Now another eulogy for the demise of Toys R Us. Yes, I realize it finally closed weeks ago. It’s not as if that makes it less accurate now. I was a ghoul & took photos! I also ramble about some Marvel stuff (mostly stray X-thoughts) that may become obsolete as soon as SDCC happens.
The demise of this chain felt very protracted. Even though the initial closeout sales weren’t spectacular, it was perversely exciting to get some affordable custom fodder. Then it got very depressing as the shelves became increasingly denuded save for the misfit toys nobody even wanted on clearance. The stores were filled with overbearing emptiness as what stock remained was condensed into a few shelves at the front of the store. In its waning days, it oddly wouldn’t accept cash. I’m trying to contrast this my my memories of the closures of Child World, FAO Schwarz, & KB Toys, yet they strangely aren’t forthcoming. (There are rumblings of a KB comeback, but I’m skeptical.)
On one hand, it feels inevitable that TRU would close given how it took being the last toy chain standing for granted. Its prices weren’t competitive with other retailers, & its website wasn’t user friendly. Once I heard its exclusive MCU Vision & Scarlet Witch set had made it to the Times Square TRU, I ventured to my local to see if it had also arrived. An employee said these were sitting in a nearby distribution center but they didn’t know when they’d be dispersed. With an official declaration of bankruptcy looming, I asked TRU’s site to email me when it was available online. They didn’t. I had to find out from a message board. I successfully placed my order on the Monday before bankruptcy was announced on Wednesday. Then they cancelled my order the following Monday before liquidation sales began. It should’ve had the decency to fulfill orders made prior to bankruptcy. Whereas some warehouses were emptying stock to stores during closeout, this set was swiftly acquired by e-tailers. This felt shady & soured what could’ve been a fond last hurrah.
On the other paw, losing the last toy-centric mass retailer is awful for the hobby. The toy industry will survive this loss, but diversity of products may not. Walmart & Target don’t have enough physical space to offset TRU’s demise. They don’t even carry smaller companies like NECA & DST. Toys are expensive enough already; manufacturers will surely raise prices to compensate for the loss of a major buyer. Waiting for in-demand toys to come in stock online & then racing to purchase them before they sell out can be massively stressful too.
Aside from my own greed, this bankruptcy blows because TRU was slain by predatory investors despite business being steady. Its employees didn’t get severance pay. At least the CEOs that left early didn’t get their bonuses.
Toys R Us is Toys No More. This is my final TRU receipt:
What’d I get? You’ll find out when I unveil my latest custom, possibly next week!
2 Ant-Men 2 Wasps Ant-Man & The Wasp made a lot of money but not as much as predicted. (Damn Pym Particles!) Should we panic? Will Marvel Studios put all its solo films on hold? Petition Disney to fire Kevin Feige?
With Ghost &
Baron Zemo still alive, I’m hoping the MCU finally serves up Thunderbolts. They should tag in someone from GLOW to be Songbird (if not Rachel Bloom)! The Leader or The Tinkerer could be substituted for Fixer. Batroc & Abomination could round the team out. Ideally the team would debut to pick up the Avengers’ slack after The Snappening, but I doubt Avengers: Named After an Awful Highlander Sequel will have room for the T-Bolts.
Arrow showrunner Marc Guggenheim (until season seven) is currently writing X-Men: Gold. Usually when a show business person writes comic books they end up getting delayed & often unfinished due to competing commitments. Unfortunately Guggenheim is successfully pumping out two issues a month like clockwork. Too bad his work ethic doesn’t include quality here either. He even recycled his show’s Bratva beats whilst squandering Omega Red & Magik. Lydia Nance is reheated Graydon Creed. I heard it botched its big wedding too. It may not be the worst X-run I’ve read, but it’s so bland! I even canceled my subscription… only to learn it was ending in a few months to make way for the next relaunch anyway. Now the completionist in me thinks I was too hasty.
Meanwhile I hate that Professor Xavier got resurrected again as X in the weirdly paced Astonishing X-Men. X is THE WORST! Bring back Fantomex!
I need a Jubilee movie directed by Taiki Watiti! Ghostbastards sounds great too.
I’m very curious about Deadpool 2 Blu-ray containing “Chess with Omega Red!” The solo movie for G.I. Joe’s Snake Eyes will feature all the swordplay you loved in Deadpool plus all the muteness you hated from X-Men: Origins!
Are Shi’ar nipples supposed to be this low? Maybe Shi’ar don’t have nipples & Davan Shakari put fake ones on in the wrong place trying to impersonate a human?
There was a whole crossover about mutants fighting vampires that somehow deprived us of Black Tom staking any vamps with his shillelagh.
Cyclops is kind of like inverse Superman. He became a superhero after his parents prevented him (& his brother) from being abducted by aliens.
Emma Dumont’s roller derby name is Quick Silver! She’ll also be starring in Razor, the movie adaptation of the non-Marvel comic. I expect the T&A of this 90’s “Bad Girl” book to get toned down, but I wonder if it’ll still be recognizable afterwards. When you strip away all the exploitative elements, what’s left? Meanwhile Matt Nix talks season 2 of The Gifted.
Gizomodo/The Onion sites are up for sale by Univision. That’s not a good sign. This is where I remind you that io9 once paid me to guest edit, much like how I was a Topless Robot contributor before it was axed. Am I a site-killer? This correlation’s not going to improve my freelancing gigs. Maybe websites could start paying me for the service of not cursing them with my writing?