We’ve only started our celebration of The Phantom Menace 20th Anniversary, today, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t leave a place for you to recall your memories of Midnight Madness at Toys R Us on May 3rd before the day was over. Please share your memories, experiences, what you bought, and any images you may have. We look forward to reading everything!
“We haven’t met with Toys ‘R’ Us yet — we remain open-minded, but no conversations yet,” Goldner told Yahoo Finance at the company’s annual toy fair presentation. Hasbro and its rival Mattel were hit hard by the disappearance of Toys ‘R’ Us in 2018. (more….)
The new owners of Toys “R” Us want to bring the brand back to the United States. But they can’t say when it will happen. The troubled toy company found another life last month as Tru Kids Brands, roughly half a year after Toys “R” Us closed the last of its stores in the United States. It is now owned by the company’s former creditors. More than 700 American Toys “R” US stores closed last spring. But the company kept 900 stores open in Europe, Asia and India. The new owners have plans to open another 70 stores overseas — mostly in Asia — by the end of the year. They’re also considering plans for the US market, including brick-and-mortar stores and online sales, though it’s not clear when a relaunch would happen. FOX6 has the full story.
There is a new development in the closing of Toys R Us. Ollies, who purchased most of their remaining inventory, is now taking over some locations and leasing them out. How bad shape TRU must have been in if a discount chain has enough liquid cash to take over both their inventory AND real estate. CNN has the full story. Special thanks to friend Martin M. for the alert to this news.
The private equity firms that owned Toys “R” Us before its bankruptcy are each pledging $10 million to establish a fund to distribute severance payments to former employees. LinkedIn.com has the full story. Special thansk to friend Nick for alerting me to this article!
Although reported right before the summertime, Ollie’s discount stores are now receiving Toys R Us’ liquidated products. If you have a store near you, it might be worth checking out their stock. Apparently, they’ve acquired $200 million of Toys R Us’ stock, which is pretty astounding. Special thanks to JTA reader Monteleone for the image.
Hasbro will layoff up to 10% of its workforce in the wake of Toys R Us’ demise. Fortune has the full story. The article choice of image is ironic.
It looks like Toys “R” Us’ Geoffrey is taking the spotlight in the rebranding of the famous toy store. It was previously reported that Toys “R” Us’ current lenders decided not to auction off certain parts of the IP and brand, like the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us names as well as Geoffrey himself, opting instead to relaunch the toy chain in a new way. Now we know what that looks like, as Toys “R” Us mascot Geoffrey turned up at the Dallas Toy Preview donning a cape that had a new logo and store name on it. Comicbook.com has the full story.
The news about “Toy City” stores getting set up in former Toys R Us and Babies R Us locations broke around June, but now these pop-up stores are finally getting things started. JTA reader Bryan L. sends us an image of progress being made in California. For those that aren’t aware, this is a Party City company and more information about them can be found HERE.
Wow. CNN has just posted an article claiming that Walmart wants to replace Toys R Us. Walmart is taking aggressive steps to fill the void left by Toys ‘R’ Us. Sensing an opportunity to appeal to shoppers and grab market share, the world’s largest retailer is expanding its toy selection in stores and online as it gears up for the first holiday season without Toys ‘R’ Us in decades. Walmart (WMT) announced on Thursday that it plans to increase its toy selection in some stores by 30% and expand its website assortment by 40%. It is bringing hundreds of exclusive brands to aisles and holding in-store toy demos. Walmart is also partnering with Ryan, a first-grade YouTube star, on “Ryan’s World” — a line of toys he recommends. Check out the full article HERE.
Canada’s Toys R Us President has been interviewed at MSN.com and explains why she expects Toys R Us to last a long time in Canada. Click through for the full story. Special thanks to JTA reader Stuart R. for the alert
It’s only been a couple of months since Toys R Us bit the dust. But the ripples of it are still painful. Yes, the retail apocalypse is happening in real-time, but it doesn’t take away any of the sadness that losing our last toy store brings. I have been reading many opinions on Toys R Us’ collapse. And while many factors worked against them succeeding, a financial expert by the name of Dave Ramsey (whom I respect greatly) has a slightly different take on what happened and how, perhaps, it might have been prevented. He believes that a possible scenario existed that was overlooked during their (what he calls) “disruption” in the marketplace. He goes on to say that the “disruption” can be the biggest blessing to your business, but if you’re not prepared for the “disruption,” it can be the biggest threat to your business. He claims this is where Toys R Us failed. Be sure to listen to his final example of how being prepared for “disruption” helped another major chain immensely. After you watch and listen, let us know if you think his logic and example are relevant to Toys R Us.
CNN is reporting that although sales fell 7% last quarter and earning were down more than 10%, shares of Hasbro surged more than 13% yesterday. They are looking forward to moving beyond the Toys R Us fiasco. Click through for the full story. Special thanks to JTA reader Jeff M. for the alert!
You think we have it bad in the USA when it comes to The Vintage Collection’s Imperial Combat Assault Tank? Friend and JTA reader Jamie D. sends us a report that this gorgeous vehicle has hit his local Canadian Toys R Us store and the MSRP is $119.99. Yikes. The line will not thrive with these ridiculous prices. By the way, see our full review on this amazing vehicle in our RDRs HERE.
It’s the last day for most Toys R Us stores. The ones by me closed two days ago. But JTA reader, friend, and former TRU corporate employee Russ T. couldn’t resist purchasing the electronic Radio Flyer Landspeeder when it hit discount during liquidation. Check out the video of Russ on our YouTube channel!
It’s astounding to me how poorly the Legacy Pack sold across all retail levels. It feels like it sold as badly as the 6″ Special Force TIE Fighter. And now as Toy R Us gets ready to close its doors forever, MORE cases from the warehouse are arriving at 60-%-80% off. It’s the only way to get the 40th anniversary Darth Vader (in the vintage Kenner line look). How did this not sell better than it did? I have never seen something so collector-friendly pile up at retail as this release did. And I have been collecting the modern line since 1995. Again, nothing has piled up like this set in my experience. Hasbro isn’t grabbing the right group of collectors with this stuff.
If you’re fortunate to have a liquidated Toys R Us store still open near you, you might want to check out the latets discounts. My local store had a half dozen Rogue One AT-ACTS in stock and with all of the promotions and discounts in effect it came down to $44.99 before taxes. It was certainly worth that price to secure the exclusive figures that will never be re-released from it.
You’d be silly to ignore the many things about the modern state of collecting that are devastating the line. Examples like collectors waiting as if they’re vultures for Hasbro stuff to go on clearance at Walmart and TARGET. And seeing Toys R Us’ merchandise that was clearanced out by competitors MONTHS ago sit and collect dusts on shelves are just some of the issues that don’t go away. Granted, Toys R Us has been foolish. They never were competitive with promotional prices and their clearance timing was the worst. But, see the image below. While anecdotal, it paints a broad picture of what is wrong with the Star Wars line. I could beat a dead horse here, but it’s clear to say that there is too much focus on certain Star Wars Entertainment that Star Wars fans aren’t supporting and buying. I have similar pile-ups at my local Toys R Us stores, albeit different products, but the same principles apply. Until the Hasbro line gets back to basics, we’re going to continue seeing these trends. And with Toys R Us gone, it means that either less volume will be produced, or the remaining retailers will be overstocked next. And I don’t think Walmart and TARGET will ever buy another bridge again when it comes to Star Wars. Their current stock levels are so low now that it’s almost impossible to find anything new there any way (except for the same repeated figures that shouldn’t have been reissued). It seems the Star Wars line is being forced into online oblivion. I am at a loss how this Titanic can be turned around. Special thanks to JTA Facebook reader Todd L. for the image!
What a coincidence! This store report is in perfect timing with today’s RDR! JTA moderator Sjefke found a bunch of The Black Series 40th Anniversary 6″ Jawas at his closing Toys R Us store. This should show Hasbro once again how even a beautiful assortment of figures like the vintage Kenner inspired 40th anniversary line can suffer when figures aren’t spread evenly over the case ratios. One new figure per case. No repeat. No carry-forwards. Figures that sell out before others should then be converted to a solid case assortment to kill scalping. it’s not rocket science. And it will work.
We all know that Toys R Us in the USA is liquidating their inventory, but JTA reader Jason A. sends us a disconcerting image. His local store received a literal palet of Legacy Packs from The Black Series [Star Wars 40] line. How many of these bleeping things did they make? Can we expect more stuff like this to show up? Will the solid cases of Darth Revan finally arrive? Right now these sets are marked down to $23.99, but many other retailers have already cleared these out for $10 or less per pack. Is this a testament to how small our community is, or is it more of a testament to how lousy distribution is?
JTA reader and friend Matthew Sebastian W. from Hong Kong China also sends us great close-up images of the China TRU exclusive multipack with holographic Maz Kanata. We have images of the front and back of the packaging. MSW also lets us know that this pack converts to $55 USD. Yikes! Check it out
We’ve known for quite some time about this, but Toys R Us had big plans for Wookiee Weekend. It is believed that Zuckuss was to be released this weekend in the USA/Canada. It appears that TRU in Australia is still participating. It all begins May 5th. Check it out!
Website Retail Dive reports that the auction for the Canadian branch of Toys R Us was canceled on Monday, since there were no other qualified bids for the Canadian Toys R Us stores other than the $235 million “stalking horse” offer by Fairfax Financial. Once the deal is approved Fairfax Financial will own the 83 Canadian TRU stores.
Irish Toy Retailer Smyths will acquire the Toys R Us Stores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This deal includes 93 TRU stores and 4 online shops. There are also some new developments for TRU in the USA, Canada, Asia and Australia! Click through for more details!
Update: Smyths will rebrand the TRU stores. Details added to the article!
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