The Toys R Us catalog was the bible of childhood for six decades. It was the must-visit before Christmas, Halloween or the arrival of the Three Wise Men.
“If it exists, it's in Toys R Us”, was the ambitious slogan with which the company showed its power in the toy world. There were long lines in the morning to buy a particular toy and even provoked fights and thefts.
The toys that lived at Toys R Us unleashed hysteria among children (and some parents) year after year, and the catalogs fed it. “Come to the home of the Magi”, read an early Christmas brochure from 1991. Behind it was printed a map to mark the stores it had in the United States.
The catalog highlighted the coveted, early Game Boy, which back then also included the Tetris cartridge, batteries and stereo headphones. Its small screen was still black and white. The Nancy doll, the mountain bike or the plastic skates also caused a sensation.
The difference of this chain was always in the size of its stores, the variety of toys, having the best brands in the market and the interaction of children with the product. These strengths made the business grow, made it the largest toy store in the world and made toys fun again.
The rise of e-commerce put Toys R Us in a difficult situation. There is no doubt that the charm of visiting a store and interacting with toys is still one of the great advantages, but the convenience of viewing an online catalog on the couch at home and placing an order without having to go out became a trend that affected its business model.
Despite its downfall, the chain adapted to the current times and changes took place: the size of the stores was reduced and online commerce was reinforced.
However, competition in the sector is now more pronounced. Today, the large toy stores operating internationally have opted to promote a fun and interactive experience that allows them to take advantage of the benefits of having physical stores. But Toys R Us is backed by history.
Despite having closed worldwide there are still Toy R Us stores open in the world, which remain open due to their great success in the place where they are located. For example, one is located in Japan and is one of the last stores open, as well as in Spain and Portugal.
There isn’t an American who hasn’t passed by a Toys R Us store and who doesn't have an anecdote to tell. This chain has marked many generations and even today, far from the splendor of yesteryear, it continues to surprise young and old alike. Your grandparents and parents will surely have a lot to tell you about Toys R Us.
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