“I don’t want to grow up! I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us kid!”
This week truly marks the end of an era. For many of us, Toys ‘R’ Us was a key part of our childhoods and now they will be closing their doors and shutting down operations forever. It’s honestly breaking my heart.
On Friday, Toys ‘R’ Us locations around the country will be closing their doors one final time. The company announced its plans to shut down all stores earlier this year after filing for bankruptcy in September and struggling to string together the finances to continue operations. Now, the fateful day has almost arrived.
Over the past few months, Toys ‘R’ Us has been working to completely liquidate their stores by hosting “going out of business” sales and it breaks my heart that today’s children won’t know the excitement and adventure of going to the store and picking out their own toys.
I’m writing this now as a 35-year-old adult, however, I can remember the days back in the 80s and early 90s when it was a treat to go to the toy store on a Saturday afternoon. You were greeted by a super friendly Geoffrey the Giraffe and you just knew it was going to be a great day. I fondly recall walking through the aisles with my parents looking up in wonder at all the exciting merchandise and just feeling overwhelmed with joy. It was a simpler time before online sales ruled the world and, in some ways, it was a better time.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m an Amazon-aholic and do quite frequently shop online, however, when it comes to shopping for toys with a child, there’s so much that’s lost in translation when shopping online rather than in person in a store. Do you remember being a little kid, walking up to the register with the money that your parents had just given you, and paying for your own toy and feeling like a grown up? When you were little, there was nothing cooler than feeling like a grown-up.
In addition to Toys ‘R’ Us being a fun place to get toys as a kid, it was also a family bonding experience. I have two older brothers and I can still remember that, for that brief moment when we were all caught up in the excitement of going to the store, we all got along. Being the youngest and the only girl in the family besides my mother, I didn’t have a whole lot in common with my older brothers until later on in life, but when we were taking a family trip to Toys ‘R’ Us as kids, we did have something in common. Looking back now as an adult, that made those moments all the more special.
So, it’s with a sad and heavy heart that we say goodbye to a true staple of my childhood (and probably of yours too). Thank you, Toys ‘R’ Us for all the great memories and fun times! We still don’t want to grow up and we’ll always be Toys ‘R’ Us kids!
A karaoke obsessed, craft beer enthusiast and lover of all things pop culture, Denise enjoys all facets of entertainment from Broadway to box office blockbusters. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, concerts (lots and lots of concerts), volunteering, reading and playing with her rescue kitten, Samantha (who rescued who, right?).