You've probably heard that Toys R Us is closing a ton of stores after filing for bankruptcy. The news is a bummer though it did get me thinking about some great memories of trips to the store when I was a kid. I went on Twitter and realized I wasn't the only one.
Hi guys. Going to be away from Twitter for a while. Just dealing with all of these Toys R Us closures in my own private way.— Conan O'Brien (@ConanOBrien) January 29, 2018
I'm sure many of you can relate but when I was a kid I would get so excited any time I got to go to Toys R Us. My local store was right by my doctor's office so I have this weird connection between the two because if I was good during my appointment my mom promised she'd take me afterwards as a reward, especially if I didn't cry after I got a shot. I took those shots like a man in order to get new dinosaur toys. My next door neighbor's mom had the same policy but he opted for Army Ants and Food Fighters over a stegosaurus and a triceratops.
I mentioned in one my previous blogs that I wanted to go to a Toys R Us and write about the experience as an adult shopping for himself since I was thinking about it and realized I hadn't been to one in over a decade. Then last week I heard about the closures. I know...I'm part of the problem. So I decided to go back and start the article from scratch with the recognition that a lot of these stores would be gone by the end of April. I'm so glad I did.
Throughout the past year I've been to toy shows and toy sections of big box stores but this is the first time in a long time I'd gone to a dedicated, current toy store. This trip gave me a good idea of what kids today are actually playing with.
I'm not really into Lego. Not that I dislike it, it's just that if I start another collection at this point I'll have to sell a kidney to pay rent. If that's your thing though a trip to Toys R Us is totally worth your time. You'll find a ton of licensed sets, like Marvel, Batman and Star Wars along with the classic building blocks.
I kept moving through the store, past the Disney princesses and Lightning McQueen's looking for more things an adult collector would like. The Star Wars and Marvel sections were cool but, with the exception of the exclusives, there wasn't anything I couldn't find elsewhere. Side note, while looking through stores like Target or Game Stop, I see a lot of these two franchises. I don't mean to sound like I have a one track mind, the two are just everywhere right now. It's hard not to mention them while writing about current toys.
On the DC side of the super hero aisle I saw one thing I really appreciated. Among the Batman toys modeled after Affleck and Bale there was a three-pack of figures based on the Batman '66 series. It's cool to see there's still a demand for Adam West's portrayal. I hope the kids find this just as fun as the adults.
Fans of Toy Story might find themselves in a dilemma when they see the signature collection. One of the major points of the series is that toys are meant to be played with. In Toy Story 2, the adult who collects toys is a fat thief and the toy that's been kept new in box is a total dick. It's like Pixar was trying to warn kids what they may become if they keep their toys pristine. But check out these dolls. They boast movie accurate design with both the packaging and the model plus they come with a certificate of authenticity. I feel like they almost defeat the purpose of being toys, especially at $60 each.
As you can tell I was having fun but things just got even better as I continued down the action figure aisle. I turned a corner and found all of the Ninja Turtles. I love seeing that kids today have their own version of the TMNT to collect. It was also fun to see that they still have replicas of the classic figures in today's stores.
Next I found one of the funniest toys I've seen in a long time. This TMNT/WWE Collaboration is amazing! I'm disappointed I didn't know about it until Series 2, but better late than never. Choosing Michelangelo to represent "Rowdy "Roddy Piper is an excellent choice. I can't wait to find the rest.
The TMNT aisle also had what I thought was the best deal of the whole trip. I'd heard about the "History of..." lineup but this is the first time I saw it in person. $50 got you 8 figures chronicling the history of Leonardo
I was about to call it a day and make this set reason enough to say an adult collector would still have some fun at Toys R Us. Success! But then I found the aisle called The Fun Vault. This could practically be renamed the NECA aisle and I wanted everything in it.
I could have kicked myself for not coming to the store sooner. Yes, I haven't been collecting that long but I found things I'd only previously seen at conventions. I felt so stupid not realizing all these awesome figures were at Toys R Us the whole time. Horror fans, if it's current, this aisle has it.
One of my favorite parts of shopping for toys is coming across something that you had no idea existed. The surprise mixed with the immediate feeling of need can be deadly for your wallet. This trip to Toys R Us provided those feelings in a big, bad way. It's too bad we're past Christmas because these toys would have made perfect decorations, right up there with a wreath, a gingerbread house and some blinking lights. Home Alone action figures!!!
So many Toys R Us stores closing is sad news. I checked the list of stores closing and the one closest to me is safe for now. That's a relief because I definitely plan on heading back. If you're in an area where it is closing I recommend you get out there and enjoy it while you still can. At the very least, go get yourself a sweet deal at a liquidation sale!
Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for a new article soon!