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Community => Watto's Junk Yard => Topic started by: SilverZ on August 12, 2004, 01:28 AM

Title: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: SilverZ on August 12, 2004, 01:28 AM
Sorry this got a little wordy.  :-\

I'm surprised the article about TRU's latest struggles hasn't filtered over here. So how does everyone feel if they lose their local TRU, or the current way they handle their SW product changes?

They're probably closing stores, and considering the mention of inventory liquidation, 2005 ordering is probably going to be much narrower selection-wise in their stores. We've lost FAO, and KB is a neutered den of irrelevancy. What if TRU chokes up and becomes irrelevant for us?

After some thought, I've concluded that they can just go away and I could care less, except for one major problem. Here's how I figure it:

TRU is a key vendor for a company like Hasbro. Can lines with shaky performance (the Star Wars line potentially included) withstand the loss of a huge portion of their sales, in what may be a quick climate change? I don’t see this being a problem with smaller companies like McFarlane, who have smaller production runs, and can more easily adjust their lines in both manufacturing numbers and wholesale allocations. But with a big lumbering giant like Hasbro, conditioned to dealing with other creaking B&M key accounts, making a successful transition for marginal lines like Star Wars to adjust for the loss of one of its main sales conduits looks like a major problem. I think this is the main area we can be stung in. We could lose the line if Hasbro isn’t prepared to transition sales away to other retailers during TRU’s potential coma or death. We could lose a convenient outlet for basic figures, and Hasbro could lose a bundle of cash without the outlet in place. I bet we see some toy lines die along with them, if it happens.

If TRU were gone, we could see e-tailers take a stronger role in mass-market non-kid/non-fad/non-movie-year toys. We could even see a post-TRU Amazon.com toy resurgence. We’ll undoubted see the big box stores expand their toy aisles. We’d hopefully see increased competition and variety of merchandise as they compete to lure the old TRU folks into their stores.

I could be wrong, of course.

TRU has been the leader on exclusive Star Ware items, at least in number. That loss could be a problem - on the surface; however, I think it may actually help this area of the line in the end, if TRU were out of the picture. While TRU has had a bulk of exclusives, Target is the place opting for higher-quality exclusive items. The B-wing, the new Slave 1 repaint, the A-wing repaint, all are great items. In contrast, the only ones TRU has offered that meet that level of quality is the retooled Landspeeder, and perhaps the new Y-wing. In cases where Target has erred and offered poor quality exclusives, like the accessory packs, they have quickly cancelled their deals for those segments. In contrast, TRU continues on, clogging their shelves with pointless and unwanted 4-packs, and accepted cheap Hasbro throw-aways like the new Jedi Council scenes, which look to be a complete failure in popularity. They've lacked any decisiveness or eye for quality products to offer their customers, where another competitor has excelled.

If TRU is gone, we could see Target and Walmart become the place for exclusives, TRU's absence forcing Walmart to step up to the plate and compete with Target with more exclusives and of higher quality.

I could be wrong, of course.

TRU is also, quite obviously, the most kid-targeted store. Its image is based on kids and toys in the most traditional of ways. It’s nearly oblivious to the man-child syndrome we have, and the fact there’s a new generation of young adults flush with cash in search of toys to relive childhood moments, and all the new ways that affects buying habits as we mature and have kids of our own. That, in turn, is an outdated attitude that their buyers come to toy manufacturers with. They approach outdated manufacturers like Hasbro, and base their product orders off outdated, outmoded assumptions. They see their core market as parents and little tykes on items that clearly, in the real world, appeal to an entirely different audience. Hasbro, being enslaved to their key accounts, falls into line, and tows the “Star Wars is for kids” mentality. What happens once one of the biggest voices in their misguided line direction up and dies of rickety old age?

If TRU goes away, Hasbro may be forced to look to collectors, finally and seriously, as the way to extend and maintain the line’s health. Imagine what a new competition for our dollars could do to the line in an increased war between Target, Walmart, and a growing online source could do to change the line for the better.

I could be wrong, of course.

I can also be extremely long winded!

My take is that this potential development may not be a bad thing in the end. It’s probably going to suck for a while. It could go bad really quick and make Star Wars collecting extremely annoying in the short term. But, in the end, I just don’t see them leaving any gaping wholes or new negatives with the hobby. We’d still get exclusives, and they may even be more focused, better quality items. We may see Hasbro forced to refocus their line on buyers other than their perceived core audience. We could see better distribution of figures through fewer stores carrying more merchandise. That’s how I feel, at least today. :)

-J
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: MetalJedi on August 12, 2004, 01:55 AM
I think they should get rid of the TRU stores that rely on the Xmas season to stay afloat. Then go from there. They could also just do the online thing. That may work as well.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Chris on August 12, 2004, 01:57 AM
TRU sucks. They should close. Wipe them out, all of them.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: jokabofe on August 12, 2004, 08:58 AM
i think i buy more toys at target and wal*mart nowadays then i do at toys r us anyway...
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: LandotheScoundrel on August 12, 2004, 10:28 AM
TRU is actually important for NYC, because we don't have any Walmarts around here. Target is a possibility, but our Targets aren't exactly the best in the world. In fact, TRU is where I usually find things. There, and online.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Morgbug on August 12, 2004, 10:51 AM
From a Canadian perspective, while TRU can be intensely frustrating, it would be a pretty big loss for collectors up north.  We have four main retailers.  TRU, Walmart, Zellers (=Kmart or poor version of Target) and Superstore.  

Walmart is skittish as all get out, particularly with respect to Star Wars.  You guys are seeing end caps of OTC, I've seen one case of OTC at 7 Walmarts.  Star Wars product does not rate with them, largely because of poor management and shipping practices by Hasbro Canada.  During POTJ, they kept shipping case after case after case of Leia, Mechanic Chewie and Aurra Sing to Walmart, all the while missing new POTJ waves.  That seems to have really soured Walmart on Star Wars.  Ep I, II sold well, but both have also had really large clearance sales associated with them.  No exclusives carried up here and no generic vehicles have been at Wally since the Ep II Slave I.  

Zellers really is reminiscent of Kmart.  Not quite as dead or as messy, but probably not far off.  We get an occasional surprise out of them, Target accessory packs being a good example, but those are few and far between.  Right now, like Walmart, they'll bring in a case and sell it off, except for a straggler or two and then we won't see anything new for months.  Worse, unlike Walmart, they refuse to do any sort of real clearance stuff.  Only last year I could still find gunner stations and action fleet (as in rebel blockade runner old) marked down by a whopping 10%.  They still have lots of full priced Slave I, that's around $40 up here.  Crazy.  

Superstore is a large grocery chain for the most part, but they are a little more diverse in their offerings - toys, hardware, clothing - a predecesssor to Walmart of sorts or perhaps a medium sized Costco for an analogy.  They'll carry toys in movie years and occasionally other times.  But to show their lack of committment, they are only now clearing out Saga stuff and still at $4.99 each.  They are only figure retailers, seldom if ever vehicles.  

That leaves TRU.  This is our only retailer that carries larger Lego units, such as the new Falcon.  No one else wants to touch large boxes that sit that long.  Also the only retailer carrying ships, for the most part outside of a movie year.  OTC Falcon and Vaders Tie, Red Leader X-wing, Dagobah X-wing, Tie Interceptor (yes, predominantly store exclusives) were only found here.  Mind you we missed a number of the retailer exclusives as well, as they never came north of the border.  No one else will touch them.  This is also the only retailer carrying Unleashed and VOTC figures.  
With respect to regular figures, perhaps not that big a loss as the other will carry them, and may see a market if TRU went away.  I doubt it though, leading to much more reliance on US friends and online retailers for my part.  

Some gems in that post though.  

Quote
They see their core market as parents and little tykes on items that clearly, in the real world, appeal to an entirely different audience. Hasbro, being enslaved to their key accounts, falls into line, and tows the “Star Wars is for kids” mentality.
Ain't it the truth?  I've even been told by staff at TRU that they won't bring out toys when adults without children ask for them.  I can certainly understand the frustration of dealing with dickheaded Hot Wheels and McFarlane Sportspick collectors (and our local scalper/flea market guy used to have quite a market in Star Wars) but that is not (hopefully) the major part of the market.  The difference in treatment I get from staff when I have my daughter with me, versus when I don't have her there is dramatic.  And foolish.  I spend probably 50x more when I am alone than when I have my child there.  It's just a silly attitude.  There are no kids buying McFarlane toys and next to no kids buying Star Wars toys either.  The kids are buying Yu-Gi-Oh, GoBots, etc.  Or at least I hope they are, considering the amount of retail space they eat up.  

My impression of TRU is that they simply cannot or will not follow the high throughput model that Target and Walmart use.  People seem to buy a lot more toys now than when I was a kid.  They visit stores more often and seeing the same old crap (hello, Simpsons series 1 :o) on the shelves, year after year after year, drives consumers out the door.  I can still find NHL3 figures, MLB1 figures, Simpsons series 1 figures and umpteen other lines that are tattered in the package, so much so that I would not purchas it as a gift for a child.  Yes, the packaging will be trashed immediately upon receipt, but I wouldn't go with a gift to a birthday party that looks like it's been sitting in the bottom of a closet for years either.  

Up here, it would be a big loss.  Not something I couldn't handle, but it would be unfortunate.  
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Diddly on August 12, 2004, 12:26 PM
TRU sucks. They should close. Wipe them out, all of them.

Yeah, I agree. They remodeled the TRUs here but did no actual remodeling. All they did was get rid of the large toy sections and add clothes. Then one of them closed down.

So yeah, TRU sucks. Good ridance.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Famine on August 12, 2004, 12:40 PM
Wipe them out. 58% of them. Make them more exclusive, and make it an event. You'd get more customers, and it would wind up pretty good for them.


Besides, the only TRU I go to is in NC, and all they have is over priced stuff.

Kevin
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: DoctorPadawan on August 13, 2004, 05:34 PM
TRU never appealed to me in the same way that two other toy chains did: Children's Palace and Lionel Toy World (the latter of which I only ever went to in North Carolina back in the mid to late 1980's).  Now, although I was a kid back then, the general atmosphere of CP or LTW was just a lot nicer than TRU.  TRU felt cramped and (dare I say it) didn't have all that great a selection.  CP was amazing and if I went in there looking for something, I found it, no problem.  GI Joe figures I could never find at a department store or TRU were at CP or LTW in abundance.  When the CP near the Ohio/Kentucky border closed down, it kind of broke my heart.

TRU closing down would not bother me a bit.  Every TRU I have been in over the last ten years has been populated by rude and dismissive employees who look at me with nothing but spite.  I am always polite and I always ask nicely, but they could care less.  Since I am no longer six years old and running around like a chicken with my head cut off (even though I never did that as a kid, personally), I don't matter to them.  Pay no attention to the sizeable amount of money he's going to potentially drop in our store; we'd rather have kids come in here and mess up our aisles, buying nothing but causing us to have to spend more on our upkeep.

(Not to mention the fact that every TRU I have been in over the last ten years has really old stuff on the shelves and doesn't get new stuff until it's been out everywhere else for six months.  I often joke with a friend of mine that I am expecting to find a vinyl cape Jawa hanging on the pegs on any given day since retail is so far behind). :)

Not that WM is any better (I absolutely loathe them and do as little business with them as I can; unfortunately, when they're the only game in town, you have to occassionally deal with the devil), but TRU is using an outdated business strategy (as Tydirium so eloquently stated) and it has finally caught up with them.  I won't be shedding any tears when they go away.  My only fear is that Hasbro will have to find someone else to take all their crappy exclusive items that nobody cares about. 

Speaking of, I don't think we'll see WM with any exclusive SW stuff any time soon.  Everything that they got from Hasbro as a retailer exclusive flopped bigger than a shark in the Sahara, and if you notice, they're the only retailer that hasn't gotten an actual exclusive (DVD sets don't count for this) since the summer of 2002.  Target's had a couple of ships, KB's had the Guard and the TIE, TRU's had crap after crap, and even K-Mart is getting exclusive stuff now.  The last thing that WM had as an exclusive was the Cantina Bar figures, and we all know how that worked out.

Fare thee well, TRU, fare thee well...may you choke on your inability to move out of the 1980's.

Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Ben on August 13, 2004, 06:32 PM
If TRU here closed, it really wouldn't bother me as long as the one in Cedar Rapids stayed open. The one in Waterloo rarely gets anything that I don't find at Wal-Mart first. I've heard reports about TRUs across the nation getting new Marvel Legends  6 and the newest waves from LOTR, not to mention OTC/VOTC. My local TRU has none of these. The only new stuff they have are those damn Buddies things Hasbro saw fit to put out, plus the OTC vehicles. They just got the Falcon, and it's priced $5 over the competition. Good luck with that.

The TRU in Cedar Rapids tends to get really good stuff in, like the LOTR Minimates I'm currently going apes--- over.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Scott on January 8, 2006, 12:45 AM
Just read a bunch more TRU's are closing

Phoenix AZ
Fairfield CA
Emeryville CA
Valejo CA
Mira Mesa CA
Woodbury MN
Duluth MN
Owensboro KY
Dale Mabry FA
Chicago, IL
Arlington Heights, IL
Lansing, IL
Bourbonnais, IL
Michigan City, IN
West Ashley (Charleston), SC
Columbia, SC
Bridgeton (St. Louis), MO
Dorchester, MA
Cambridge, MA
Medford, MA
Wichita, KS

Plus more...
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: JesseVader08 on January 8, 2006, 12:54 AM
Losing TRU up here in Canuckia would be a bigger problem than even a year ago.  With Wal-Mart dabbling in the crap/generic toys more and more and refusing to carry SW reliably in Canada, all we're left with is Zellers and TRU.  Zellers (ie. K-Mart) isn't normally a strong carrier of Star Wars, but did surprisingly well during ROTS.  But with no movie to drive the line, TRU is definitely the primary source for Star Wars now.  Without TRU, we'd be in BIG trouble.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: MetalJedi on January 8, 2006, 12:56 AM
Just read a bunch more TRU's are closing

Phoenix AZ
Fairfield CA
Emeryville CA
Valejo CA
Mira Mesa CA
Woodbury MN
Duluth MN
Owensboro KY
Dale Mabry FA
Chicago, IL
Arlington Heights, IL
Lansing, IL
Bourbonnais, IL
Michigan City, IN
West Ashley (Charleston), SC
Columbia, SC
Bridgeton (St. Louis), MO
Dorchester, MA
Cambridge, MA
Medford, MA
Wichita, KS

Plus more...

Where did you read this?
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Ben on January 8, 2006, 01:08 AM
I haven't heard about any in Iowa closing yet, but I'm sure it's coming.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: CorranHorn on January 8, 2006, 01:22 AM
Just read a bunch more TRU's are closing
Chicago, IL

Plus more...

Scott, where'd you hear this? Obviously there are several TRU's in Chicago, but I'm fearful this could be referencing my childhood TRU. My dad used to take me there all the time as a kid, I remember picking up an ROTJ Skiff Lando there, the ARAH Tomax/Xamot set, and finding vintage mini-rigs on clearance in 89. Then going to the high school just down the street, stopping in on my lunch period to play the demo video game stations, sigh.. such a long time ago.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: MetalJedi on January 8, 2006, 01:28 AM
Here's a link to the ones closing in Chicago.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-0601070108jan07,1,6691250.story?coll=chi-business-hed
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: CorranHorn on January 8, 2006, 01:34 AM
Here's a link to the ones closing in Chicago.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-0601070108jan07,1,6691250.story?coll=chi-business-hed

D'oh you beat me to it, I just found this link and was about to post it.  :P At least the TRU I was talking about in my earlier post isn't closing, though I hit the one in Arlington Heights once in a great while.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: MetalJedi on January 8, 2006, 01:38 AM
Im really surprised that there are none listed for Southern California besides the Mira Mesa location.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Morgbug on January 8, 2006, 01:38 AM
Losing TRU up here in Canuckia would be a bigger problem than even a year ago.  With Wal-Mart dabbling in the crap/generic toys more and more and refusing to carry SW reliably in Canada, all we're left with is Zellers and TRU.  Zellers (ie. K-Mart) isn't normally a strong carrier of Star Wars, but did surprisingly well during ROTS.  But with no movie to drive the line, TRU is definitely the primary source for Star Wars now.  Without TRU, we'd be in BIG trouble.

A very salient point Jesse.  Walmart up here for ROTS was deplorable.  I managed to score pretty well there but only by blind, stupid luck (read that as being stupid enough to be in stores 3-5 times a week checking).  Realistically though I'm in a town with six Walmarts.  They brought in shipments of ROTS toys precisely three times:
1. four weeks after the general release of toys and sales at TRU and other retailers were subsequently spectacular with an overall higher price ($8.97-9.99 versus Wally's $7.93)

2.  About a month after the green commander, shock trooper etc showed up stateside, they arrived here.  Again, a sizable shipment that was gone within days

3. a small stocking of the late 40's to 56 of ROTS figs, about three cases per store

TRU kicked ass up here for ROTS this year and if we lose those stores, screw collecting toys anymore because it will all be online etailers or ebay from that point on. :-\
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Darth Slothus on January 8, 2006, 03:46 AM
I'm glad they're closing.Their employees, managers hopelessly suck. They have figs in the back(caught them lying MANY times-just had to ask the RIGHT person to get me what I wanted) but refuse to get them when asked- what, they don't want to make money off me today? What really sucks is when the manager does this and you catch the bastard in a lie.

I hope the whole chain closes so I don't have to shop there for exclusives this year-and..I really want a particular manager to lose his job-he did nothing to help his store afterall.

I recognize the 2 northern cally stores..shopped in those- Was born in fairfield and vallejo is the city next door in the same county. They can BURN now--good riddance

Damn, I wish my lancaster store was killing too-but only if the whole chain goes!
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: iFett on January 8, 2006, 07:03 AM
Why would they want to close the Woodbury MN store???  Haven't been there in awhile, but they always "seemed" busy..
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Mikey D on January 8, 2006, 10:12 AM
Just read a bunch more TRU's are closing

Dorchester, MA
Cambridge, MA
Medford, MA


Really suprised on the Dorchester one.  That's the closest one to Boston and figured enough volume went through that store to keep it afloat.  Although a Target opening up right across the parking lot probably cut into that a little.

Medford was my local TRU for awhile.  For the most part, they sucked, although I did get lucky there every once in awhile.  Cambridge was pretty much the same way.

Be interested to see what stores are going to take their place.  Except for Dorchester, none of these locations are equipped to handle a Target or Walmart without some major infrastructure work.   Hell, a Ames store that went out of business two plus years ago is still sitting vacant in the same strip mall as the Medford location.  I'd expect Medford to be the same way.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Victor_Von_Doom on January 8, 2006, 10:34 AM
I used to love TRU. But last week an employee blatantly lied to me, and now I could care less if the store in my area goes belly up.

Here's what happened: I was looking through the figure aisle with my brothers and mom a few days ago. My brothers were looking for things to get me for my birthday. We spotted 2 racks of McFarlane Military figures, and the tags on the pegs said that they used to be $10.99 but were on clearance for $1.98. My brothers grabbed one of each figure and headed to the checkout. However once we got there they said that it was a mistake (even though it was on two different pegs  ::) ) and that they shouldn't be that low in price. I was still in the figure aisle while my family was buying these, and all of a sudden I see a TRU manager hauling ass toward the figures. The employee didn't know I was with the people at the checkout, so I watched the employee because I had a feeling they were going to do something shady. Sure enough, the employee gets to the rack, looks around with a "oh crap we screwed up" look on her face, then grabs all the remaining figures off the pegs and just sets them in a pile to the side. So I go to the checkout to see whats going on, and the employee that moved the figures goes back and says that when she went back there, there were no figures on the pegs so she couldn't verify it. So they tried getting out of their mistake by cheating a customer. Then they started saying that it could just be a customer that moved the figures onto the pegs, even though it said McFarlane Soldiers in big words. I asked them if these figures weren't the ones that were on sale, which were then? They tried making something up about mini McFarlane military figures (which they don't make). We got fed up with the lies and left.

So basically what the manager was telling me, was that even if the figures were on the pegs, they can't verify if thats the real price.

 ::)  >:(
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Lady Jaye on January 8, 2006, 04:02 PM
Scott, where'd you hear this? Obviously there are several TRU's in Chicago, but I'm fearful this could be referencing my childhood TRU. My dad used to take me there all the time as a kid, I remember picking up an ROTJ Skiff Lando there, the ARAH Tomax/Xamot set, and finding vintage mini-rigs on clearance in 89. Then going to the high school just down the street, stopping in on my lunch period to play the demo video game stations, sigh.. such a long time ago.

Sigh, the TRU that I grew up going to closed a couple of years. :'( Its the TRU I used to get most of my GI JOE's at, where I got a couple of my Transformers, what MASK I did pick up, most of my TMNT, Star Trek, and finally getting me back into Star Wars in 95. There are still two others, but it's not the same!

Oh and who here used to go to the "guest appearances" of the stars. I remember going to see He Man, Skeletor, Strawberry Shotcake and a couple of others!! Good times!!!
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Jeff on January 8, 2006, 05:56 PM
Why would they want to close the Woodbury MN store???  Haven't been there in awhile, but they always "seemed" busy..

Probably because they have the WORST customer service of any store I've EVER been to...  :P

I have so many "exclusive stuff leaked out the back door" stories about that place.  I witnessed a guy paying a stockboy $20 to get stuff early (Silver R2, Silver Clone) and my complaints and letters to the manager/regional manager basically went unanswered.

I won't miss that crappy place one bit.  Good riddance!
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Scott on January 8, 2006, 06:05 PM
(http://www.jedidefender.com/jsmentek/buyingstuff.JPG)

We'll always have April 3, 2005 :-*
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: JesseVader08 on January 8, 2006, 06:18 PM
That picture always disturbs me.   (where's the crying in fear of the flashing guy smilie?)
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Diddly on January 8, 2006, 06:43 PM
I thought ROTS toys were released on April 2nd... :-*

Anyway, looks like none of the TRUs in Texas are closing. They should go ahead and do away with them though, they never have anything good.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Morgbug on January 8, 2006, 07:36 PM

I have so many "exclusive stuff leaked out the back door" stories about that place.  I witnessed a guy paying a stockboy $20 to get stuff early (Silver R2, Silver Clone) and my complaints and letters to the manager/regional manager basically went unanswered.


Yeah, I've those same stories as well, mostly dealing with McFarlane stuff (I missed out a 49ers Rice on that premise) and being lied to as well, but we remain short of retailers.  If Walmart steps up and gives a crap then fine, I can live without it.  But Walmart has sucked for the better part of four years. 

And I refuse to be manipulated by them.  If they have no toys in stock, I'm not buying anything else either.  I'll pay more for stuff at a retailer that carries toys I want on a regular basis.  If I find a Star Wars or other toy that I can buy, sure, bring home some TP, cereal and whatever else tickles my fancy.  Nothing else?  See ya, I'm off to the big Z.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Dimetrodon on January 10, 2006, 04:03 AM
This link might prove interesting.

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/060109/toys_r_us_closures.html?.v=1
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: CaptainAlex on January 10, 2006, 11:12 AM
Is there a master list of the stores closeing in this go around?
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Diddly on January 10, 2006, 05:37 PM
I found this list on another forum:

Locations known to be closing:
Phoenix, AZ
Camelback, AZ
Brea, CA
Colma, CA
Daily City, CA
Fairfield, CA
Merced, CA
Mira Mesa, CA
Redding, CA
San Francisco, CA
Valejo, CA
Grand Juction, CO
Littleton, CO
Pueblo, CO
Sarasota, FL
Tampa, FL (Dale Mabry)
Vero Beach, FL
Macon, GA
Cedar Rapids, IA (2425 Wiley Blvd. SW)
Dubuque, IA
Sioux City IA
Indianapolis, IN
Michigan City, IN
Arlington Heights, IL
Bourbonnais, IL
Chicago, IL (Lafayette St.)
Dorchester, IL
Lansing, IL
West Kellogg, KA
Owensboro, KY
Cambridge, MA
Dorchester, MA
Medford, MA
Laurel, MD
Wheaton, MD
Battle Creek, MI
Duluth, MN
Woodbury, MN
Bridgeton, MO (St. Louis; 899 Northwest Plaza)
Hillcrest, MO
Raleigh, NC (Crabtree Valley)
Parsippany, NJ
Las Cruces, NM
Long Island, NY:
- Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown
- Jericho Turnpike in Commack
- Sunrise Highway in Freeport
Cincinnati, OH (Near Tri-County Mall)
Columbus, OH (Broadstreet)
Springfield, OH
Albany,OR (1950 14th Ave. S.E.)
Charleston SC (Two Notch Road Store)
Columbia, SC
West Ashley, SC
Memphis, TN (Johnson City)
Nashville, TN (Antioch;Hickory Hollow Mall)
Brownsville, TX
Houston, TX (Greenspoint)
Sherman, TX
Texarkana, TX
Victoria, TX
Harrisonburg, VA
Hampton, VA
Tyson's Corner, VA
Bellingham, WA
Fond du Lac, WI
Madison, WI (East Side)

Locations that will not reopen after hurricane closure last fall:
New Orleans, LA (East)
Biloxi, MI

Locations being converted to Babies 'R Us:
Emeryville, CA
Wichita, KS (4646 W. Kellogg)
Holyoke, MA (Ingleside Mall)
Pittsburgh, PA (near South Hill Village)
Anderson, SC
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Ithorian Clergy on January 10, 2006, 05:42 PM
The official word from Toys 'R' Us right now is that of their 675 stores, they will be closing 75 of them, and converting another 12 to Babies 'R' Us.  They have not officially listed the stores that they are closing at this time.  They state that 3,000 employees will lose their jobs as a result of this move.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Jesse James on January 10, 2006, 08:58 PM
So far no Pittsburgh ones ont hat list...  Not surprising considering WM, Target and the like aren't EVERYWHERE you go out here.  Sometimes the Toy Store is all you have near you.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: speedermike on January 10, 2006, 09:01 PM
It's funny, usually TRU is the last to get new stuff, but they are the only place that I've seen the new SAGA figures.  I'd like to be a bigger fan of the store becuase I grew up going to TRU and bought some of my earliest Star Wars (Vinatge) figure there.  But the chain doesn't seem to be very with it.  To me, they lost the plot back when they got rid of the nice, organized isles, and replaced them with mazes.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: TheBlackDog65 on January 10, 2006, 10:08 PM
This is only my opinion. TRU closings are not good for anyone who collects. It eliminates stores that provides options and product for us to buy. Regardless of past experiences, TRU stores closing are not good. The day is rapidly coming where it will be only Walmart and Target that will carry the line, with each region have their own local stores that seem to carry the line; more so in a movie year, less in non-movie years. When that day comes, competition will become even much more fierce. What is even scarier is that when we come down to two national retailers (three I guess if you include Kmart which I don't), when the day comes that the line is not "profitable" for one or the other retailer, the store's toy buyers will stop carrying the line and that will effectively kill the line. So though the line will continue to do well over the next two years, I guess what I am saying is that in my opinion, the consolidation of stores does not bode well for the long term health of the line.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Ben on January 10, 2006, 11:02 PM
Dammit, the Cedar Rapids TRU is closing. That sucks.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: SilverZ on January 11, 2006, 12:04 AM
The one closest to me is closing. I pulled up to it on Saturday and was surprised to see "store closing all items 10-30% off" all over the place. Oddly enough, they had Titanium in stock. The Falcon still isn't a deal unless they hit major firesale prices.  ::)

There are only two other TRU's in reasonable driving distance. It's a very strange call to close one here at all, though the store itself looks very old and was probably the best choice if they had to kill off one store in the area.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Dimetrodon on January 11, 2006, 07:23 AM
Dammit, the Cedar Rapids TRU is closing. That sucks.

yeah, the NJ Parssipany one is my local...

at least the PA ones are safe for now. I go to college in PA..
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: CaptainAlex on January 11, 2006, 09:55 AM
It's really a shame that TRU for most of a collecting year is a non-player in my hunts. Rarely do they get figures before WalMArt or Target. The high prices I can live with because if I can find them at TRU right off the back without driving all over the place then it is well worth it.

And the lack of restocking isn't just a problem with the Star Wars section. It seems to transend the entire boys department. The Girls department, books/movies and toddler items are usually in good shape in TRU.

And the item that are in stock in the boys section tend to be movie related items that just peg warm because kids aren't interested. Fantastic Four and King Kong currently are clogging shelves at my two local TRU.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Ben on January 11, 2006, 10:29 PM
Dammit, the Cedar Rapids TRU is closing. That sucks.

yeah, the NJ Parssipany one is my local...

at least the PA ones are safe for now. I go to college in PA..

That one isn't local for me, but it was a blast to go there. It was one of the unremodeled stores. The exterior is still brown with the orange and stuff. It's like stepping back in time.

I guess I'll have to make one final trip there shortly, even if they're picked over for the good clearanced stuff.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Jeff on May 29, 2009, 01:08 AM
Looks like TRU is buying FAO Schwarz (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aijAoDFBRLQE&refer=home).  Always nice to see the dinosaurs banding together to try to put off extinction...
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: efranks on May 29, 2009, 01:33 AM
I think that's good news.  I know a lot of people weren't upset when KB went out earlier this year but honestly, I think it's still important to have toy only stores around and if one can still stand with Walmart and Target, it benefits us in the end.

FAO is a worldwide recognizable name so that alone should help TRU breathe some life into it.  Hopefully with the buying power that TRU has for day-to-day toys it'll help the two FAO stores be a little more competitive while still offering the high end stuff that the store was known for.

   E...
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Sprry75 on May 29, 2009, 06:22 AM
Looks like TRU is buying FAO Schwarz (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aijAoDFBRLQE&refer=home).  Always nice to see the dinosaurs banding together to try to put off extinction...

Hm.  Interesting.  I wonder if it was obscenely overpriced, like everything else at FAO.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Jesse James on May 29, 2009, 03:27 PM
I was wondering the same thing...  I'm sort of hopeful they'll bring FAO back to Earth when it comes to pricing, or do away with them all together and absorb them into the fat belly of Geoffrey.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: tonphanan on May 29, 2009, 07:32 PM
Acquring FAO will only help sink the company into further debt. The high end/ high price exclusives that FAO is know for selling will be too much for R US company to handle. I don't know about other stores, but my store seems to rearrage the aisles every four months, but gets NO new products. I can't even remember the las thing I even bought from the store. Good bye R US and FAO, Christmas is the only thing to keep them afloat.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: efranks on May 29, 2009, 08:18 PM
Well, I've tried to look at the published financial stuff for TRU but that's out of my wheelhouse, I never was good at accounting.  But, they've been on a buying spree so it seems odd to me that they would do that if they were in such bad shape that they were on the brink of going out of business.

They're buying FAO and they just bought eToys.com which included babyuniverse.com and ePregnancy.com.  Historically one of their more profitable areas has been Babies-R-Us so bu.com and ep.com fit in with that.  They must be making money somewhere.

And I have to tell you, I've never understood collectors rooting for a company to go out of business just because they don't carry the stuff you want to buy or they charge a higher price than WM or Target or [insert favorite retailer here]. 

I rarely go into K-Mart because they almost never have what I'm looking for and when they do, it costs a $1 or $2 more than WM and Target.  But I don't look at the store as I pass it on the way to WM, cursing them under my breath and hoping for them to go bankrupt because they offend me.  I still can't get over the joyous postings on vaRiouS forums when KB went under.

   E...
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Master_Phruby on May 30, 2009, 12:23 PM
Where else but K-mart would I find a prego Padme on ROTS card? Of course, there is always Rite-Aid for a freeze frame 8-D8 for $12.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Brian on September 9, 2009, 03:07 PM
Sort of related...I just noticed this article (http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20090909/us_time/08599192069800) on Yahoo, which mentions Wal-Mart's new "Project Impact" - where one of the goals is to apparently drive TRU out of business.  The article discusses a lot more about Wal-mart's new strategy (less clutter, friendlier employees, etc.) - but I just thought I'd pass this along.

Although TRU is far from perfect, and usually the most expensive retailer, I have to say that I'd be sad to see our local store go.  I grew up in a small town, but a trip to the "city" that brought with it a stop at TRU was almost like a vacation when I was a kid.  Although the world is certainly a much different place now, and kids don't seem to appreciate "little things" like that as much anymore, I sort of like having a TRU to take our daughter to.  Every time we go there it is like we're taking her to an amusement park, just getting to look at a whole store full of toys (and most times we don't even walk out with anything).  Anyways, just wanted to pass the story along.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Jayson on September 9, 2009, 03:10 PM
I read that as well and despite WM new efforts, I'll believe "less clutter and friendlier employees" when I see it.  :D
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Brian on September 9, 2009, 03:14 PM
I read that as well and despite WM new efforts, I'll believe "less clutter and friendlier employees" when I see it.  :D

Yeah, the employees has always been a pretty big problem at our store, and I can't say I've seen that change at all (not to mention a lot of the customers there too).  I will say though that our store used to look like a tornado hit it, and since the redesign it is pretty easy to get around in - and, at least so far, things have been pretty organized as well.  We've got the smaller toy section now, but they still seem to carry all the lines I care about (and finally have the DCUC figures for the first time), and a nicely sized SW section.  My only concern is all the SW exclusives this fall/winter.  That said, I still try to avoid going there whenever possible :).
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: iFett on September 9, 2009, 04:01 PM
I read that as well and despite WM new efforts, I'll believe "less clutter and friendlier employees" when I see it.  :D

I've seen the less clutter - as in NOTHING in any of the main aisles and most of the aisle headers have shrunk back (VH WM).  I really don't like it because well, I guess I'm just used to seeing crap everywhere.  Now it's like a full on skating rink around the store.

Anywhoo - I never even had the pleasure of visiting a TRU as a kid.  First time was in 99ish or so when Ep1 came out just to check the new stuff out.  I had toys as a kid, but TRU was off limits for some reason so I never got to see those massive aisles of Transformers and Joes back in the day.

KB kinda sucked, but it was nice stopping in every once in awhile to check out.  I'd feel the same way if TRU closed I guess so no biggie. They've already closed maybe half the TRUs out here so there's really only 1 now that I can stop at and that's maybe once every few weeks or so.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Sugart on September 9, 2009, 05:05 PM
We already have a place with "less clutter and friendlier employees". Its called Target.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: JediMoses on September 10, 2009, 01:46 AM
WM's new strategy is interesting if thy are trying to drive a company out of business with a lot less product, a crappy distribution system and horrible employees.  I dont; shop often at TRU due to distance and the prevalence of Target, but WM is a last resort for me.  And I am giving up hope on finding new things.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: efranks on September 10, 2009, 11:27 AM
I read this article last night and the one thing that seems at odds with WM's plan to drive TRU out of business is that WM has been shrinking their toy aisles.  How can you run a toy store out of business if you don't carry what that store does?

I think I've posted in other threads here that my local WM never carried any of the Star Trek or Terminator movie figures and they stocked the GI Joe stuff a week after the movie opened and hadn't had any Joe stuff since the first of the year.

I stop in WM maybe once a week, sometimes less, and only shop there when I'm after something I can't get at Target.  Mostly that means SW exclusives or once in a while if they have a good sale on something, but since that's not very often, I don't bother with them.

I'd rather drive close to 2 hours round trip to visit TRU and a second Target than go to WM just down the street.  And these new Impact stores aren't all that great anyway, the ones I've been in have been just as much of a wreck as any WM store I've been in.

As for service, WM can have all the stuff they want, have the friendliest employees, best laid out store they can design, but if I can't check out in a timely manner I'm not going to shop there.  WM is the only store where I've ever left merchandise behind and walked out because the checkout lanes were ridiculous.  And it wasn't holiday shopping season, we're talking mid-week in July.  I've walked out of multiple WM stores because of this.  I've never done that at Target, TRU or any other store I shop at, but when a store that has 30+ checkout lanes and only 10 or fewer are open, and there are lines 15 people deep, **** it, I'm not waiting.

   E...
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Dressel Rebel on September 10, 2009, 11:59 AM

I'd rather drive close to 2 hours round trip to visit TRU and a second Target than go to WM just down the street. 


But you've got to realize that whatever you end up buying is probably costing you $10-15 more (depending on your gas mileage).

If your Walmarts are really that big of a wreck (and I've seen some that are really bad), then it might be worth it.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: jedi_master_sal on September 10, 2009, 12:30 PM
Fact is we NEED to have TRU in business. For one it helps keep Wal*Mart in check. They would have to stay competitive. Imagine WM being the only game in town for mass retail toys? With them shrinking the toy section in most stores, stuff will be even harder to come by. Their distribution is spotty at best.

Also, do we really need to see WM have even more leverage against yet another manufacturer? Do we really want WM telling Hasbro "you can make this but not that" even when it's already gone through the approval stage with Hasbro to LFL. (I paraphrased that from efranks response to my post in our state collecting group's e-mail list.)

I, just as other here have stated happen to like to walk into a store devoted to toys. I feel like a kid in a candy store or a kid in a TOY STORE....lol.

I just don't get the same service at WM as I do TRU. TRU wants to sell you toys. It's their business. WM and other big chains like Target use toys as a means to draw people in for other purchases whether those purchases are intended by the consumer or not. Think how often you may have gone to WM or Target looking for toys and came out with something else (and maybe even no toys at all). Then consider the times that happened, you got home, then questioned your purchase. This is how the big box multilevel stores work. While Target has a bit more of a niche for better clothes than Wal*Mart, they are very similar. (Oh and if you read the article, you'll see WM is going after Target too.) Imagine if that happens also...

We need TRU folks, slightly higher prices or not. Even if you don't shop there yourself, having another choice to go to is ALWAYS a better option than the potential monopoly WM is becoming.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: efranks on September 10, 2009, 03:15 PM

I'd rather drive close to 2 hours round trip to visit TRU and a second Target than go to WM just down the street. 


But you've got to realize that whatever you end up buying is probably costing you $10-15 more (depending on your gas mileage).

If your Walmarts are really that big of a wreck (and I've seen some that are really bad), then it might be worth it.

Obviously.  But I don't make that trip every day, or even every week.  Sometimes once a month I make a Saturday out of it and I do end up at WM, but the trip is specifically for TRU and Target.  And, yes, I'd rather spend an extra $5-$10 in gas to make that trip to buy from those two stores than to spend money at Walmart.

   E...
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Brian on September 10, 2009, 03:28 PM
I will say, regarding prices, with the recent price hikes for toy lines across the board, TRU (at least our store) isn't all that out of line anymore.  It used to be much worse around 5 years ago, but now I think SW figures are $7.99 at TRU, $7.49 at Target, and $7.54 or so at Wal-Mart.  I think stuff like G.I. Joe and DCUC is actually the cheapest at TRU currently, at least here locally.

We've also been fortunate where the TRU employees here are always friendly and helpful, at least from our experience.  Like I said, we usually just go in there to look around for the most part, and they are still more than willing to help us find anything we're looking for.

I also worry about WM becoming the "only game in town".  Our local store has improved quite a bit, although I do worry about exclusives.  Plus, like it was mentioned, it wouldn't be great to see them have even more "pull" with toy makers.  Heck, I think they arguably have some of the best exclusives already this year for Star Wars (AT-ST, Dewback, Octuparra Droid, Evolutions, Comic Packs, etc.) compared to the others (Target/TRU).  A lot more "all new" stuff, compared with mostly repaints at other retailers.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: DoctorPadawan on September 11, 2009, 07:27 PM
How does Wal-Mart plan on getting "friendlier employees?"  Are they going to force them to undergo Emergency Squiggley Dance brainwashing sessions until their will to be lazy dicks is driven from them completely, along with the will to live?

As for the "less clutter", it was once explained to me that the reason WM's aisles were so much closer together than other retailers (Target, TRU, etc) was so when the behemoths were standing in the middle of an aisle blocking access, you'd have to go to the next aisle over and come up the other side of the previous aisle, which would expose you to more products and hopefully increase impulse purchases.  Same deal with the main aisle obstructing kiosk things; the more obstacles you have, the more likely you are to choose an alternate route to your desired location, and the more likely you are to see something else you don't need that you wind up buying.

Long live Toys R Us!

Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Jeff on September 15, 2009, 11:59 AM
Looks like TRU is heading to the malls (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/toys-r-us-heads-to-the-mall-filling-a-void-2009-09-14) for Christmas with 80 new "Holiday Express" stores.  Sounds like they want to capture the mall holiday sales since KB is gone and retail space is dirt cheap right now thanks to the economy.

It will be interesting to see if it helps them generate new sales or if it just sucks away some sales from their regular stores...
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: BillCable on September 15, 2009, 12:23 PM
If their prices aren't ridiculous like KB's were they should do well.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Keonobi on September 15, 2009, 05:11 PM
TRU also bought up the naming rights for KB Toys.  One of their Holiday Express stores is going to be in a local mall in a space that was occupied by KB, I wonder if they'll use that brand in that same space, or if they bought it up for another purpose...
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Nicklab on September 15, 2009, 09:06 PM
I found one of these stores in a shopping center that used to have a KayBee.  It's a different location from where KayBee had been, but around the same ammount of floor space as KayBee.  But the stock situation is less than a KayBee store would've had.

The funny thing is that the location they're at used to be another toy store, albeit many moons ago.  Anyone remember TSW Toy & Sports Warehouse?
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Dressel Rebel on September 15, 2009, 09:13 PM
I found one of these stores in a shopping center that used to have a KayBee.  It's a different location from where KayBee had been, but around the same ammount of floor space as KayBee.  But the stock situation is less than a KayBee store would've had.

The funny thing is that the location they're at used to be another toy store, albeit many moons ago.  Anyone remember TSW Toy & Sports Warehouse?

Yup, Ramsey/Mahwah NJ.  I didn't know that became a TRU or if that's even the location you're talking about, I'm not in Rockland/North NJ much anymore.  But I have an early childhood memory of going there when I was 6 years old in 1983ish and getting the Max Rebo band set by Kenner.  I remember it clear as day.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: iFett on September 15, 2009, 11:41 PM
Death:

(http://paulmejias.adlio.net/images/toys-r-us-giraffe.jpg)
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Master_Phruby on September 16, 2009, 10:58 AM
OMG, they killed the little red X Geoffrey. Those bastards!
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: iFett on September 16, 2009, 11:17 AM
TRU GIRAFFE DIES (http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1197564)

hopefully that's better than my red x   :)
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Jesse James on September 16, 2009, 09:09 PM
Looks like TRU is heading to the malls (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/toys-r-us-heads-to-the-mall-filling-a-void-2009-09-14) for Christmas with 80 new "Holiday Express" stores.  Sounds like they want to capture the mall holiday sales since KB is gone and retail space is dirt cheap right now thanks to the economy.

It will be interesting to see if it helps them generate new sales or if it just sucks away some sales from their regular stores...

I can't imagine they're going to do badly with this...

The best months KB every had were November to about January-ish every year...  They were the only months the store ever did well.  I think this is probably the smartest move though that TRU could make.  Pay some employees briefly, probably not well, and catch all that traffic in the malls that need toys for the holidays...  Target and Wal-Mart have to compete by pricing only then...  TRU has a lot of advantages with this I think.  Kudos to them for thinking outside the box.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Jeff on November 21, 2013, 12:55 PM
With the holidays approaching, I guess it's time for another round of 'Is this the end for Toys R Us? (http://mashable.com/2013/11/21/toys-r-us-decline/)' articles...
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Jesse James on November 21, 2013, 02:54 PM
And K-Mart, and Sears, and JC Penney, and Kohls (Saw that one the other day) and Best Buy, and I saw an HH Greg one...  Seems soon we'll only have Wal-Mart, Target, 5 Below, TJ Maxx, Big Lots, and Dollar General to shop at.

Oh and Ross and Marshalls of course, even though they're both basically TJ Maxx most of the time.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: name on November 22, 2013, 02:34 PM
Seems soon we'll only have... 5 Below,

That one must be regional.  Never heard of it.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Jesse James on November 22, 2013, 02:49 PM
They are right now, but they're spreading like a plague...  They've gotten in Star Wars figures, really good ones, for the last few years here.  They had Gammie Guards dumped at them last year.  They had the Wal-Mart TPM wave dumped this past year, and TVC Wave 3 with the Death Star Trooper too...

They're everywhere here...  On the smaller side.  They sell discount stuff, candy, cheap graphic T's, cheap decorating stuff which rotates for each season...  They're a store I find I can spend a ton in all the time.  They get blind bagged Lego figs, and polybagged mini-ships and sets. 

The candy selection is insane...  If you liked old candy like Lemon Heads or swedish fish, this store's for you.  We don't go to the movies anymore without hitting 5 Below first.

And everything is $5 or less...  There's even goofy tin lunch boxes of Star Wars and Ninja Turtles and all kinds of other stuff. 

It started out focused on girls, but that store's branched into all kinds of territory.  I got facepalm and double facepalm fridge magnets for my gf...  It's just a great store of useless ****.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Nicklab on November 22, 2013, 03:54 PM
No sign of any of the TRU Holiday Express stores around here just yet.  But then again, it's not even Thanksgiving yet.  But I wouldn't be surprised if we wind up seeing some of those seasonal stores pop up in the next week or two.

As for other Brick & Mortar toy stores?  I've seen more of these Smart Toys locations popping up in mall locations.  The prices are on the high side, but seeing how they don't have to worry about other toy specialty chains as competition, they can probably manage with some holiday traffic.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Scockery on November 22, 2013, 06:47 PM
Weird thing at 5 Below was the non-Lego accessory packs designed for Legos. Brick Warriors?

Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Matt on December 15, 2013, 02:30 PM
TRU had an online deal on 3DS games on Cyber Monday. Buy Angry Birds Star Wars or TMNT for $29 each, and get another 3DS game free. Most of the really good first-party, $40 first-party Nintendo titles were available in the free game selection. I put in two separate orders, one for TMNT/Mario Kart 7, and the other for ABSW/Super Mario 3D Land. I had no interest in TMNT or ABSW, but figured I could trade them in somewhere, or return them back to TRU for $15 each, as I read about others doing.

I went to the store to pick up my first order for TMNT/MK7. I immediately returned TMNT, expecting to get $15 back. But the CS rep started to give me a cash refund for the whole amount of $32 and change. I told her that I thought she was giving me too much money back, as I was only returning half the order. She said "yes, but this is what the computer is prompting me to give you, so just consider it an early Christmas present from Toys R Us."  :D

Same thing happened when I got my ABSW/Super Mario 3D Land order a few days later. But that time, I used part of the full refund to buy a 3DS case that I didn't need so that I wouldn't feel so guilty afterward.  :-\

All told, I wound up getting two $40 games and a decent case for about $22 out of pocket. So thanks, TRU! I will look back upon this fondly when you eventually go out of business.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Jesse James on December 15, 2013, 09:34 PM
I wonder if Family Dollar or Big Lots will have such bargains?
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Nicklab on March 4, 2014, 09:21 PM
It looks like the 2013 Holiday season was not such a good one for TRU.  Ailing Toys ‘R’ Us to lay off nearly 200 employees (http://nypost.com/2014/03/02/ailing-toys-r-us-to-lay-off-nearly-200-employees/).
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Master_Phruby on August 30, 2014, 01:58 PM
When to TRU and they had a huge display of Colecovision Flashbacks and Intelivision Flashbacks. So I took one to the cash register and they wouldn't sell it to me until Sept 22nd!!! I mean seriously? They put up an entire encap of systems and won't sell them for an entire month. How is that going to look? I asked to see the manager and he still wouldn't sell it to me and said he would have someone take down the entire encap of them. He said the store would get fined if they sold one which is complete BS. We will see if that really happens tomorrow.  Stupid TRU and their DNS dates. Don't they realize that I'm just going to buy it at Amazon anyway?
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Nicklab on September 18, 2017, 03:34 PM
Check out the news from Business Insider (http://www.businessinsider.com/toys-r-us-could-file-for-bankruptcy-this-week-reports-2017-9).


Toys R Us could file for bankruptcy this week

by Dennis Green
 The toy retailer Toys R Us may be on the brink of filing for bankruptcy.

It's one of several options the chain is considering to pay down $5 billion in debt it owes as a result of a leveraged buyout in 2005, according to The Wall Street Journal.

And a filing could come as soon as this week, according to a new report from CNBC's Lauren Hirsch.

The chain's trio of owners — the private-equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Bain Capital Partners and the real-estate investment trust Vornado Realty Trust — bought the company in a deal worth $6.6 billion, taking it private.

CNBC previously reported that the chain had hired the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and that it was exploring options to take care of its debt and working with its creditors to stave off filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Chapter 11 protection would allow the company to restructure $400 million in debt due in 2018 then renegotiate the rest, according to CNBC.

The debt crisis looms at a critical time for the toy seller. Toys R Us last year made 40% of its sales in the fourth quarter, thanks to holiday shopping. Vendors are feeling increasingly anxious about the chain's ability to pay down its debts, according to the reports, which could lead to a shortage of toys to stock its shelves and further exacerbate the issue.

Toys R Us has also struggled as it increasingly competes with online retailers in its two main businesses: baby goods and toys.

A Toys R Us representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Scockery on September 18, 2017, 06:37 PM
Some people are like good riddance, but really...this is it, the last major non-specialty toy retailer in North America.

But the flip side, some people will be forced to grow up and no longer be Toys R Us kids.   :P


Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Nicklab on September 18, 2017, 06:51 PM
To me this reads like TRU is trying to restructure their debt in order to survive.  The key seems to be how long will it be until the hedge funds that own the company just don't see it as profitable anymore.

Clearly, the TRU the business model needs some work.  From our standpoint as Star Wars collectors, we're reasonably hip to which retailers consistently have the hot hand and manage their inventory well.  I keep coming back to Target and the way that chain manages its inventory.  Why are other chains, TRU included, not following suit?  It's time to invest in some big data and get that inventory moving.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Master_Phruby on September 18, 2017, 07:15 PM
There are a lot of toy brands that don't sell out anymore. Why do they keep it around and not put them on clearance? I'm looking at you TFA and Rogue One. Why do they raise the price and then put it back to normal and call it on clearance?
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Darby on September 18, 2017, 08:28 PM
This could last years and lead to TRU coming out just fine. Or, a long, slow death spiral like K-Mart. Too soon to tell, but retail in general is suffering and I think the more dedicated you are to a specific niche, the more vulnerable you are to cannibalization by Amazon.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: EdSolo on September 19, 2017, 06:45 AM
I don't shop at TRU all that frequently anymore, but I usually stop by around Christmas time to look for stuff for my kids.  Last year, it was a complete mess.  You couldn't find a single employee in the whole store to help look for anything.  They only had one register open.  I just ended up saying to hell with and went to Target.  On my way out, there were three or four employees hanging out near the doors to leave.  I think the company just has a general attitude of not caring.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: McMetal on September 19, 2017, 10:14 AM
They did indeed file for Bankruptcy yesterday right here in my hometown of Richmond, VA.  :D

Long, slow death spiral sounds about right to me. I have been reading a lot of articles on this lately and there just does not seem to be any clear path to restoring financial stability.

It would be heard enough to sustain their business in the current retail climate to begin with, much less saddled with 7+ BILLION dollars of debt that they didn't even incur - thanks to vultures like Bain Capital. Good luck digging out of that hole.

I would be sad to see them go, so many great childhood memories, and a few adult ones too. But given the choice I would never shop there because its such a horrible experience. Everything is overpriced, their "sales" are terrible, they refuse to offer decent clearance prices, there's always a huge line with 1 person working checkout, etc etc. At least Walmart and Target have self check-out.

Hurry up and get those Ackbar and Rey exclusives out!
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Diddly on September 19, 2017, 10:32 AM
I read an interesting article somewhere last night blaming one of their problems on having an awful website, which makes sense. Amazon is easy to navigate, purchase, etc. Can you say the same thing about TRU's site?

It also blamed the stores having massive retail spaces, which don't appear to be a problem here because our local stores at least always having people buying baby stuff from the Babies R Us section, but it's really just the toy section that needs work. CLEARANCE THINGS OUT! My TRU was so clogged with TFA merch that they literally stocked ZERO Rogue One product. I was shocked to see TLJ stuff, although there's very little of it. There is still the mountain of Finns and Zuvios though, all for $19.99. I get that selling it for $2 won't help, but I might buy one or two in hopes they increase in value like other Black Series toys. Every other toyline, same story. I haven't seen any of the new Marvel Legends exclusives because shelves are clogged with 3 year old figures. I see the same WWE and TMNT toys whenever I go there, have for years now. And let's not even get into the absurdity of the "TRU Tax" on LEGO sets.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Dave on September 19, 2017, 11:23 AM
And let's not even get into the absurdity of the "TRU Tax" on LEGO sets.

This part just blows my mind.  You gotta be in a huge hurry or just ignorant to pay an extra 10% to buy Legos at TRU.  Even when they do a BOGO 40% off you're still generally better off just buying from Amazon or Target with a red card.

The only time I get Legos at TRU is when they've got an exclusive that is interesting, and even then I often buy "their exclusive" via Lego.com to get double VIP points.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Matt_Fury on September 19, 2017, 11:37 AM
I went to TRU on Force Friday II to pick up a couple of Rathtars for my kids.  I looked in their clearance section and they had two AT-ACTs marked down to $249.99.   ::)
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Diddly on September 19, 2017, 05:53 PM
And let's not even get into the absurdity of the "TRU Tax" on LEGO sets.

This part just blows my mind.  You gotta be in a huge hurry or just ignorant to pay an extra 10% to buy Legos at TRU.  Even when they do a BOGO 40% off you're still generally better off just buying from Amazon or Target with a red card.

The only time I get Legos at TRU is when they've got an exclusive that is interesting, and even then I often buy "their exclusive" via Lego.com to get double VIP points.

I always thought it was a cheap way to swindle a few extra bucks from parents and grandparents who need a quick gift and have no clue what LEGO MSRP is. I can't stand their polybag promotions since they deliberately wait to put the polybags out AFTER the promotion ends, just so they can sell them for $5.99 a pop.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Jesse James on September 19, 2017, 10:59 PM
I don't champion anyone closing like some places enjoy doing but I will say TRU isn't a place I hit often.  They're not conveniently located for me, and I haven't had a good find there since the resculpted speederbike and the exclusive rebel sled n tech were on sale there. :-\

Less places to buy the worse it is for all though. 

That said bankruptcy isn't the end of the line by any means.
Title: Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
Post by: Master_Phruby on September 20, 2017, 09:47 AM
The TRU near me always has a decent crowd of people shopping the store. They usually have a couple of cash registers open but will always let people ring up at the video game cash register. Star Wars stuff usually doesn't go on clearance but at least there is space for TLJ things. It's a fairly new store with an attached Babys R Us. I think it just boils down to poor management at a lot of stores.