Toys R Us Is Returning To The Bay Area!
Do you remember when you were a kid and you didn’t have to worry about things like a potential nuclear war or inflation? Good times, right? Well those times are coming back! Well, inflation is still a thing and Russia is still threatening nuclear war, so those carefree times aren’t really back, but Toys R Us is back. Now at least you’ll be able to shop like you did when you didn’t have to worry about those things.
That’s right San Francisco, the visibly “awake” giraffe monster thing is back to sell you toys at Union Square in Macy’s. You can also see this long necked king in San Jose where he’ll be creepily standing near the Barbies.
What does this reboot, and others like it, tell us about the current state of things? It appears that brick and mortar stores in general are in trouble. The internet, combined with the pandemic, have done harm to the physical retail beyond repair, and as a last ditch effort, companies are acquiring the corporate corpses of our childhood favorites in hopes that the dead horses (or giraffes) they’re beating still have a few delicious dollars to milk before America’s inevitable collapse.
Despite my cynicism, Toys R Us was an absolute staple in the childhood of pretty anyone over 25 years of age, and my nostalgia radar went off the charts as I realized I am nearly able to recite the entire Toys R Us song from memory, which, in all fairness, made me smile.
There was nothing cooler than when you were a kid and you thought your day is gonna suck. All of the signs of a sucky day were there. You’re being dragged to some bland strip mall or shopping center because your parents wanted to buy some shit, but then, you saw it: a toy store! And your parents didn’t wanna go in, when you initially asked they said “no,” but they loved you and they went in even though they had to buy a fax machine or something because it was the ’90s and fax machines were still a thing back then…. I think. And your little kid ass ran around the aisles without a care in the world.
All the toys represented possible careers for your exciting future as an adult in your adolescent mind. You saw a basketball and you envisioned yourself as Michael Jordan. You saw one of those toy wrestling belts and in your imagination you were jumping off of the top rope at WrestleMania! You saw a microphone and you were a bad ass rapper or rock star. All of these realities curated for you by a weird fucking giraffe that you’re strangely comfortable with. It was truly a wondrous experience that technology has pretty much eliminated.
If you’re a millennial, you know what I’m talking about.
If you have a small child that hasn’t been completely ruined by the internet, take that kid to Toys R US and let them be a kid before the internet lets them in the on the secret that ‘Toys R US kids’ don’t really exist. Or that the guy in the giraffe outfit is a struggling member of the working class who was forced to take a humiliating job as a giraffe to pay rent at his room in the outskirts of the East Bay or two bridge tolls away in Vallejo.
Take this opportunity and let them get a glimpse of fun without a screen. Buy them a stupid toy, or a super soaker or a Mongoose bike with the big ass pegs on the back.
It’s the right thing to do. They’ll be back on the iPad in no time, but at least they’ll know there’s an alternative.
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