RIP TRU

So that's it then. Toys R Us went into liquidation today, effectively the end of the big box toy store in America. Apparently, in Canada the chain is staying afloat, but who knows for how long.

I'm kind of saddened by this, but for other reasons. Mostly that my niece and nephew will probably never know what it's like to go into a store like Toys R Us and be overwhelmed by the size of it all. And that 33,000 working people lose their jobs. That's the worst part. And now the founder of the chain has passed away. I'm sure it's heartbreaking to watch a bunch of vultures swoop in and destroy the company you worked your entire life to build.

I'm indifferent as to what this does for collectors. My local TRU closed after Christmas 2014, and though I made several trips to the Cedar Rapids or Des Moines locations since, I don't think I've actually purchased anything at a TRU store since the GI Joe 50th Anniversary line offered the Battle Below Zero set. Or maybe the Rogue One toy launch. It's been awhile. Come to think of it. ever since the leveraged buyout in 2005, it really sucked going to Toys R Us. They were saddled with so much debt that they could never overcome it (debt that I figure was never theirs in the first place) so even though they were a profitable chain, they could barely pay the interest. At least that's what I figure by reading all this digital ink. So they never really updated the stores, and couldn't turn over stock like they needed to. Recipe for disaster. Now that they're gone, I wonder if Wal-Mart and Target will continue carrying toys. They've been trying to undercut the toy stores for decades, and now they're all gone. So what interest would Wally and Target have in carrying Star Wars figures on classic cards? Or remakes of Transformers, some with designs that are thirty years old and only appeals to dudes like me? GI Joe is already dead, so it wouldn't surprise me to see companies like NECA fall to the wayside along with things like Hasbro's collector offerings.

It's so strange. SO many of the places I used to get toys are gone. K-Mart. Sears. JC Penney. Kay-Bee. And now Toys R Us. Target will probably be next, another casualty of the war Amazon is waging on, well, everybody. Economics 101 states that if there's a vacuum, something will fill it. TRU leaves a pretty big hole (20% of the total toy business) so somebody will step up. There's a company out there that purchased the Kay-Bee name a couple years back and they've announced a plan to return, so we'll see...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

old Star Wars toys!

well, balls.