Man, another piece of my childhood is about to disappear. Toys R Us is planning to close all 800 of its U.S. stores six months after filing for bankruptcy.
This weekend my wife and I took our kids to use their gift cards, and I had a chance to look around inside the store for the first time in years. Even though the toys were different (no "Six Million Dollar Man" action figure with removable bionic arm), the memories remained the same. I still felt like a kid watching my own son and daughter trying to decide how to spend their money. Should they buy a video game or Barbie? Maybe get a Star Wars action figure, or "what about a board game" asked my daughter.
Today with a click of our mouse we get whatever we want on Amazon. No waiting months if your favorite toy is out of stock, and no looking ahead to next years "Toys R Us Christmas Catalog" (not to mention catchy TV commercials "I don't want to grow up, I'm a Toys R Us kid...").
After about an hour and a half looking around, our kids finally decided what they wanted, and that was that. As we were leaving the store in Roseville, I turned to my wife and said "That's kind of sad, that's the last time we'll ever walk out of a "Toys R Us" store, isn't it? "
Maybe, I thought, the "Toys R Us" name won't go away? Maybe someone will pick up the name and decide to reinvent the brand? Probably not, but it's wishful thinking.
I didn't say it out loud, but as we left the parking lot, I said "goodbye Geoffrey the Giraffe." Even though I've outgrown most of the toys inside the store, there's a part of my adult self that will always feel like a "Toys R Us kid," and that's a feeling no bankruptcy or store closure can take away.