Were toy stores better?

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

  1. Scorpion

    Scorpion Well-Known Member

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    I would LOVE to support Toys 'R' Us....but there are three factors against it
    1) The ones in Indianapolis typically have VERY little stock and nothing new (the Kroger near my apartment here in Bloomington has more recent TFs and Joes that TRU)
    2)They are waaaaayyyyy overpriced (I give stores like this SOME credit and expect a bit higher prices...but not 3-5 dollars on a 7-10 dollar toy)
    2)There isn't one in town.

    On another note...I miss Children's Palace...that was always my preferred toystore as a kid
     
  2. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Wields Mjolnir!

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    Sadly, no, you're not deluding yourself.

    Stores in the 80's like Childrens Palace, Toys R Us, and even giant box stores like Sams Club used to have a far larger amount of space dedicated to certain "big name brands". He-man had an entire side of an aisle, with Transformers running along the other side. GI Joe and Star Wars was the aisle over. The smaller name stuff was yet another aisle down. I remember when I got G1 Shrapnel, I went through rows of Predacons, Insecticons, and others in their size class, to find him. Heck, at my local TRU, Go-bots and TF's didn't even share an aisle.

    I remember K-mart having an entire "Seasonal aisle" space dedicated entirely to Super Powers and late run He-man figures in June. (I got Ninjor from He-man, and Darksied from Super Powers that day, as I had finished 3rd (?) grade and gotten all A's and B's.)

    Big box stores, video games, cable TV, and the internet all do their share of damage.
     
  3. catch22

    catch22 Well-Known Member

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    That's certainly a factor, but I think toys store were in fact bigger back in the 70s and 80s. Then came video games and brick-marts and that got us where we are today.
     
  4. barrelks

    barrelks Captain Funtastic

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    I would say yes and no. In the 80's I think we had some of the best toys around, GI Joes, Transformers, my sister had Cabbage Patch kids. Today, toy stores seem to have more lines, and KO-ish lines that take aisle space, as well as video games, and more interactive electronic toys in general. I can't remember if TRU had baby products and clothes when I was a kid or not, but that may be part of the problem. But if you go in there now and see the look on kids faces, it is still the same reaction as we had. I would just say that there are more choices in product now, and that we just have a distinct memory of the things that we liked as a kid.
     
  5. revlimiter

    revlimiter Bot Hacker

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    What a thread. Took me back. I too am an OLD guy of 31.

    As a kid, Sears and Mervyns were *THE* places to go for Star Wars. Both had aisles of them. A few other toys, but man, the Star Wars toys. I remember a whole half aisle dedicated to the various plush ewoks. It was amazing.

    Lionel was equally wonderful. The one here is still standing, the building at least. I can verify that the store was incredibly huge, even through adult eyes. And they had whole aisles packed with TFs, Joes, and everything else. I remember when TRU came to town and I went for the first time. I thought it was so damn strange that they sold non-toys like baby clothes and bikes and stuff in a toy store. Lionel only sold TOYS. And video games of course.

    There was a small, local toy store as well. Can't remember the name to save my life. The register was on a glass case full of Transformers. Open, out of the box, TFs. I remember gazing into that case for hours. I saw, and bought Predaking there. It closed when I was around 11. So sad.

    We who remember those times are very fortunate.
     
  6. Makxsh1mum

    Makxsh1mum Well-Known Member

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    Meeeemorieeees of the way we weeeeeere. Ya, the size of the kid to the store ratio does play a factor. I went back and visited my elementary school a couple of years back (i'm 28 now) and wow, everything looked tiiiiny. But when you're there, everything was huge. It's a drastic change. But ya, you gotta say that toy stores now just don't hold a candle at all to the 1980's toy stores. Packed full of goodness. And happy people as well. Nowadays, seems like more people complain all the time and the mood just isn't great. Looking at that pic from the gi joe forum - man, that makes me sad. Truly.
     
  7. Human Beastbox

    Human Beastbox The Murdinator

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    Seeing this on Flickr today is actually what made me start this thread. It damn near brought a tear to my eye.

    [​IMG]


    Damn.:( :cry 
     
  8. Human Beastbox

    Human Beastbox The Murdinator

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    By the way, Rev, your Flickr TF pics are radder than a freakin' BMX back flip.:thumb 
     
  9. grimlock1972

    grimlock1972 Optimus, serving up the primest of ribs since 1984

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    I am 37 years old and the few times i can remember being in toys stores as kid ( me as akid + a toy store = not a pretty situation :lol  ) but it does seem like they had more stock and better selection in the past
     
  10. thenatureboywoo

    thenatureboywoo Veteran

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    31 here. I remember the awesomeness that was a trip to Childrens Palace. Sadly, kids are playing on the computer and playing video games alot more than when we were kids. So therefore the amount of toys sold is far less than when we were kids in my opinion. I still get all nervous and shit when I walk into TRU hoping to find some sweet TF's.
     
  11. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera Big, bad beetle-bot

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    I love seeing other people in their 30s claim t'be "old".

    34 here, and haven't started aging yet, not physically, and sure not mentally, I mean, I'm on a Transformers bboard, aren't I?

    That aside, I have to say it seems to be the stores have gotten worse in the last few decades. I recall going into a KB Toys and seeing a stunning variety of product. I have continued to go to Toys R Us for maybe 27 years and it's not you. The store has suffered in quality, selection, and service.

    I think, at least in part, it has to do with our culture's recent disdain for childhood and the urging for children to "grow up" more rapidly. Look at toy lines like Bratz. No one can deny there is a subtle message there. Even GI Joe never "pushed" adulthood like that line does.

    Even the last decade alone has seen a decline. In college, my friends and I would hit Toys R Us for fun. We could kill a few hours there just checking stuff out and playing with the loose items. Not so much anymore, and I certainly haven't changed so much since I was 22 that I can contribute it to me.

    - Coeloptera
     
  12. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

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    I bring my 34 years to here. :) 
    Toystores are certainly more disappointing these days than anything else. If they have a small display it's usually three or four different figures if you're lucky, and if it's a normal-sized display it's either half empty or jammed with shelfwarmers for weeks on end. I think it's a lack of variety in stock which puts the downers on it for me. Unless you go to a store the moment they put out new stock you'll soon find all the store has for weeks to come are lots of the same figure or bugger all of anything.
    So, I reckon it's variety of product in a brand and keeping that variety stocked which has lapsed in recent years.
     
  13. Sage o' G-fruit

    Sage o' G-fruit Critics gonna critique

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    My TRUs near me have a huge selection, great prices, and usually the newest TFs. I can't see the ones near me going out of business anytime soon. :) 
     
  14. Human Beastbox

    Human Beastbox The Murdinator

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    You must live in friggin' Xanadu, my friend. And with that, I'm not sure if I'm more jealous of your unheard of TRU or simply being in the greatest, shiniest roller disco film EVER MADE.:thumbs2: 
     
  15. ams

    ams Generation All Veteran

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    What I can't recall is whether there were ACTUALLY as many TFs lining the shelves of Lionel Play World in 1984 as I seem to remember there were. From the perspective of a 9-yo, it looked like massive walls on either side of me. :lol 

    I take my kids to TRU as often as possible. I want them to experience what it's like to be in a real toy store. TRU is pretty much the last one, and I don't think they'll be around down the road.
     
  16. ORIO

    ORIO Plant-Based Bot Super Mod News Staff

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    I remember that Lionel Playworld very well my friend, and yes, the aisles seemed to be a LOT bigger. The building is now an Itz right? And I remember a little store, think it was called Sunworld or Sunland... sun... something. But that place was packed with Visionaries, Inhumanoids, Gijoes and of course Transformers. But the Mom and Pop stores like that were the first to go.
     
  17. Ziero

    Ziero TFW2005 Supporter

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    A lot of Toys R Us' have merged stores with Babies R Us's so it's not just toys anymore. The ones near me did that recently so the toy store is no half it's size.

    While that's true to an extent, it's also not true to a lot of these stories. Many Toys R Us stores have stayed in the same locations for decades so the store really is as "big" now as it was then...size wise. But they'll still have less products due to completely rearranged aisles and displays designed to take up space. Where before it was simply row after row of toys and games and the like, now the aisles will be X shaped to take up more floor space, but offer less peg space. They'll also have larger sectioned off game sections and "outdoor" toy areas while leaving a lot of empty floorspace inbetween everything. Or, they'll just merge with other "R Us" stores and lose a lot of space that way. In the end, while the stores may have the same amount floorspace, the products and offerings are a LOT less then way back when.
     
  18. teruo kaiba

    teruo kaiba Made In Japan

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    I remember there use to be a large toy store that competed with TRU back in the day. For the life of me, I can't remember the name, but if memory serves me right, they had a panda as their mascot? Back then I remember walking around and the entire aisle was filled with Transformers. The next aisle over was filled with GI Joe.

    I remember even back then, department stores like The Bay, Eaton's, Simpsons and Sears had much larger toy sections.
     
  19. ersico

    ersico Well-Known Member

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    tons of toys
     
  20. revlimiter

    revlimiter Bot Hacker

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    That made me smile so hard. Thanks! I need to shoot some more TF pix. I noticed my Revo Megs was looking a little neglected and dusty this morning.