Kids Need Toys 'R' Us Now More Than Ever
This is not a particularly bright time to be alive, when good news is hard to come by. If you’re looking for any injection of hope from news reporting, you’re best off headed to a puff piece about a raccoon learning to skateboard or a parakeet that learned to say funny cuss words. When the world’s on fire, we desperately need the dopamine coming from whatever modern-day waterskiing squirrel pops up. Today, however, we get a particularly succulent nugget that’s enrobed in a delicious coating of redemption, rare if small-scale economic hope, and nostalgia.
The news is this: toy retailer and site of tantrums throughout the ages, Toys ‘R’ Us, is coming back. The beloved childhood wonderland went out of business in 2018, citing poor sales and defeat at the hands of Amazon et al. The truth may be more centered on a couple shark-eyed equity firms that bought it and immediately stacked $5 billion in debt onto the business, but this is supposed to be an uplifting article, so we’ll leave that for another day.
Toys ‘R’ Us is coming back in multiple forms: partly through a partnership with Macy’s that will place small locations within their existing forms, but also in the flagship locations that we all know and love, the one you’d beeline through the parking lot to on a birthday or after an aced math test. The big, action-figure filled Gardens of Eden that were the child equivalent of a dad at Home Depot. And emotional bunkers like a huge Toys ‘R’ Us have never been needed more by kids.
After all, U.S. children these days don’t exactly live the stress-free life of past generations. Gone are the days of cocoa puff breakfasts and a relaxing afternoon spent burning ants with a magnifying glass in the backyard. When I was a kid, any tactical gunfight knowledge I had was directly related to Halo maps, not keeping my organs unpunctured by an AR-15 during Spanish class. Kids also don’t have the same release valves that adults do: they can’t go on vacation, and they famously aren’t allowed to get s***faced at bars.
So, finally, kids get a win. Once again, an injured nation of tots and teens will feel peace in the gentle embrace of an anthropomorphic giraffe. At least, until they realize their parents can’t afford any of the toys because of inflation and stagnant wages, or the first active shooter incident at one of the new Toys ‘R’ Us locations. But until then it’ll be cool!