It was recently announced that Toys 'R' Us will be closing all of its stores for good, never again to host gaggles of screaming children (and adults) hunting the aisles for new action figures and toy trucks that have the ability to grow lion claws out of their wheels. Toys 'R' Us now goes the way of Blockbuster Video, but this loss is more far deeper than that one.
In celebration (and mourning) of countless childhood hours spent wandering the halls of these hallowed stores, here is a list of classic Toys 'R' Us commercials that might make you wish that internet shopping wasn't as convenient as it is. It's the end of an era... Toys 'R' Us, this was your life. (sniff)
Toys become giant and come to life
Perhaps more horrifying than nostalgic, this commercial features children playing with toys that suddenly become giant. Not only that, they come alive, and look like they're ready to murder any and all comers. This ad likely scared some kids away, but it's certainly memorable.
Toys in the '90s
Here is an example of the toy giant attempting to stay relevant in the '90s, and for the most part succeeding. The classic song is given a painful '90s riff, and many standards of '90s toys are shown, such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It also has a kid in a fireman hat trying to hula hoop. Who among us didn't do that as a kid?
A Toys 'R' Us kid
Of all the reasons to not "want to grow up," is there a better reason than this? If the act of growing old prevents you from being a "Toys 'R Us" kid" than these youngsters want none of it. What these kids don't realize is that when you do grow up, you can make your own money, go to Toys 'R' Us, and blow that money on whatever you like. We won't tell them that, though. The classic song paired with the strangely sad silhouette of Geoffrey at the end is a perfect mix of nostalgia. Why the little kid is sitting on a bench with a sentient giraffe at sunset is anyone's guess.
New Store in Town
Before the classic jingle, there was this promo, fully animated with a completely different song. We're guessing that plenty of people went to visit the "new store in town."
The once and future kids
The chain revisited an old advertisement and featured the children depicted in it all grown up. It would appear that these kids managed to grow up, yet still remain Toys 'R' Us kids... which we were led to believe was impossible. They're really breaking the rules here, and we don't know what the laws of the Toys 'R' Us multiverse are anymore.
Steve Urkel hawks toys
Tired of this song yet? Before he was Steve Urkel, a young Jaleel White appeared in a Toys 'R' Us ad. He can be seen swinging towards the end. Does he accidentally burn down a Toys 'R' Us location before turning to the camera and saying, "Did I do that?" Sadly, he does not.
The struggle for relevancy was real
One of the more recent ads for the store, the new jingle is all but begging you to visit when it implores, "come on, lets's play." It also promises that if we do, we can let our dreams lead the way. This ad has CGI dinosaurs, Iron Man, a whole bunch of stuff— but ultimately, dreams did not lead the way. Money led the way. Money led the chain right into the annals of history. The promised dreams didn't lead anywhere.
Are you feeling nostalgic now? Annoyed? Maybe a little sad, or perhaps completely depressed? Do you feel like a part of you has died? If so, worry not— Toys 'R' Us may be gone, but something will rise to take it's place. To quote the great Waring Hudsucker, "Such is business. Such is life."