Last year, the superstore of all things toys filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Now, I won’t pretend to know what that actually means but I know bankruptcy is not a good word in almost any capacity. A quick Google search reveals that under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a company will reorganize its finances. The manager of our local Toys R Us, Robbie Malley, told me that the company did this in order to restructure and attempt to turn the failing company’s finances around.
He also said that last Christmas was the company’s last bastion of hope. More toys are purchased in preparation for Christmas than any other day in this country and naturally, it makes sense that a toy store would benefit the most from this but alas, Toys R Us did not.
While not officially announced, there are numerous reports citing inside sources who expect the company to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the coming weeks. Another quick Google search reveals that Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the really bad one – I mean, really, really bad. Also known as “straight bankruptcy,” under Chapter 7, a company will attempt to liquidate its assets. Malley said the company was unable to find buyers for most of its assets.
If you’re like me, you mourned the coming loss of Toys R Us. You exclaimed that you loved the store and can’t believe it’s going out of business. If you’re also like me, you’ll ask yourselves these questions and with some honest reflection, answer no.
Did you love that store? Can you really not believe it’s going out of business? No and no, but that’s OK.
How could we love that store? It’s antiquated, expensive and goodness, I have to leave my house to go there – blech! I have to find the right aisle, actually grab the item off the shelf, carry it to the front, have somebody ring it up, hand that somebody my money and then carry it to my car. This sounds terrible.
Instead of doing that, for the past five or six years, I’ve been purchasing whatever my heart desires on Amazon and get this – it only takes one click. I don’t want to comb through aisles to find what I want. I don’t have to carry the item around. I don’t have to talk to somebody when checking out. I don’t have to carry it to my car. I simply click purchase, wait one day and when I hear that magical ring – my doorbell – I have the newest LEGO Star Wars set (and you best believe it’s a set from The Last Jedi because that movie is absolutely incredible and if you disagree, you’re wrong).
Cooking an egg takes more work than my Amazon purchase did. When I have that kind of purchasing ease at my fingertips at any given moment, why on earth would I ever step foot into a store like Toys R Us ever again? Nostalgia maybe but like all things nostalgic, rose-tinted glasses only last so long before you need a new prescription and guess what, that prescription is expired.
I journeyed into the Toys R Us on Blanding Boulevard one last time recently after reading of the news and only reaffirmed my suspicions – it simply does not have a place in our society anymore. Lack of ease aside, it’s expensive. Whatever I wanted could be found on Amazon much cheaper.
With all of this in mind, I realized I don’t love Toys R Us – that might explain why my last visit was the first visit in years – and I also realized I’m not surprised the store is going out of business.
I played the claw machine one last time, spent a quarter on gum that I imagine has been in that weird candy machine for years and said goodbye to an old friend. A friend, yes, but somebody I want to be around for the rest of my life? Absolutely not.
And with that, my new lover (that’s Amazon) and I gathered Toys R Us’ things, kicked that smelly giraffe out of the house, said goodbye forever and said hello to the future, or rather, the present. Simply put, Amazon is my toy store now and I imagine it always will be (plus, they have drones).