I don’t remember the first time I went to a Toys R Us store. I do know our town’s original Toys R Us was on Macon Road before it moved to the north side of town.
My most vivid memory of shopping at Toys R Us came on Christmas Eve. The kids were young (mid 1990’s) and were still impressionable enough that with a few prompts and making big show of the Toys R Us ad, their Dad and I convinced them that they wanted a 7 in 1 game table for Christmas. Yes, it was the adults who really wanted this but we made up for it in later years with game systems, cell phones and new bicycles.
I drew the short straw and headed out after the boys finally went to sleep to get the table. I arrived at the store just before midnight which at the time was when they were going to close. I remember being amazed that so many parents had waited until the last minute to shop. Technically I had done the same, but I was just after one item. There were parents running around pushing carts full of toys making it appear that they had been hiding under a huge rock for the last few months and had just emerged to realize that it was Christmas Eve.
I quickly grabbed one of the few remaining game tables and headed to the cash register swearing to never again be out shopping on Christmas Eve.
I know I must have been to Toys R Us many many times over the years but honestly, the only other big memory I have is the feeling of overwhelming relief at Thanksgiving a few years ago when we realized that our Black Friday shopping would not include standing in the line wrapped around the entire Toys R Us store. My sister, sister in-law and I did participate in that insane ritual when the kids were smaller but once my niece , who was the youngest grandchild, got her Fur Real pet, we were officially done.
The last time I really recall being in Toys R Us was in 2015 before my granddaughter was born. The baby shower registry was there so like the dutiful Gigi to be I went in and loaded up on the overpriced merchandise that my little princess could not do without.
It’s sad to see well established stores close down. Kmart and Sears are two others that come to mind. Like Toys R Us, their merchandise was priced higher than so many other stores for essentially the same merchandise. We have so many options these days for shopping, unlike years ago when we had one toy store, one discount store and Kmart still had a cafe and an Icee machine. It’s a shame that competition drove the prices down at my favorite stores and pushed the old giants out of business. Yes, that was sarcasm you read in my voice!
So long Toys R Us and don’t worry, I won’t ever grow up to the point that that I forget you.