Toys R Us – TRU for many of us older, was a staple of American kid culture. It was the toy store. For a long long time, any toy that was promoted on TV. was on the shelf in the store. It was where many Christmas dreams were made. And who could forget the commercials?
But, it seems that Toys R Us could not survive the changing metrics of the world.
The Store Announced it could close every single store by the end of this upcoming week. The shares of the companies that sell toys on Toys R Us (Hasbro, Mattel – both planning a merger, and Lego) that sell their wares fell between 3 and 7% in each of the stock exchanges they are in.
149 dollar bb-8’s? 99 dollar toy lightsabers? 10 dollar 4-inch figures? The WWE Women’s Division having none of the newer stars like Asuka and not selling out of the shelves for those that they do have? But the men’s action figures sell well.
This is not just the fault of the Toy Business.
It’s the Kids Networks. There is no new major hit. The biggest toy that was sold on TRU and other places didn’t have an adverting model nor one ad air nor a TV lead-in for the toy. Netflix and others have wreaked havoc on Cartoon Network and Nick. Nicktoons isn’t as promoted which it has been a place where other shows like Beyblade air. Cartoon Network pretty much airs Teen Titans 18 hour a day after Losing Pokemon and many other shows – and with Adventure Time done for the time being, and DC stating it will start a DC Universe Streaming service which will have the live action Teen Titans and Young Justice, one wonders how long Teen Titans Go will stay on the network (for now, its not affected by the announcement of the streaming service, but that can and will change)
The toys are bad quality.
The shows are middling to weak.
Its too much comedy (fair enough we can have an honest discussion about this, but this is not the time and nor the Topic, that’s for the Butch Harmann piece I’m planning to finish soonish) in the shows and not enough action.
The censorship issues stemming from the recent school shootings and why they don’t work.
That and the new owners of Toys R Us very bad bet thinking that all of it will turn around with Funko Pop and lots more focus on Video Games, when one is overstocked to the Gills and Nintendo WII U didn’t sell, Skylanders Burnt Off and Disney Infinity had a chance but Disney gave up on it.
The crazy thing about the videos is that the TOY Cars (Non-Hot Wheels) are selling. There 9 dollars even and their Hi-Cast Metal (remember those words…), with very little small parts outside of the wheels and maybe the steering wheel. The Boy toys sell but in much, much smaller numbers unlike even 3 years ago. The Girl Toys are Flat.
Bad Luck? Toys R Us Got Through it Before. Survived All the downturns. But now. It’s over.
The question you need to ask yourselves is this?
Who or what is the next domino to fall? Hasbro? Mattel? Jaxx?
And think you need to ask yourselves… why didn’t this go down sooner…and what will replace not only Toys R Us but the structures that keep such stores alive?