RIGHT IN THE CHILDHOOD
Welp, toy colossus Toys “R” Us could be filing for bankruptcy this week. The child in me weeps.
I know, I know. But we should have seen it coming, right?
Bye bye brick and mortars
Similar to the way toy stores in malls have quietly disappeared over the past decade or two, it’s been a wonder Toys “R” Us has remained afloat given half the store is “baby stuff.”
(Sorry, that’s the kid in me that expected floor to wall action figures and toys upon entering the store – I mean, there’s already a Babies “R” Us… /rant)
Not to mention, interactive digital media gives us so much more at our fingertips so much faster.
I’m a product of the 80’s, so I fondly remember those trips to Toys “R” Us: skipping past the pink aisles of Barbies and Easy Bake Ovens (being the tomboy that I was) and bee-lining straight for the action figures to pick up the newest Ninja Turtle figure on the back of the packages that I didn’t yet have, or nabbing up a “My Buddy” doll. This is also the same store that my dad squealed like a child upon finding the coveted Patty O’ Green doll for me when Rainbow Brite was hot cakes.
These days, finding the perfect toy was the equivalent to Arnold Schwarzenegger looking for that Turbo Man doll for little Anakin Skywalker. Am I dating myself as on the older spectrum of the millennial scale, yet?
But now, I can easily download an entire library of every Atari, Nintendo, and Sega title out there for free and not have to go anywhere.
Physical toys require the begging of parents and money. When these things can’t be won, we only have our imagination. A TV screen or a computer screen that gives you some degree of simulated autonomy is much more appealing than running around in the sun. Tablets over toy is already a hot topic being discussed.
Timing isn’t looking so hot for the toy retailer as it’ already midway through September and the holiday season I just around the corner, which is when the majority of retailers would be expected to ring in the new year on a high note.
THE “B” WORD
As of late, Toys “R” Us, however, has been racking up a sizable debt of more than $5 billion dollars. The company made the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing on Monday night in federal court in Richmond, Virginia.
With competitors such as Wal-Mart and Amazon, it’s no wonder the company is hitting a few roadblocks along the way despite their late attempts to up their e-commerce game.
Fear not parents, collector, and nostalgia enthusiasts, the brick and mortar locations currently open will remain so as sources note there may be vested interest in the chain who expect them to come out successful in the end.
It has been reported that JPMorgan Chase will and other lenders will provide the company $3 billion in order to continue paying suppliers and employees; a good idea as we approach the holiday season.
It should come as no surprise given the trend of big box retailers closing due to the popularity of “tough to beat” alternatives such as Amazon and Wal-Mart. In an era of mobile communication and at-your-fingertips convenience, you have to go big or go home in order to stay ahead in the competition.
Ultimately, it will come down to who is willing to give you the best bang for your buck when the hottest trends like Funko Pop! Figures can be obtained, sometimes exclusively, through retailers such as Hot Topic, Game Stop, or in your latest blind box “loot” subscription.
Kids these days, am I right?