In 2018, Toys “R” Us, the go-to toy store for generations of kids (and plenty of adults), closed all of its doors, seemingly forever. It was a sobering reminder that eventually we all grow up, and that everything comes to an end—even things everyone loves. It was genuinely depressing, but that’s also why today’s news has us feeling like kids again. The rumors were true: Toys “R” Us will return in 2019 in time for the holiday season. However, it will be returning with a modern concept.
Toys “R” Us property’s parent company, Tru Kids Brands, has announced (in news we first heard at Toy Wizards) they are teaming up with b8ta, a “software-powered retailer,” to bring back the beloved toy store later this year. They will look and feel a little bit different from what you remember. The joint venture will launch a “store experience that will deliver the hottest toy products and brands, carefully curated and showcased in highly immersive smaller-format spaces,” in what sounds like an interactive playground designed for a mall-sized store. From the official release:
“The new Toys“R”Us stores will serve as must-visit destinations for kids to learn, play, and fall in love with the latest and most popular toys, and for parents to have fun with their children and ignite their own childlike sense of play. The stores will be highly interactive with new events and activities every day, from seeing toys displayed out of the box to test before making a purchase, to visiting different brand stations to driving learning through play embracing STEAM, or just having fun with Geoffrey the Giraffe in the open playspace.”
We know not everyone likes change, but this plan for a smaller, more modern toy store makes sense. And even a “reimagined” Toys “R” Us is better than no Toys “R” Us. Plus, what kid wouldn’t want to have a party at a toy store?
As for when you’ll be able to visit one, Tru Kids Brands says it plans to open stores “in prime, high-traffic retail markets within the U.S. over the course of 2020.” However, the first two stores—located at The Galleria in Houston, Texas and at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey—will open in 2019 ahead of the holiday season. You can check the official Toys “R” Us website for updates on future locales.
So yes, we’ll be trying to figure out when we can go check out the newest playthings at Toys “R” Us, just like when we were kids, because we still don’t want to grow up.
Images: Tru Kids Brands