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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
END OF AN ERA: Toys 'R' Us closing ALL U.S. stores... and UK stores as well.

The writing is on the wall, but I'll admit it still made me sad when I heard the news today.

Surely when it comes to all things 1:6 scale it's us old timers who would appreciate the loss perhaps more than the younger 1:6 collectors who grew up purchasing their sets online like nowadays.

I still have plenty of good memories checking out the isles of Toys 'R' Us back during the peak era of mass produced 1:6 lines.
Good days!

Care to share your fun stories?:gimme
 

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Yea I know, I heard on the local news my nearest store will be closing soon a few months ago. (Arp. 11) I was very sad about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just so you know, this was reported some time ago, in Loose Bits:

Toys 'R' Us To Close 180 Stores....
Yeah I know, I do follow the news.
Only difference was even then some stores were still holding out. Two stores in my area, one announced last October they're closing in May. The other one store is fully stacked but said to be still under negotiations.:popcorn

Today they made the news official.
 

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Respect, Honour, Courage
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Yup - all the TRU stores in the UK are closing too. A lot have already closed, but yeah, announced yesterday that the rest are closing too :( I remember it being a great place, and source of figures, but the last years in the UK at least, noticed a decline in offerings. I remember in the days of 21st Century etc, when I made my first trip to the US, I was like a little kid going into TRU there to see the offerings
 

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1:6 Miniature Craftsman
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Canadian T'R'Us still going....
Not for long. The company is in too much debt to trade out of it. The CEO said today that they will be closing all stores in France, Spain, Poland, Australia and the UK, and that they are still trying to find buyers for the operations in Canada, Central Europe and Asia. It would be worth going there now to see if they have any bargains but don't do any laybys and don't purchase any gift cards.
 

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They only have their idiotic leadership to blame. While I don’t feel all that nostalgic over the loss of an over-priced toy store chain that I haven’t shopped in for close to 15 years (not nearly as badly as I felt the loss of most book stores), I think most B&Ms that aren’t large ticket items should take note (wake up and pay attention to current and future trends). Aside from major appliances, automobiles (and for me personally) food, EVERYTHING can be bought online and cheaper. The future of retail is warehousing and perhaps one or two store fronts. And if these execs think that the majority of people don’t know how to shop around for the best value... well, they deserve to go out of business.

And VARIETY is key. As others have pointed out, TRU pretty much stopped carrying a lot of different products. As an example of lack of variety in another slowly dying store chain, I was just in a Barnes & Noble book store for the first time in years the other day (on a whim) to search for Beginner Chess books. They had a total of 5 books on the shelf. FIVE!! And none of them, as suggested by all my online research, were for beginners. I wanted to laugh at the clerk who suggested they could order them for me. Yeah... at full retail? I went home, and like everyone else on the planet, ordered those books off Amazon for much less than retail, and had them in 2 days. Chess is the most popular board game in the world and this store only had five books (none for beginners). How does one expect to get, and keep new, loyal customers? If they had had even one of the three books that had been recommended on multiple lists, I would have made a purchase. That one section alone was enough to convince me to never go back.

My sympathies lie with all the employees that are losing their jobs due to the incompetence of their leadership... not that the store chain itself is going out of business.
 

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Well this sucks. Not for 1/6 so much, since I haven't seen much of anything worthwhile there in years, but TRU was one of our main places to go for diapers! They gave either a 10% or 20% discount on Thursdays if you use a TRU credit card, and an additional 10% since we were always buying for twins! Combined, that actually made them one of the better deals around. That, and TRU is the only place that carries the Lego Speed Champions line other than the actual Lego store!
 

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My worst experience at TRU was at the age of 12. I did so many jobs landscaping and recycling just to save up to buy a 21st Century toys tank. Instead of getting the tank, my eyes saw the Villain's truck. I immediately grabbed the box in awe. Then a large, bald male with a white goatee grabbed it out of my hands and put it in his cart. I walked away to look at other figures. I reached for a 12" G.I.JOE adventure figure, but he followed me, grabbed the figure from my hand and said I was shop lifting.
 

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I swear...it was a punch in the gut for me, and here's why:

During my day-to-day business, I was taken very close to our local TRU store. Once my meeting was over, I decided "what the hell...I'll stop in and check out the current offerings."

I did see one thing that was interesting, which was a large display of sixth scale female wrestling figures - all fully jointed, but in need of replacement head sculpts. I figured it might be a good way to get some relatively inexpensive bodies for group building.

Upon leaving the store, I got in my car and cranked it up just in time for the news, on the hour. TRU closing was the lead story...



...and I was still in the damn parking lot.

Sad day, indeed.
 

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Toys R Us was purchased in a leveraged buy out years ago. This is where all their problems stem from. Basically they were bought for the minimum down by speculators, who then used the company as an asset for loans for the rest of the money with the company going from profitable to heavily in Debt. They then gutted the company as much as they could. The market changed on them, and right after the purchase we had the huge recession. So they weren't making enough to cover the debt for several years making the debt owed larger. Wal-mart and Target undercut them by charging far less for toys as well. They were charging premium prices for what became Wal-mart level service. Meanwhile the people that bought them were cutting cost where ever they could making the stores even crappier.
There is rumors of a buyer for the Canadian stores, and if that happens, they may be able to save 100 to 200 store. But it would have to happen this month. Either way sometime during the liquidation some one will buy the franchise name and we may see a small come back under new ownership in small select areas. So I don't think the name will die, but the stores as is will fizzle out most likely. No matter what there will be heavy changes one way or the other now.
 

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Here is the latest.

The former owner of MGA Toys (i.e. the company that owns/produced BRATZ dolls/toys) apparently wants to acquire TRU Canadian operations and the top 200 profitable US stores. This was supposedly in motion back in December 2017 where acquired TRU stores could have been rebranded as KB Toys. Since this is a liquidation situation, no change in name is required.

The judge overseeing the bankruptcy is allowing time over the weekend for the proposal's financing setup so the best judgment can be made (i.e. better/more $ to liquidate to settle with debt holders or allow a buyout to with debt holders).

Thanks to Rudy Panucci of POP CULT for the latest information.

Stay tuned.

Same OSW forum.

Same OSW thread.

Unless the OSW too goes bye bye over the weekend/early next week. You never know.
 

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Toys 'R' Us is still doing well in Singapore. We don't get super bargains like you people do in the States. Maybe that's why. Our market is different.
 

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For me it's all about nostalgia and the good old days of 21st Century Toys...

I remember the days when I'll stop by the local TRU on my way home from work to see what was new. I'll meet people there (very few collectors in PR back then) and we'll share intel about carded sets or boxed figures available in other stores, etc. One of my fondest memories is arriving at the 21st C/T section to find seven carded Soviet Paratrooper sets...I looked left and right and proceeded to clean up the rack! Got home with all seven and started putting figures together.

Overpriced? Maybe. But to me this was the closest thing to a brick-and-mortar store where I could hold a vehicle, carded set or figure before buying, meet fellow collectors in person and share the hobby, and in general enjoy myself with the expectation of what I'd find on those racks. It's been ages since I last visited a TRU because there's really very little there for the 1:6 military enthusiast, but it's sad to see them go.
 
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