More than a year has passed since the bankruptcy of Toys “R” Us, and the subsequent closure of its 700 U.S. stores. The toy retailer was bought by Tru Kids Brands who, in a recent Toys ‘R’ Us press release, announced they would be bringing the store back to the U.S. in time for the 2019 holiday season. Tru Kids is partnering up with b8ta to bring shoppers “…a new store experience that will deliver the hottest toy products and brands, carefully curated and showcased in highly immersive smaller-format spaces.” An image from the press release provides a concept of what the new storefront may look like. The first two Toys “R” Us stores will open in The Galleria, a Simon Mall in Houston, Texas and the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey.
It’s been a few weeks since the news of Toys R Us making its exit from the industry in the most unfortunate way—total bankruptcy—after 70 years of operations, and even more heartbreaking to know that founder Charles Lazarus passed a mere week later, knowing that his legacy ended. We’re not here to debate or speculate what went wrong or what could have been done better, as there’s enough of that news out there to feed on. Instead, we wanted to hear from our fans on what it means to us as LEGO hobbyists, and how this may impact us moving forward. Toys R Us (TRU) is remaining open for business in several countries around the world, including Australia and Canada, so we’ve asked a diverse group of readers to join us in providing commentary that’s part retrospective, and part insight into how TRU affects the LEGO hobby, whether closing or continuing operations.