelly sour puss, lol. I hope anyone who loves TRU doesn't hesitate to save it just because we poo-poo'd contributing. Keep in mind I'm super duper cheap... and kinda naturally cranky... and cheap!

Cindi Mortensen said...

Hi D7ana!
I haven't shopped much at TRU. First off, it's a bit of a drive from here. Second, they didn't really have what I wanted. If they did, the dolls etc. were more expensive then even Amazon. It's sad they're going out of business, but they've always been higher priced than everyone else, and their customer service hasn't been that great. I did buy a couple of the WWE dolls from there a couple of weeks ago though, so that'll be my contribution to them. LOL :-)

Lisa Neault said...

I have a real problem with this. No one saved all the mom and pop dollhouse or doll stores that went out of business; no one started million dollar go fund me accounts for them, when people like them (me! & some of my colleagues who owned similar stores- I owned a small business customizing dollhouses, specializing in dollhouses, accessories, toys, etc.) and had to close in 2011. If a big box store cannot stay open and is charging crazy prices and is putting other retailers out of business with dirty business practices- not too mention this- WHY are they going out of business? I mean, yes, for the loyal customers, if you love it that much, then donate, but donate with a clear view- they could have avoided it and did not. With today's shoppers, like the shopping experience of Build a Bear, and American Girl stores, why would I go to Toys R Us when there isn't one near me for about 40 miles? The nearest one is about 30-35 minutes away. I liked to shop there but it was just too far away. I have to say Walmart, Target, and Amazon and Ebay and even Barbie Collector were sometimes cheaper. I only occasionally purchased at Toys R Us when I could get a deal. I think if they had come up with more personalized gimmicks like the American Girl store and the Build a Bear store, featuring Geoffrey the giraffe to draw the kids in, they might have been able to survive. Another thought, most of the Toys R uS Where I live are only in affluent wealthy areas, so that was probably the reason for the inflated prices on items that were going for an affordable price at walmart and target.

D7ana said...

Hi and thanks, Muff, Cindi Mortensen, and Lisa Neault!

@Muff - aw, I don't consider you "a negative nelly sourpuss." I think there are 2 Toys R Uses in this picture: the once toy store and the remains of that store in a zombified state after the venture capitalists had at it. The fan memories vs. the stores' dealings that alienated and ignored their fan base. Why should we support the CEO and others who hinder the company from being customer friendly?

@Cindi Mortensen - I agree with your statements. I haven't been to Toys R Us for some time due to their higher prices, limited stock, and lackluster stores. I've bought 2 WWE dolls from them recently. That just might be the end of my contribution to them.

@Lisa Neault - thanks for sharing your perspective. I remember your having a doll business: you carried some lovely doll furnishings. My favorite toy shop experience was a visit to Small Blue Planet. Jaye reminded me of how Toys R Us "handled" their rival Kiddie City. Toys R Us should have survived, but the store did not. I've found some interesting posts on why Toys R Us flatlined; I'll share them in a separate post. Given the American economy since 2008, fewer people were willing, interested, or able to pay inflated prices to maintain store loyalty.