Were toy stores better?

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

  1. revlimiter

    revlimiter Bot Hacker

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    The little store was just outside Corrales. I think it's now a Tattoo place. Little store. Sunshine Toys? Or FUNshine Toys? Something like that. You sparked a memory of mine with that Sun-something name. It had 4 or 5 aisles that ran the length of the store. The Joe/TF aisle was so awesome. Man... Memories. I got my Zartan and all the Dreadnoks there.

    Lionel was that strange Blockparty adult playland for a while, right?. Back there on San Mateo near Movies 8. I haven't driven past for a while. I need to check it out. Such a huge place. I remember seeing a dozen Fort Max boxes all in a row there on a bottom shelf. If only we had time travel...
     
  2. jeff0514

    jeff0514 Well-Known Member

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    Could the reason for less toys be in part due to changes in demand? I would think that more kids these days would rather have video games than toys. Back in those days, we didn't have all the video games and technology we have now.
     
  3. jestermon

    jestermon Well-Known Member

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    know

    Distribution had to be different too, I remember being able to go get the whole wave of something, not that I knew what that was then, but you used to be able to grab a box, and find all the items pictured on the back, so you could indeed collect them all.
     
  4. Makxsh1mum

    Makxsh1mum Well-Known Member

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    In general, i agree with everyone that TRUs (specifically) have decreased in offerings, so i'm with ya on that fact. I was just stating that as an 8 yr old, things do seem larger in general. Either way, it's sad. I was so sad in fact, that i spent last night re-watching TF the animated movie until 2 am. Man, that made me feel better. =)
     
  5. grimlock1972

    grimlock1972 Optimus, serving up the primest of ribs since 1984

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    I have to agree about TRU's going down hill the last one I was in was rather underwhelming the selection of transforms left nearly everything to be desired, and with the demiseof KB toys it really is the only national toy store chain left, and to me thats very sad, it the end of an era, and i for one shall miss it
     
  6. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite don't know nothing Veteran

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    I'm going to be the voice of dissent here and say I'm not so sure. I definitely think that the biggest brands (TF, GI Joe, He-man, Star Wars) got more space than they do now. But ENTIRE aisles devoted to one line that are kept frequently stocked with a huge variety seems implausible to me and our memories to that extent are likely to be clouds of nostalgia. First, inventory control systems were much, much worse in the 80's than they are now, so it doesn't make sense to me that they would have been significantly better than the systems we have today at keeping shelves fully stocked without filling up with peg warmers. Second, our memories seem to defy the laws of physics. There's only so much room in one of those buildings. Many of them (especially TRUs) are in the same locations they were 20 years ago, and while it's true that they utilize floor space differently, it doesn't seem possible to me that every aisle could have been devoted to a single toyline. Don't forget they sold girls toys, model kits, video games, bikes, and sporting goods too, in addition to boys action figures. Certainly they seemed gargantuan at the time, but as someone mentioned before, try visiting your old elementary school and see how memories of a building's size can play tricks on you. Finally, I have conflicting memories that just make me wonder. TRU seemed like paradise, it's true. I liked Best also, which was not a dedicated toy store but had a great toy section. But I also remember both, along with Kmart and Roses, would have massive amounts of just a few toys. The Scramble City combiner limbs and Throttlebots were the bane of my existence in 1986-1987.

    I'm not saying things weren't better then. I'm sure the top lines got more space, and I'm sure competition helped. But I'm equally sure that our rose-tinted memories are clouding our jugdement as to what things were actually like. The real litmus test is to find someone who was not a child at the time, but was old enough to be an adult collector of modern toy lines. They're rare, but they do exist, and I think we've had some posting here over the years. I've heard of engineers who were into Transformers in the 80's. I think they'd be able to give a more accurate appraisal of what things were actually like.
     
  7. Dormamu

    Dormamu I am Broot.

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    I miss proper Toys R Us and KB Toys, but that's also what online is for.
     
  8. ORIO

    ORIO Plant-Based Bot Super Mod News Staff

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    I dunno man, did you see the link to that gijoe aisle a few pages back? Holy crap. But then again, that is just one store. Not necessarily a representation of all toy aisles at the time.
     
  9. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera Big, bad beetle-bot

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    I must disagree. Haze of nostalgia or not, I was a big collector of the 3.5-inch GI Joe line and yes, entire aisles in TRU were filled with Joe product, particularly due to the vehicle sizes. You could find the Mauler, Night Raven, Moray, and so forth along the bottom shelves due to their size, with blister-packed figures hanging, and the smaller action-playsets sitting on the upper shelves of the lower sections.

    I'm not implying an absence of shelf-warmers at all. There would be legions of Stalkers, Zaps, Cobra infantry, and that S.N.A.K.E. battlesuit, of which I had several.

    Not every aisle was single-line devoted, but the floorspace was used far more efficiently. TRUs have mostly merged with BRUs and most still have huge, open areas between some sections. I can stand by the shelves with rubber figures and stuffed toys for smaller children at one local TRU, and behind me, the cribs and strollers are indeed, almost 18 feet away with only a section of carpet, a tiled walkway, and more carpet between them. No product.

    Additionally, the aisles seem wider now then when I was a child. There also seem to be more table-height displays, such as large, clear, plastic, display boxes with large toys and playsets in them. They take up additional space as well.

    I don't think we're all in error. I think the stores have changed for the worse to some extent.

    - Coeloptera
     
  10. Makxsh1mum

    Makxsh1mum Well-Known Member

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    Anybody else find any other pics of toystore aisles from back in the day? That'd be a trip down memory lane.
     
  11. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm To Infinity - and Your Mom TFW2005 Supporter

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    It's kind of a toss-up. There was a bigger (or at least different) selection of stores where one could get toys. (kinda miss Childrens' Palace, Hills, and the idea that "department stores" actually carried a decent number of toys.) but you also didn't have the information age telling you about every new toy six months in advance, with forums telling you which stores to check 3 times a week. I think it's mostly a matter of perception for former kids who didn't have the luxury of getting toys outside the schedule or budget of their parents/guardians.
     
  12. jestermon

    jestermon Well-Known Member

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    Another memory here, pegs used to be full of what was in the front, You used to know what was behind a figure because it was 3 of the same thing, now you have to dig much more, due to auto stock and distribution.
     
  13. grimlock1972

    grimlock1972 Optimus, serving up the primest of ribs since 1984

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    very true , its quite rare these days to have one peg full of the same thing, and usually when there is its a shelf warmer
     
  14. Makxsh1mum

    Makxsh1mum Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily - my TRU always has 5 pegs - all classics dinobot. LOL. No love for him apparently.
     
  15. Moonscream

    Moonscream YES, We Exist, and We DON'T Want to Date You

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    I was 15 at the time, so the aisles wouldn't 'look' bigger to me than to an 8 year old. They WERE bigger. Plus, the pictures don't lie - that's how it usually was in TRU, Children's Palace, etc.

    I think part of it, tho, was the packaging. It was much easier to stack uniformly rectangular boxes on boxes for an impressive wall back then than it is now, with all the weird-shaped, half-plastic packaging toys come in.

    --Moony
     
  16. Bumblethumper

    Bumblethumper old misery guts

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    The toy stores I remember were all pretty small affairs. There wasn't much development in those days. Seemed like it was only the odd time they had any Transformers, and that was always a thrill.

    There's a number of large toy stores since then, but I have to cross the border for Toys'r'us. I was really impressed with the selection they had last year. Toys'r'us is great.
     
  17. Alex5

    Alex5 No Broken

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    In my small town in the UK, in my eighties' childhood years there were four or five independent toystores, plus the rest of the chain stores that either focussed on toys or had a toy department. The indies are sadly long gone, I think all we are left with is a Toymaster (if they're sill called that).

    I used to love going into the small toy shops as they were little Aladdin's caves, and my parents only took us in there if we were in line for a toy, so I guess that helps warm the memory. But things were very different then, toy companies were not so savvy in manipulating there stocks and you would find massive ranges of stuff. I even remember when the Star Wars stuff was going out of fashion and hugely overstocked, we used to be able to by bags of 10 figures for only a couple of ┬ús, if only I could find a way back :( 

    Since the late nineties (when I got back into toys, lol), most of my toy shopping has been done on the internet as I have to travel a long way if I want to get to a TRU or specialist toy store. Kind of lost that toy store buzz a long while back sadly.
     
  18. Cyko-Destructo

    Cyko-Destructo Rock-Lord

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    2 words

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  19. Ruination04

    Ruination04 8 Years Old Since 1984!

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    Yes! I don't remember TRU as much, but I do remember Lionel Toy Warehouse had a huge wall of TFs....I remember TFs lining the whole toy dept. at Roses. Hell I even liked Kmart & KB! It was better back. Nowadays, it just isn't the same!!
     
  20. BrokenSVT

    BrokenSVT It's not broken anymore.

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    I assure you, they were better. My grandpa owned a small-town toy store throughout my childhood. I spent my days there, just oogling everything.

    Back then, toys made you think. The "bricks" we sometimes complain about(referring to
    G1 TF's) required imagination to see past their simplicity. Most toys of that era were that way. Ahh, the good old days when kids used their brains. We were that last generation :(