Were toy stores better?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Human Beastbox, May 13, 2009.

  1. Human Beastbox

    Human Beastbox The Murdinator

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Posts:
    3,720
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +1
    This is something as an older guy (33 years old) I think about a lot.

    When I was a kid, it seemed to me that toy stores were much better than what we get today. When I say better, I mean that they were bigger with much better overall selections.

    Am I being deluded by my late 70s-early 80s nostalgia glasses? Or was Lionel Play World and Circus World a million times better than what we get now with places like the Toys R Us toyopoly??
     
  2. Empir3

    Empir3 Bedstructicon Empir3

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Posts:
    1,887
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Likes:
    +0
    Im not quite as old as you only 23 but i agree as a kid i remember toy stores filled up high with all different stuff and now its bare bones maybe half stocked. Not sure if its nostalgia or not but i can relate with you.
     
  3. Joe Moore

    Joe Moore Is Not Jim... Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    Posts:
    14,471
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +7
    Ebay:
    Twitter:
    Well, in the 80's and early 90's, there was more toy store competition. You had KB, Toy Works (remember them before they merged with KB), FAO Swartz, Kiddie City. That was back before big box retailers like Target and Walmart started to eat into the profits of these guys. Back then, they all tried to outdo each other in size and selection. Now, Walmart is the #1 toy seller in the U.S., and they really dictate what product is available.

    That's why I will always, always shop at TRU. It might be more expensive at times, but I'm keeping the dedicated toy store in business by doing so.
     
  4. Ktulu

    Ktulu Whoosh TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    14,865
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    291
    Likes:
    +3
    It all seems bigger when you're just a little guy. I have a memory of what seems like huge walls of GI Joes at Toys R Us, but I doubt if it was really *that* much different, not to some utterly epic level at least.

    There were certainly more places to go to though.

    I wish there were more pictures floating around so we could see what it was like without the nostalgic blinders.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  5. Solrac333

    Solrac333 G1 got it right!

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Posts:
    11,793
    Trophy Points:
    217
    Likes:
    +2
    Ebay:
    They were better. He-man, Transformers, G.I. Joe, MASK, Voltron, Gobots, etc. Then the safety laws came.
     
  6. Wiggyof09

    Wiggyof09 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Posts:
    878
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Likes:
    +0
    I think it's just an overall decline in customer service in general and gross mismanagement. They cut costs, hire crappy help, and the business suffers as a result. I remember when Toys R Us use to be good when I was a kid. I go to that same Toys R Us now and it's just awful.
     
  7. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Posts:
    40,257
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Likes:
    +13
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    Tumblr:
    The more stuff you sell, the more profit you make, the more you can cut prices to get rid of the competition.

    That's the slogan that WalMart and Target has lived by forever. Their success has killed all the toy stores, and even put Toys'R'Us on the "bubble" for the last decade. It's only a matter of time before Toys'R'Us is gone, and your toy selection is WalMart or Target.
     
  8. Ash from Carolina

    Ash from Carolina Junior Smeghead

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2007
    Posts:
    14,124
    Trophy Points:
    257
    Likes:
    +196
    Perhaps it's just my faulty old man memory, but it does seem like they used to be the size of other stores but packed so full of toys it was like you had died and gone to toy heaven. Darn near impossible to not find what you were looking for because the shelves were just packed.

    Now it seems like all the big ones are gone, Toys-R-Us is selling lots of stuff that it's a toy, and the Wal-Marts that killed off all the toy stores no longer to bother stocking the shelves because they figure you don't have anywhere else to go.
     
  9. E-Z-B

    E-Z-B Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Posts:
    102
    Trophy Points:
    61
    Likes:
    +1
    I can remember TFs would cover half of one side of an aisle at TRU & Kiddie City. Now it's a space that's about 3 feet long, if that. For GI Joes, I remember have to sift through pegs & pegs of joes to find the ones I was looking for. The vehicles were awesome, too, because YOU had to put them together, whereas now they come pre-assembled.
     
  10. Human Beastbox

    Human Beastbox The Murdinator

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Posts:
    3,720
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +1
    And THIS FACT makes me cry a bit inside. Because my local store selection at those two sure seems to suck/be sparse most of the time.
     
  11. Ziero

    Ziero TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Posts:
    4,790
    Trophy Points:
    181
    Likes:
    +0
    No, they definately were much bigger back in the day. But as others have said, stores like Wal-mart and Target pretty much killed the dedicated toy stores. Why would a parent take their kid to a store with *nothing* but toys, when they could go to the department store, spend 5 minutes getting little jonny his action figure, then spend 2 hours buys shoes, and dresses and bedsheets.

    Btw, I'm not exaggerating with that story, that's pretty much how it used to be for me as a kid when I went shopping with my mother. The only times I would ever get into Toys R Us and the like were on my B-day where I would be able to pick out my own toys, otherwise I would just sit in the "toy aisle" in Caldor's and K-Mart (target and Wal-mart weren't in my area yet) while my mother shopped for whatever for hours on end.

    Even now my local Toys R' Us' are shrinking down in stock and size, merging with Kids R Us and losing half their floor space. Instead of walls and walls of G.I. Joe and Transformers, you get a few pegs on the same aisle.

    But with the increase in video games and computers and all that, combined with department stores strangling specialty shops of all kinds, it's just an inevitability.
     
  12. Mechafire

    Mechafire Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Posts:
    24,150
    News Credits:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    291
    Likes:
    +33
    Well, it can be due to either people buying the toys rapidly (Which is a good sign.) or employees being too lazy to stock/restock (Which is not a good sign.) And I can probably guess which stores are the former (Toys R Us) and latter (Wal Fart).
     
  13. Lock Cade

    Lock Cade Tarn Fangirl TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Posts:
    26,861
    Trophy Points:
    352
    Location:
    Michigan
    Likes:
    +97
    Growing up, yeah I'm sure toy stores were a lot better than they are now. I think that's why I'm starting to lean towards more in buying my figures online...
     
  14. Bocc Kob

    Bocc Kob Prowl Jam!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Posts:
    94
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Likes:
    +0
    My Toys R Us recently expanded the Transformers section to half the aisle, so I'm happy with that.

    I don't shop at Walmart. Smells like redneck.
     
  15. Easterling Capt

    Easterling Capt I am Vern Schillinger

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2004
    Posts:
    4,994
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +1
    Ebay:
    it hade more great toylines, cooler toys and so on. I loved going into them in Sweden seeing stacks of TFs, Mask, Turtles, Gi Joe, Bravestarr and NES games..these days its mostly crap
     
  16. Boulder

    Boulder Rock Lord

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Posts:
    2,923
    Trophy Points:
    172
    Likes:
    +14
    Judging from my adult memories of TRU aisles being more fully stocked than they are now, I'm willing to extrapolate back in time and suggest yes, they were much better than. But how many kids do you know now that still play with toys? Kids aren't playing with their SpongeBob or on the back step playing Fairy OddParents. If it's not outside playing sports, it's inside with DVDs or video games.
     
  17. Bonekrusher

    Bonekrusher Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Posts:
    18
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    72
    Likes:
    +1
  18. asderiphel

    asderiphel Severian's Understudy

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Posts:
    334
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Likes:
    +0
    It's not just you, old timer (since I won't be 33 for another three months).

    We had a Hills in Huntsville when I was a kid, and I remember getting lost in the toy section. It was nearly the entire back quarter of a store the size of walmart. The Hasbro boys aisle was one side Joe and one side TF, and stacked high with overstock. Every other endcap was a full 'bubble display', the kind I only see used for Legos now.

    My wife and I still talk about the toys section at Hills. Her recollection is almost identical to mine (she was a big He-man fan).

    And everywhere you went, there were toys. TRU, KB, Circus World, Walmart (with actual selection), Kmart, frakkin Sears...I can remember getting a Bumblethumper at Kroger. Walgreens. Woolworths. Everywhere.

    Yeah, not just you. At all.
     
  19. rampage scream

    rampage scream Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Posts:
    100
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Likes:
    +0
    Hills, KB Toys. are any of these places still even around. anyways, that is where i remember going with my allowance on fridays and picking up figs from.
     
  20. Pimpimus Prime

    Pimpimus Prime (┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐) TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2002
    Posts:
    6,078
    News Credits:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    267
    Likes:
    +13
    Ebay:
    Yeah, there was a lot more competition back then. There were not only more toy stores, retailers like Sears and Kohl's actually had a pretty good selection of toys. Heck, I think it was even better back in the mid-90's. I remember going to TRU and seeing a ton of Beast Wars and Star Wars toys on the shelves.
     

Share This Page