Could ToysRUs Make a Comeback?

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ToysRUs could survive with help from kid-at-heart Isaac Larian.

Could ToysRUs Survive?

It will if kid-at-heart Isaac Larian has anything to say about it! With hopes of saving the ToysRUs brand, the chief executive of MGA Entertainment (maker of the Little Tikes brand), made a whopping $675 million bid on Friday, April 13th, to save 274 U.S. ToysRUs stores. And he made another $215 million bid to acquire 82 stores in Canada.

As we shared a few weeks ago, Larian launched a $1 billion GoFundMe campaign to save hundreds of  ToysRUs stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The campaign was not as successful as he had hoped (he only raised roughly $60,000 from 2,000 pledges), but the successful businessman has already personally pledged $100 million, with another $100 million coming from other undisclosed, large investors.

“I like challenges. I have some big, out-of-the-box ideas to save ToysRUs and grow the business if I’m successful in getting ToysRUs assets.” – Isaac Larian

If Larian’s bids are approved, he says he wants ToyRUs to be as interactive and as kid-friendly as a theme park — a place where children can play and try out new toys. It sounds intriguing, but what are your thoughts?

Do YOU think ToysRUs will bounce back?

(Photo Credit)

Join The Discussion

Comments 58


    Anything’s possible! He seems determined enough to make it work.

  2. cristinimartini

    I think an interactive place would be amazing. You could take your kids and see if they even like the toy before you buy it. How great would that be?! I do wish they had better prices, but being able to pick up a toy (and hide it) instead of everything being delivered and opened before you get a chance to wrap it, would be great. I’m tired of Target and Walmart’s selection of toys being all the same.

  3. Lo

    I just don’t see how a store can survive selling just toys especially in an electronics age.

  4. Sarah

    Let it die. There will be a new Toy company soon.

    • christi

      i agree

    • mel

      I know. Like Elsa sang… Let It Go, Let It Go….

      • Taryn

        This is exactly what I was thinking😂

    • ejbaptiste

      Lol. I agree.

  5. Kruiz528

    They need to do something different to compete. Maybe sell only toys exclusive to toys r us. Etc.

  6. GotItTogetherish

    That would be awesome!

  7. hong

    The stuffs are so expensive here.

  8. Tati

    The sort of thing that happens when emotions trump good business sense. What happens when a “hey honey, whaddya think about” comment goes viral. They need competitive pricing, not try before you buys. RIP toys r us, RIP.

  9. Ashley

    If they changed their pricing to be more competitive and brought back employees who were knowledgeable, it’d go a long way.

    Our local store is fantastic- the manager has been with the company since the 80’s and he runs a great store. I hope this investor is successful!!

  10. Boyntwinmama

    Oh I hope so! People who are prices are high don’t know how to shop Toys R Us. You could price match. They had coupons and rewards. And they had sales. I did SO much of my Christmas shopping there…I have 7 kids, 3 grandkids, and lots of nieces and nephews. Also found great deals on baby stuff. I was so sad to see it go, and hope it can be revived.

    • Candace Parker

      I agree with you that if you know all the tips and tricks you can find some truly AMAZING deals at Toys R Us, but for the majority of US shoppers, the effort of finding those deals probably wasn’t worth it, especially when they could get a low price all the time at places like Walmart, Target and Amazon. Don’t get me wrong, I love Toys R Us, and really hope they can save it. But at the same time, I didn’t start shopping there until like 5 years ago when I started having more disposable income. It took me a couple of years to see all the deals I could get. I did love their rewards program, and their special gift card deals.

    • Susan

      Yes! I totally agree! I think TRU used to be hard to get along with (mostly because of their return policy) but since having my youngest daughter, I’ve done as much shopping there as possible. They really made themselves competitive and I’m sad to see them go.

  11. angeld001 interactive toy store where kids can try out toys is great…in theory…but who is going to clean those toys after each kid uses them? Probably no one. I mean, let’s be honest, what happens when a kid infected with who knows what doesnt wash their hands and plays with that toy? Another kid comes along, plays with it and gets whatever illness the previous kid had and ends up giving it to the whole family. Eww.

    • Ashley

      You don’t go to a lot of parks or hands/on museums, do you?

    • Casey

      Probably doesn’t use a lot of railings or door handles or cash either.

      • Ken

        Do you swim in the ocean? Yes? Would you go swim in a pool with a couple of sharks in it? No? Why not? They both have sharks, yes?

    • Nina

      I agree. Interactive toy theme? Meaning kid to kid holding, touching, playing with the same toys? Sounds like a big germ fest to me. Not practical.
      To make this work he’d just have to make the toys competitively affordable. No interactive toy plan needed IMO.

    • Steph

      Maybe ppl will start vaccinating their kids again

  12. cara

    They should also host theme Birthday parties..Like with a barbie theme the kids can play/try out barbie toys… then maybe as part of the birthday package they get to pick a barbie toy to take home.

    • momo

      I too would love a TRU bday party space for rental. My daughter would be in toy heaven picking out her gift from the shopping area\(*0*)/!!! Such as 1hr space rental must include $50gc, 2hr/$100gc etc… Why didn’t they ever do this??? Have Geoffrey come out to give the bday child the gc & play the TRU “I don’t wanna grow up” song. The parents of the guest children may not be too happy bc they may end up buying their child some toys b4 leaving;-D. Exactly what TRU needed, more traffic in the door.

    • Jodi ann

      Great Idea! To bad you didn’t run Toys R us! LOL. That store was so lazy…no new ideas, no innovations.

  13. amanda

    We live in an age where imo kids don’t play like they used to, too much of a hectic lifestyle and no-one wants to use their imagination. But imo also there needs to be a store like toysrus around, my toddler loves to play games and in particular old school, and now there is no where to find a lot of the games. Even amazon doesn’t have some of them. Stores like toysrus and babiesrus are a lifesaver to me when I was hunting for a specific thing that seemed like nooo other store(s) had. I already miss them being around..

  14. Melissa

    I think it would be awesome if he was able to continue on with the brand and to make it better. My kids love the store and they have so much fun just walking around looking at everything and making their wishlists for birthdays and Christmas. Walmart and Target just don’t have much of a selection when it’s not around Christmas and I don’t really like shopping online. I guess we’ll see what happens!

  15. KellyO

    Offer low cost kid’s crafting events like Michael’s! Serve wine for moms. (I mean, we’re making a dream list, right??)

    • Tati

      YES KellyO YES! And a spot in the back where I can drop off my laundry, and get my car washed and someone to fetch my groceries and have it in the car waiting for me after the birthday party! We are have way there Toys R us, halfway there!

  16. liz

    He seems to have a great vision for moving ahead. Reminds me of the Boston area stores when I was a kid. They always gave me a balloon and there were kids playing everywhere.

  17. Haley

    I think that if they had exclusive, higher-end toy collections designed for children to actually learn (not just plastic junk) they could make a comeback. Like if they had exclusive LEGO collections, brands like MindWare that are STEM toys, Brio trains, etc. I also love the idea of making each section interactive- like having an art center, building center, gross motor play area, a train center, etc. I think they would also win a large demographic if they had a section of the store or a room of some sort that is low-stimulus designed for children with autism/ADHD/other special needs. I always got the vibe that Toys R Us was more concerned with quantity of toys rather than quality. I think if they switched that they could make a comeback.

  18. Aly

    I would suggest having smaller formats with maybe a third to half the inventory, and keep everything clean and well-organized in a semi-open floor arrangement. Some of the Toys R Us around here were a mess and disorganized, and the shelves served like a maze, which were not conductive to shopping and often gives an experience of sensory overload. Hopefully the new owner won’t have to worry about serving debt, and can afford to lower prices significantly during promo sale days and at Christmastime (i.e. take the playbook from Target, etc.)

    • Jodi ann

      I totally agree! I always said that whoever designed those stores should be fired. It was a gigantic maze and if you are catering to kids why were toys shelved so high and in such a disorganized manner!

  19. Cheryl

    They could…But they definitely need NEW management…CEO who cares more about the kids, lower pricing, employees and customer reward programs than his or her own pockets. Otherwise they will be back in the same boat they are in now. In my opinion they don’t need both Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores.

  20. Cheryl

    They could…But they definitely need NEW management…CEO who cares more about the kids, lower pricing, employees and customer reward programs than his or her own pockets. Otherwise they will be back in the same boat they are in now. In my opinion they don’t need both Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores.

  21. Sam

    I just hate seeing while many ppl trying to save Toyrus, some ppl do nothing but hope it get brought back so they can go shopping 3 cent items

  22. Sandy

    Ok, but Little Tikes toys are cheap either…they’re going to have to revamp the whole TRU (bad lighting, layout, prices, employee) to get me back in there.

  23. Sara Thompson

    This man is a toy genius. Little Times, Btratz, LOL dolls, etc.

    Almost every thing he touches seems to turn to gold.

    I’d be highly amused if he succeeds and turns his brands into TRU exclusive brands.

  24. CindyS

    I find it interesting that people are cheering the closing of Toys R Us. Not only will 33,000 people be out of work (and that’s something to cheer about?), there will now be thousands of square footage of retail space empty, and depending on the location, that may drive other store closures with the decreased business and traffic. Except for local or regional stores that may still exist in some metropolitan areas, TRU was the last retailer with inventory focused on strictly toys. Walmart and Target dedicate only a small part of their stores to toys, and typically it’s the same inventory year after year, so most will likely turn to Amazon, who employs a fraction of the workforce a traditional retail store does. With their focus on automation, that number will continue to decrease. Not only is Amazon taking business away from traditional brick and mortar stores, but online sales as well. They are slowly and methodically creating a monopoly. Remember a few years ago when the Amazon deals were so good (remember the Kindle Fire deals?). You won’t see those again because they control too much business now. I shop online probably just as much as anyone, and yes my budget is tight so I look for the best deal, but as I have watched Amazon grow bigger and bigger, it’s becoming evident that one day, it’s possible they may be the only place to shop for certain items. And my last point is this: have you read the news lately about all the people who had their accounts terminated for “violation of company policy?” I’m sure quite a few of those people crying foul know why (manipulating the review process), but there were some innocent people caught up in that. That’s because Amazon uses bots to detect everything from return fraud to duplicate accounts, and their logic is often flawed. The fallout is that hundreds are left scrambling to try and get their accounts back, having done nothing wrong. If you have an Echo or Kindle or Fire TV, all that would be rendered useless if Amazon decides to close your account. Amazon has indeed brought a lot of good, but at what cost? Just something to think about.

    • Ken

      That could have been said about walmart (and was) a decade ago. At the end of the day, price will always win and there will always be another retailer in one shape or form. Toys R Us should have closed their doors 10 years ago and McDonald’s is always hiring.

      • Yikes

        Heck, they don’t even need to go to McDonald’s. They could learn a new skillset to keep them in a job. Amazon (and other retailers) are going to need people to design, produce, code, and maintain these machines… Change is not something to fear.

    • Yikes

      Gotta admit, closure of accounts for review fraud doesn’t bother me in the slightest, and I’m frankly thrilled. I rely on reviews when I purchase online, and I have so little faith in the validity of Amazon’s reviews anymore. I’m constantly flagging fake reviews, it’s out of control. Given my interaction with Amazon customer service over the past 15 years, I’m quite certain that anyone truly innocent will have their accounts reinstated in due time.

    • Jodi ann

      Sorry but you are wrong…it’s Economics 101. Empathy and business practices are to completely different things. As management, if those are things that are happening in real time than you need start executives to combat these problems such as the bots. That’s their job! As for the workers, I am sorry that they are losing their job but like Darwin said “adapt or die”.

  25. Jen

    Let them go!! I have a store near me that is closing. They only have 5% off LEGO’s & all other items are 10%. Even with that being said the prices are still higher than Target Walmart or amazon.

  26. Baba

    I think it would be awesome if it came back! Childhood memories aside, their selection is always second to none. I love Target and the other retailers, but Toys R Us always had the biggest selection of toys for my boys. No other retailer had the selection of Nerf guns or True Heroes, etc. and they do price match and offer great deals. Where else can you see so many Power Wheels in one location? My family is rooting for the return of Toys R Us!!

  27. Ihearthip

    If he can save it and revamp it, I think that would be great. I’m not a big shopper there but I feel a little sad when I see major stores closing so much. I used to take my toddler there to pass the time and was registered at Babies R Us when pregnant so there’s some nostalgia.

  28. Loretta

    I hope it can. Need to lower prices. I enjoyed taking my grandson there and playing/acting goofy! We had so much fun there!!

  29. Ally

    If TRU would bring back the FUN in the stores and the old style store then YES! No more small thin aisles.. no more junk like makeand clothing.. stop with the dumb dollar bins and junk! Bring back the knowledgeable employees! Bring back the FUN atmosphere and stop harrasing customers into buying every little add on item at the register….let us shop have fun and be a TOYS R US kid!! Seriously only just toys and video games! BRING BACK THE OLD SCHOOL Toys R Us!

  30. Sally Copp

    As an employee of TRU I believe it should be saved. Not every parent wants their kids on electronic gadgets all of the time. Perhaps it’s notsuch a bad thing to teach your kids about saving and going to a store to spend they money they’ve earned. How to count it and it’s worth. This is a store just for kids to be young .
    If TRU goes away it’s going to make a huge and devastating effect on Mattel, Legos, Graco and many other companies that sell their products in our stores. Not only are 33,000 TRU employees losing their job but so will people working for toy companies. This isn’t only going to affect us as employees but it’s going to have a ripple effect.
    No other toy store will have the selection of toys TRU has. I can’t believe some of you don’t see what this is going to do to the economy. Not every has a computer to shop on line.

  31. Raven Law

    I think that dude has too much money to be asking people for money. If he can’t back it on his own, or get a bank loan, he needs to move on down the road a ways.

  32. Frances

    A gofundme campaign to save TRU?? Really ?? Gee what a shock it wasn’t as successful as he planned…lol I have donated to many gofundme campaigns but all were truly donations to good causes. Ridiculous to use gofundme for this reason.

  33. Joy

    I hope he is able to save TRU. Maybe make it more of an experience than just a shopping trip.

  34. Sarah

    IMO it’s all due to location. I mainly shop at places like Walmart, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and Krogers because these store are a 10 to 15 minute drive from me. Where as places like toy’s r us, target, and hobby lobby are all over an hour and a halfs drive away. I’m not driving that far weekly for any store, when I can get it at Walmart or buy it online. Maybe stop putting 5 of the exact same stores within 10 minutes of each other because it’s a big metropolis area and move one to some place that doesn’t have any within hours of driving distance. I’d be happy with a half hour drive. When we want to go to places like that we have to make day out of it.

  35. Dkp91576

    This could work if he made the model similar to LEGO Park. Play with some interactive games, reading time, promo movies trailers for new cartoons which would be paid for by the studios, have iPads around the store to keep the new generation touching and staying, toys scattered through the store tied to the games. Do it right, it works.

  36. Ashleigh

    If toys r us had a savings app like cartwheel, I would be more inclined to shop there

  37. MTyler

    Apparently no one ever used Toys R Us’s INSANE price match policy. I am a GM of a retailer who has a lenient match policy, but TRU matched EVERYTHING! I visited there bi weekly and they matched Target, Wal Mart, and only once did they not match Amazon, because they didn’t have it available anymore. In a day and age where Wal Mart doesn’t even match anymore, we failed and let TRU fail. A sad day for competition.

    • Just me

      I dunno price matching is a little bit of a hassle and anxiety inducing 😂. Plus target gives me 5% off so I’d match there first.
      Who is this lenient price matcher? Target?

  38. Vicky V

    I was there today at Toys R us an a lot of people walked out empty handed because they are still too expensive but I am pretty sure a lot of other people thought it was a better price and there was still a long line. But I was wondering, did they turn the deal down because they are hoping to sell everything and pay off their debt to almost everything and “ta-da”, they’re back?! just wondering.

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