Just a quick update on our previous discussion about the demise of Toys’R’Us (see Troubles in the Toy World & at Toys’R’Us) and some related shopping opportunities. When Toys’R’Us was still talking about bankruptcy, they scheduled to close a number of stores around the U.S. These stores have been running 10-40% off sales for a couple of weeks now, and they will continue to do so until all of their stock is gone. If you live near one of these stores, make sure you stop by. Bargain hunting for toys is fun! 🙂
However, filing for bankruptcy didn’t solve Toys’R’Us problems, and it was announced last week that the company is officially going out of business and liquidating all 800 of its U.S. stores. There are still some talks about trying to save some of the better performing U.S. outlets, but other than that possibility, all locations are going to be either sold off to franchisees or closed down for good. In addition, all Toys’R’Us locations in the United Kingdom will be shut down as well.
While this is extremely sad news, as Toys’R’Us was pretty much the only surviving store in the U.S. that solely focused on toys, there are some shopping opportunities you may want to take advantage of before the doors close for good. And stopping by one last time also gives you a chance to say your final goodbyes to what was a favorite childhood place for generations.
According to the store manager of the Toys’R’Us closest to me, liquidating stock begins today, March 22nd, and all stores will close within 60 days. Initial discounts will be 10-30% off, depending on the item. Larger discounts are possible if there is still remaining stock. Besides what’s at the stores already, there will be considerable stock flushed out of Toys’R’Us distribution centers, so it might be worth going back to your store more than once to see if there is anything new. Talk to your store manager for more specific details. If you are on the Toys’R’Us mailing list, you should be getting email updates about sales.
As most of us here are LEGO fans, let’s talk about the LEGO-specific sales that are happening already. When I was at my Toy’R’Us a few days ago, most LEGO Star Wars were 20% off, there were also a number of LEGO Ninjago Movie sets on sale, LEGO BrickHeadz had a BOGO 40% off deal going on, and all LEGO DC Super Hero Girls were 50% off. Various LEGO storage solutions were 50% off as well.
If you would like to get some LEGO sets as an investment, look out for Toys’R’Us exclusives, like the #40228 LEGO Geoffrey & Friends set that sells for $5.99 each. It is going to be a sought-after collectible soon. (My store had tons of them a couple of weeks ago, but none the last time I went – probably an investor picked them up.) There are some other Toys’R’Us exclusives also, so look for the special LEGO boxes with the Toys’R’Us logo. Some of them are repackaged or bundled standard LEGO sets in special Toys’R’Us boxes, while others are truly exclusive to Toys’R’Us (like Geoffrey).
There are other toys worth looking at as well. Toys’R’Us has been the largest carrier of the Mega Construx collector’s lines (Halo, Call of Duty, Destiny, Star Trek, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, American Girl, Pokemon, etc.). In other words, many of these sets aren’t available anywhere else (or at least very hard to find), and they sell very well on the secondary market. If you can get a good stock at a discount, you can keep your eBay or Amazon store busy and profitable for quite a while. Mega Construx also has Toys’R’Us exclusive sets that can be another great investment.
Another traditional brand worth considering is Playmobil. This is a high-quality German toy line that has been around since the early 1970s. It has similar themes as LEGO; city, castle, historic themes, modern themes, movie tie-ins, collectible figures in blind bags, etc. They even have some really cool Ghostbusters sets! The brand has many devoted fans, and as far as I know, they are only available at Toys’R’Us (at least in the U.S.). The last time I checked, all Playmobil sets were 25% off.
For investment purposes, Toys’R’Us branded items could work out very well, as they won’t be produced any longer, and will likely become nostalgic collectibles. As with all investments, I would suggest that you stick with brands and products that you are familiar with already, or willing to study up on. There are good opportunities during the Toys’R’Us liquidation as long as you approach them with care and knowledge.
I will be going to my Toys’R’Us store probably once a week, as long as I see new stock and new sales. I’m mostly looking for LEGO and Mega Construx for my own collection, but may pick up a few sets for investment purposes as well. I will update you what I find in the comment section.
What do you think? Do you have a Toys’R’Us store near you? Are you planning to stop by to see what’s on sale during the liquidation? What kind of LEGO sets and other toys are you looking for? Feel free to share in the comment section below! Also, if you find any interesting deals, you can share them as well. Happy treasure hunting! 😉
And you might also like to check out the following related posts:
Geez, Playmobil only availabe at TRU… They could be found about everywhere here in Northern Europe…
There only seems to be two TRU stores in Stockholm, and both of them are rather far away. Also, the European stores seem to be run rather independently from the American, and might be less affected by the bankruptcy with fewer local sales…
What I remember reading is that only the US and UK branch of TRU are closing. Stores in Canada, Europe and Asia are remaining open. Those branches are doing fine.
The end of an era. So sad.
Will stop by on the weekend. Do you think there will still be stuff left?
There is a fundraiser to save Toys’R’Us by a toy company. Apparently it already raised 200 million of the 1 billion goal. Do you guys think it’s still possible to save it? https://www.gofundme.com/helpsavetoysrus
Just a FYI on that fundraiser. “This GoFundMe campaign is spearheaded by Isaac Larian and various investor associates. Isaac Larian is the CEO of MGA Entertainment, Inc. (MGAE), one of the world’s leading privately held toy and entertainment companies and creator of family favorite brands including Little Tikes. Isaac and his associates are devoted to saving the retail chain and preserving the Toys“R”Us experience for future generations.”
They are the ones who pledged 200 million. The actual fundraising from the public is less than 10k. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but they are expecting to raise 800 million from ordinary folks. That likely won’t happen, and shouldn’t happen.
TRU has been doomed for a long time. The investors who bought them burried it in debt. It’s not that TRU wasn’t selling enough toys. It’s that the company was totally mismanaged for many years. If saved, they will just continue to mismanage it.
There are talks to bring back KB Toys. It might not be a bad idea to kill the dinosaur (I mean, Giraffe), and have a fresh start. Just my opinion.
As sad as it sounds, you’re probably right.
What’s KB Toys?
I went to Toys r us last weekend and saw that it was crowded ( like it was Christmas shopping again). Like I said a few Days ago , I pick up the city Mining Experts site set for about 20% off . ( it was the last one ). I think it was a quick thought that wasn’t thought threw , because , I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start another theme for my city. I think it’s cool looking and all but I m thinking I’ve should’ve picked up something that I needed in my other themes. Then again there wasn’t a lot of things on sale yet and I wasn’t sure if I could make it back to Toys r us again. I think the sad part was seeing two little girls holding a ” save Toys r us ” signs in the store. So ” sniff , sniff. ” so sad. 🙁
Very sad indeed. In the news they are talking about ToysRUs as a business, and big money, and bankruptcy, and liquidation, and lawyers, but it’s the kids of today and tomorrow who are going to be affected the most. They won’t have a toy store to go to play, and dream, and imagine. Now everything is online, but that’s not the same as seeing and touching toys in person, and saving up your money to finally go to ToysRUs to pick up that cool toy you wanted. I feel really bad for today’s kids.
UPDATE: I went to my TRU this morning, and they had a sign up that the liquidation sale did not yet begin due to bankruptcy court proceeding getting delayed.
There were lots of sales associates and cashiers around (much more than normal), so this was clearly a last minute decision. I was told by associates that liquidation could begin as early as tomorrow, but they really don’t know at this point.
Other TRU stores already began liquidation, so my suggestion is to call your store before taking a trip.
So, how do we know that Toys r us isn’t delaying the sales on purpose to get every penny on full priced items? Right now , people are flocking to the stores to get what they can. Also , it comes to attention that why are we making the effort to buy everything in sight at Toys r us . When we should put our money into store that are still here( Wamart , Target and the Lego stores). It’s almost like rewarding a dog that just crapped on the floor and we ( the customers ) clean up there mess. The company messed up because they thought they can get away with things that They weren’t supposed to do. Just a thought.
Are they really in such a position? I’d assume they’d be more or less forced to get rid of as much stock as possible as quickly as possible to repay their debts at least partially. I don’t think they could delay the sales for long.
True. It was just a thought. But, you never know how low a company would go these days.
Bankruptcy proceedings are very serious and strictly regulated. Once a company is under bankruptcy proceedings, they can’t play games. They are fully under the control of the bankruptcy court.
I’ve never been bankrupt, so , thanks for the clarification.
Me neither. Thankfully. I did have to look into it once though, and it is scary stuff. Basically the courts take over all your assets and decide how to distribute them to your creditors. It’s basically the same process whether you are an individual or a company. May none of us will ever have to go through that. I don’t want to give up my LEGO. 🙁
I guess the founder of Toys r us past away today. He was in his 90’s. doubly sad.
Are you serious???!!! Wow! 🙁
Just read about it… what a sad day… 🙁
Dag, what a timing…
Although it’s likely he might not have been able to … process the process, anyway…
I made up my mind , I don’t think I’ll check out Toys r us on its last days . It’s to depressing. I don’t care about what deals they’ll have. It’s almost like watching vultures picking on a dying animal . I want to remember it from the good old days when it was still full of magic and curiosity.
I actually came to the same conclusion earlier today. I was there this morning, and the store was full of resellers. The liquidation sale has been delayed, so hardly anyone was buying anything, but people were taking pictures, checking their phones to compare prices, etc. And many of the shelves were empty already anyway because of toy companies pulling their stock. It was definitely depressing, and not how I want to remember Toys’R’Us…
It makes me so sad that they’ve gotten to this point. So many happy memories, especially of the magical day they opened in the UK. Was wonderful. Going to fire sales like this is tough. Bargains, yes. Destroying of happy memories, yes. Worth the pain… no.
I might be cynical enough to give it a pass…
I’d hate all the crowds and hassle, though…
I went to the clearance sale of Mr. Gills, though.
An immigrated Australian (I think) who opened a “mom & pop” Lego store in central Stockholm, but found it impossible to compete with Internet with a limited stock, and in the end didn’t find it worth the hassle to just about break even… The rough story…
That was a bit depressing, though. Particularly since there was an individual face to the decision.
Yeah, seeing small shops going out of business is always tough. It’s much more personal. The owner and their family often runs the shop, helps you find things, stocks the shelves, helps you check out…
A tribute article about Mr Gill, written directly in English…
What a nice article. Thanks for sharing. Certainly a bittersweet experience…
That’s why we need to keep shopping at places like the Lego stores so this won’t happen again. That’s I’m thinking go shop at a Lego store instead of clearing out Toy’s r us . No use putting more cargo on a sinking ship.
Well, Lego is doing great economically, as far as I know. There isn’t really any economic concern. I just think the ‘growth’ was less than expected…
I mean, you could still go there since you ‘enjoy’ the product, but they’re doing quite fine either way, so unlike the situation for a smaller player, it isn’t really necessary to shop there for support.
True. You are very fortunate to have a LEGO store near you. I would spend every day there. I’m jealous! 😀
I stopped by our local Toy R Us and they wanted a screaming 5% off all ‘building toys.’ I didn’t buy anything.
That’s probably one of the stores where liquidation didn’t begin yet. I would suggest checking back next week. Best is to give them a call beforehand.