Nostalgia at it’s finest hour. Everyone knows by now the beloved Toys R Us chain will be closing its stores in the U.S. Finité. Done-zo. Buh bai. FOOR EVORRR (for you Sandlot fans out there, have you seen those reunion pics btw?!?!)
Obviously, Toys R Us was an integral part of many Millennial and Gen-Xer’s childhoods. But it’s one of the few stores that still managed to captivate us in our adulthoods with video games, collectable toys, and erm Babies R Us (for some of us). It would be remiss to say it’s no big deal.
Lisa and I post a lot to Instagram, however these posts were a little different. Every comment and message we read was filled with a heavy heart and a bittersweet goodbye. Toys R Us brought up a lot of us and got us through. It represented more than just our childhoods, but a time when life seemed simple. We have that one memory that makes us go, “Ugh aww damn.”
My last trip to Toys R Us with my parents, well my Dad, was after my grandmother died. I remember him driving us to find clothes for the funeral, but somehow winding up at the toy store. I was confused, new toys were out of the budget. My Dad lost his job and my mom was the sole breadwinner for months. My sister, brother, and I wandered the aisles, all a bit awkward, we browsed the shelves not daring to pick anything up. I rounded a corner and heard my Dad on his clunky black cell phone, “Yes, I brought ‘em like you asked . . . I hope it makes them feel better too.” When he hung up the phone he found us and said, “Will you pick something out already?” My siblings and I looked at eachother perplexed but didn’t hesitate long before we scuffled to our favorite sections of the store.
Toys R Us was a place to cheer us up, to be rewarded when we behaved, or to cause havoc (especially when the toys bought were for someone else). Ultimately, it was a place to be a damn kid. There aren’t many places anymore that allow for all of the above. For that, Toys R Us, you’ll be missed. If you’re somehow rectified and brought back from the dead, I hope you bring hope, joy, and chaos to many more generations to come.