All the Toy Stores of My Childhood are Gone
Today the news broke that it's official, Toys R Us is closing all of its stores ending an era of the big toy store.
When I was a kid growing up in the Twin Cities there were three main toy stores that I loved and now all of them are gone, let's look back and see if you remember any of them.
KB Toys or Kay-Bee Toys
KB Toys were mainly found in shopping malls and I can clearly remember harassing my mom every time we were at the mall to visit KB. The stores were always overflowing, toys were stacked to the ceiling, it almost felt claustrophobic there were so many toys. At one time KB had 1300 locations but they had to close their doors in 2009.
Children's Palace was a large toy store that was once the second largest toy store operation in the country behind Toys R Us. Their stores often incorporated the feel of a castle with theming in the stores. Their mascot was Peter Panda and was often seen rollerskating in the store TV commercials. They went out of business in 1992.
Toys R Us
Toys R Us was my favorite toy store, they had everything! It always took a little more harassing to get a trip to Toys R Us, but the trip was always worth it, I could spend hours exploring the store. Even as an adult I would visit for their special Star Wars midnight openings to check out the latest, and maybe buy a few things. I even worked at Toys R Us one holiday season stocking shelves during the overnight, being locked in a toy store wasn't the worst job. RIP Geoffrey the Giraffe :(
The end of the big toy store may be over, but I love the smaller toy stores like Legacy Toys in the Miller Hill Mall and Explorations Toy Store on Mountain Shadow Drive, they offer some great toys and the expertise that you won't find online or at a big box store like Target or Walmart.