In March 2018, Toys “R” Us announced that they were going to close every single one of the United States storefronts, ending a legacy of maybe the most famous toy stores anywhere in the world.
And the Toys “R” Us stores are still going to exist “north of the border” – a number of Canadian stores will stay open since the organization that licensed the Toys “R” Us name for Canadian locations will remain in business – it’s going to be impossible to find ANY Toys “R” Us stores in the US by the end of 2018.
First established in 1948, Toys “R” Us grew into an absolute juggernaut in the toy space. With more than 800 stores open around the United States at the time of this closing announcement (and nearly 1500 stores at their peak), no other toy store on the planet could quite rival what Toys “R” Us brought to the table.
More than 30,000 jobs are going to be loss with this news as well. Dozens of storefronts in the state of California are going to be shuttered once and for all, but it’s one particular location in Sacramento that may be missed most of all.
The Toys “R” Us on Arden Way in Sacramento was home to an event that every single child in the US during the 1980s and 1990s dreamed about happening to them.
You might remember a show on Nickelodeon that showcased children getting a chance to run around a Toys “R” Us with absolutely no other shoppers in there but them, and absolutely EVERYTHING that they dumped into their shopping carts and brought back to the register area went home with them – 100% free of charge.
Well, a Sacramento native filled out dozens and dozens of entry cards to compete on this show when he was just 10 years old, and lo and behold he was lucky enough to selected for the televised event.
Organizers from Nickelodeon came out and through a big party at his elementary school, televising the entire thing. The very next day they set up the Arden Way Toys “R” Us for the lucky winner to run around and get anything and everything he wanted from the store, with Nickelodeon footing the bill completely..
The whole event took between five and six hours to film, even though everything was condensed down to just a minute and a half TV clip to advertise Toys “R” Us, but the winner walked away with thousands and thousands of dollars of free toys – and memories of a Sacramento area Toys “R” Us that will last a lifetime.
It’s sad to see the giant go, especially knowing that memories like these won’t be created by kids in the future.