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! 😉
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