The Brat Patrol | A Long Time Ago, In a Neighborhood Far, Far Away…

A Trip (Back) To Toys R Us

Classic Toys R Us

A trip to Toys R Us was a reward for good behavior. It was somewhere we could spend our hard-earned allowance on a new GI Joe figure or some LEGO sets. It was also like being inside of a museum of awesome, where the wares were categorized by types: action figures, building toys (including LEGO), radio-controlled toys and slot-car tracks, educational toys, board games, electronic games, and eventually video games.

Today, Toys R Us stores are organized (mostly) by whatever commercial property the toys are related to: all of the Spiderman-related toys together (regardless of type: action figure, r/c car, or even LEGO), all of the Harry Potter stuff, all of the Hanna Montana stuff. Sadly, it just reinforces the commercialism that was once criticized (and even disallowed before the late-70’s) for children’s programming based on products.

I came across a great blog post that traces the history of Toys R Us design and architecture from the 70’s to today. I still remember Geoffrey the Giraffe’s face welcoming me to the store…

Geoffrey Toys R Us Entrance

2 comments July 9th, 2009 by duane

The Christmas Wish Book

“X-Entertainment”: has a great article on the experience of waiting for that Sears (or JC Penny in the midwest) catalog to show up full of the year’s best toys. Usually sandwiched between the underwear and hand tools were the things dreams were made of. My brother (Christian), and I would negotiate which things we would each as for. You see, we would cut out the toys from the catalog and tape them to our wish list… since there was only one item per catalog, it was difficult to ask for the same thing. Usually, we would ask for complementary toys: He-Man for Christian and Skeletor for me. Be sure to check out the “X-Entertainment Article”:, it’s worth the read.

Add comment December 11th, 2007 by duane


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