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New TRU Megastore Coming To NJ Later This Month?!?


JayC
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In what seems to have become a yearly thing since Toys R' Us first declared bankruptcy and closed all it's doors here in the US back in 2018, I bring you a post about how the once famous toy retailer is planning on making a come back with a new store. Most recently it was announced they were partnering up with Macy's Department Stores to carry a limited number of toy related products in 400 of their stores across America as well as online, which has already started to happen. Still it's a far cry from the Toys R' Us heyday when they had over 800 large stores open here in the US.

In 2019 the organization called Tru Kids Brand had purchased the rights to the Toys R Us name and opened two small stores in malls located in Houston, Texas, and Paramus, New Jersey. Those stores were short-lived and closed their doors a year later with the COVID pandemic being given as the reason why.

Now WHP Global, who is the current parent company of Toys"R"Us is announcing plans to open a two-level, 20,000 square foot flagship store in New Jersey. Specifically the store will be opened inside American Dream, an entertainment/retail center in Bergen County, New Jersey. According to the press release they put out yesterday, this flasgship store is slated to open later this month. See the press release below:

 

Press Release:

WHP Global, parent company of Toys"R"Us®, announces the forthcoming grand opening of a new two-story Toys"R"Us flagship store inside American Dream, the unmatched entertainment/retail center in Bergen County, New Jersey.

Designed for 'Toys"R"Us kids' of all ages, the first U.S. Toys"R"Us flagship store will feature a modern two-level retail concept that spans 20,000 square feet. The flagship will be reminiscent of the beloved toy store customers know and love, as visitors can shop their favorite toy brands, meet Geoffrey the Giraffe, rediscover their love of play with interactive experiences and product demonstrations, and enjoy new branded elements like Geoffrey's Café and ice cream parlor, two-story slide and more. Located within steps of Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park and DreamWorks Water Park, the new flagship is at the epicenter of American Dream's premiere entertainment, shopping and dining experiences.

"American Dream is a one-of-a-kind unrivaled retail center featuring massive entertainment experiences that make it an ideal destination for families. Debuting our first Toys"R"Us flagship here is a no-brainer," said Yehuda Shmidman, WHP Global and Toys"R"Us Chairman and CEO. "The Toy"R"Us brand is big and growing fast. Today we have over 900 stores and e-commerce sites operating across 25 countries outside the USA, and now our USA expansion plans are in high gear, propelling us into the next chapter of growth for our global brand."

Opening mid-December, just in time for the 2021 holiday shopping season, the Toys"R"Us flagship at American Dream marks the return of the first standalone flagship store of the iconic and beloved toy brand in the USA. This comes on the heels of Toys"R"Us opening its digital flagship store this year together with Macy's and with over 400 Toys"R"Us shop-in-shops slated to open inside Macy's stores nationwide starting in 2022.

"American Dream is a world-class destination with one-of-a-kind experiences and first-to-market entertainment/retail concepts, designed to delight a multi-generational audience," said Don Ghermezian, CEO of American Dream. "Toys"R"Us sparks the same feeling of joy across multiple age groups. This powerful brand is the perfect addition to American Dream's all-star lineup of entertainment properties and attractions. We're thrilled to partner with WHP Global and Toys"R"Us to bring this project to life."

The Toys"R"Us flagship at American Dream will open its doors in mid-December with extended holiday hours. To keep updated on the flagship grand opening and 2022 store openings, visit toysrus.com and follow @toysrus on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok.

TRU-Megastore.jpg

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As we told you last week, Toys R' Us is planning on opening a brand new Mega-Store later this month in New Jersey which would be the first large TRU store to open here in the United States since closing all it's stores back in 2018. While it remains to be seen how impressive this new store will actually be or how well stocked it will be, I doubt it will compare with the golden years of the company which many would argue is in the 80's and early 90s.

For those who don't remember what it was like to walk into a toy store and actually find product on the shelves, we recommend you check out this video online which is a walk-through tour of a Toys R' Us store in NYC circa November 27, 1991.
 

 



While I would argue 1991 was on the tail end of the Golden Age of action figures, you can see the pegs are full with the likes of TMNT and WWE figures. You will also note at one point in the video we see a huge big pile of Technodrome playests with Hasbro's G.I. Joe Brawler vehicles on top. Of course this was at the beginning of the Holiday shopping season when places like TRU would always make sure to have the most product on hand, but its a far cry from anything you will see today from TRU or any other major retail toy section.

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Mightve been the golden age of finding action figures in the wild but I do not believe it was the golden age of action figures in general. We are only getting better figures and a much crazier selection of them, we just have to buy them online now as opposed to just going to a store and always finding them. I mean we have friggin figures of cereal characters! I have actual fighting game figures that up until now were only in my dreams and some impressive comic accurate comic book figures among many many other types. It does suck that we cant just go out to a store and always find what we are looking for but its just as easy now to just go to a site and order... unless its an army builder or something on hasbro pulse/NECA... :(... but for the most part we can still obtain most figures that we want these days. And dont get me wrong, I do miss my childhood of walking into a toy store and seeing a plethora of figures i wanted. It is sad what has happened to toy stores since then as well as other things that just faded out (i.e. Arcades, etc.). 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Earlier this month we told you how Toys R' Us was planning on opening a new 20,000 square feet flagship store inside American Dream, the entertainment/retail center in Bergen County, New Jersey. Well this weekend they opened their doors for that store and are planning a big grand-opening for this coming Tuesday, 12/21/22.

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The reality is this store is mostly for show. It's cool to see and certainly hits the ol' nostalgia spot but my guess is there is nothing in that store you wouldn't find in any Walmart or Target. In fact Walmart's and Target's are likely to have more.

TRU has no buying power anymore with the toy manufactures and it's hard to see how they would ever get that back and ever be able to really compete with the likes of Target, Amazon and Walmart. In TRU's hay day they had over 700 large stores in this country which allowed them to leverage exclusives and if TRU carried a toyline, especially around the Holidays it could actually make or break a toyline. That is no longer the case. Towards the end, even with 700 stores TRU found it very difficult to compete with Walmart and Target which had long ago surpassed TRU's buying power for toys. Walmart currently has 4,743 stores in the US and Target has 1,926.

The only thing TRU has going for it is name recognition and nostalgia, which may if they are lucky allow them to eek buy with one store and a small presence at places like Macy's (which in of itself is a struggling dying breed or retail store).  But anyone expecting TRU to return in any real way I think is dreaming.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've given up on brick and mortar store because it's just not worth it anymore.  Between stores that mainly take forever to get new product on the shelves and certain employees cracking cases in the back so they can fill their collection or pocket when they are scalping the goods on eBay.  Let's also throw in the price of gas in today's economy.  I'm paying $3.11 a gallon right now and I'll be wasting at least a few gallons of gas, plus wear and tear on my car, plus dealing with moron drives and idiot shoppers.  You can keep it and I'll stick with online sites and have the product sent directly to my home and pay either a few bucks for shipping or even get it free shipping.

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On 12/20/2021 at 3:32 AM, JayC said:

The reality is this store is mostly for show. It's cool to see and certainly hits the ol' nostalgia spot but my guess is there is nothing in that store you wouldn't find in any Walmart or Target. In fact Walmart's and Target's are likely to have more.

TRU has no buying power anymore with the toy manufactures and it's hard to see how they would ever get that back and ever be able to really compete with the likes of Target, Amazon and Walmart. In TRU's hay day they had over 700 large stores in this country which allowed them to leverage exclusives and if TRU carried a toyline, especially around the Holidays it could actually make or break a toyline. That is no longer the case. Towards the end, even with 700 stores TRU found it very difficult to compete with Walmart and Target which had long ago surpassed TRU's buying power for toys. Walmart currently has 4,743 stores in the US and Target has 1,926.

The only thing TRU has going for it is name recognition and nostalgia, which may if they are lucky allow them to eek buy with one store and a small presence at places like Macy's (which in of itself is a struggling dying breed or retail store).  But anyone expecting TRU to return in any real way I think is dreaming.

Oh not true Jay, I have never seen quite a selection of Playmobil, Schleich, or Bruder toys anywhere else!  It is interesting to see many German brand toys there.
It would really be in toy companies best interests if they bought stock in or were part partners with Toys R Us just to dilute the power Walmart has over them.

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Jay C, your editorial is spot on and I could not agree more. As an adult collector, i would check the TRU shelves about once a month only to find the same old selections collecting dust.

The last best find I ever got out of my local TRU was an early wave of the 6 inch black series that contained the first Stormtrooper. I went in to specifically look for this wave a several times in a 2 week span. On the third visit still nothing new on the pegs and as I was walking out I saw a worker's push cart sitting in an unused check out lane between two registers at the end of the row where employees would just throw returns that were to go back on the shelves. I caught a glimpse of a black series box sitting in the bottom section of it and moved in to see what figure it was. It was the stormtrooper.

No doubt there was a TRU employee who collected or knew someone who collected. This also explained why it was rare to find anything I was looking for at this store.

But this time he got careless. I figured he put it aside for himself or someone else and even though it was not on the peg, it was still fair game as it was still in the store. Time to turn the tables. I picked it up off the cart and went straight to an open register, made the purchase and never looked back.

I always wished I could have seen his face when he search his cart or wonder if he ever went as far to check their security footage to see who got it.

Anyway that was a long time ago and I have adjusted to paying a little more for the things I collect by getting them thru internet store like the ones that support this platform instead of fruitless local searches when gas is at 3 bucks a gallon. 

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