03/04/2018

☆ My Special Toys R Us Memories ☆

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When I was growing up, Birthdays meant one thing……A TRIP TO TOYS R US to buy whatever I wanted!

Okay, let me clarify that. A trip to Toys R Us to buy what I had been asking for as long as it wasn’t too dear.

Looking back on it now I was a lucky kid!

This yearly ritual made Toys R Us a thing of legend as I only visited the place once a year. It made that trip through Jeffrey Giraffe’s Toy Store a magical time indeed.

I’d watched the adverts and sung the song and every year I got to walk the hallowed aisles of Toys R Us in awe of everything on offer. 


As far as video games goes I was never that interested in the Toys R Us layout of games as the way they were laid out seemed a bit unexciting. I was more into delving into my local video games store’s abundant shelves of tapes and cartridges looking for my next bargain or unheard of title!

What I did enjoy though was the video games kiosks set up with the console of the day and a nice game to play.

I would spend a lot of time messing around with that set up before moving onto the actual Toy Toys. I have to say that I also used to spend a lot of time in Boots the Chemist playing their Super Nintendo setup back in the day when Boots sold video games and consoles and not just perfume and deodorant gift sets….good times!



When I did move on from the video games section it was all about the action figures for me.

I was a fiend for those figures! So I thought I’d wrack my brains for you and work out my favourite Birthday purchases from Toys R Us over the years to see if you remember having these awesome toys too!?

A Team Figures (BIG and small)



Of course I was a massive A-Team fan, who isn’t? 

I couldn’t get enough of those wacky funsters and their Robin Hood-esque exploits.

The thing with the A-Team is their merchandise people were clever as they made two variations of the figures and naturally I wanted both! 

Initially there were the standard sized figures which were about 5 inches high and I collected the whole crew but I never had any accessories to go with the crew. 



Then the smaller more bendy figures came along who had for some reason swapped their normal clothes for illuminous jump suits but I couldn’t get enough of them and I not only collected all the crew again but I also bagged myself an A-Team Van and a tank thingy that didn’t seem canon looking back on it now but neither were the jumpsuits and I had so much fun with my A-Team from Toys R Us.

Karate Kid

Karate Kid was my favourite movie growing up and inspired me to take up Shotokan Karate although I got my Yellow belt and then gave up because the next belt was too hard! But my love for Karate Kid was more enduring as I begged my mum to get me not only the figures but the coolest dojo you have ever seen to put my figures in. 



It was brilliant it was a dojo full of surprises and I must have spent countless hours playing with this piece of awesomeness. Oh how I would love to get my hands on that dojo one more time. From memory though the build quality was no Castle Grey Skull!
The figures were cool as they had action arms and legs that you could set to kick and chop things!

Transformers


My friend Paul had pretty much every Transformer going but for some reason I was never allowed as many as him. I did have two though and that was enough for me as I made full use of them. The first one I was allowed to get was Optimus Prime! The optimus prime lorry was a feat of toy engineering and it was so darn cool to play with. Transforming from a lorry into an optimus was a joy and the little car that popped out the back of the lorry was mega awesome! The other one I was allowed was one where you pull him back on the floor and he goes wizzing off like a car and then pops up and turns into a robot automatically! When it worked it was brilliant. For me Transformers are the most ingenious toy ever made. The engineering that must have gone into making these toys is mind boggling!

Playmobil


There was something about Playmobil that got me hooked, I’m not sure what it was as on the face of it they are not that exciting but maybe it was the sheer variety of things that you could and it all seemed so well built. The one thing I loved the most though was the pirateship, it was a brilliant toy that had endless possibilities. The Playmobil section at Toys R Us has always been massive and I could spend half an hour at a time just gazing at all the figures and sets that were on offer!

He Man


Looking back at He Man now the cartoon was just a feature length advert for the toys but I loved it! The he man stuff was indestructible and I had loads of figures but one thing eluded me. The Castle Of Grey Skull. All my mates had the castle and I never got it. But what I did do a lot was mix n match my He Man with my A-Team big figures to make a cool mash up of series figures. As I mentioned before, Castle Grey Skull was almost made out of indestructible plastic! My mate kept his out in the garden for months on end and it never looked tatty in any way shape or form, Mattel had built that badboy to last!

Subbuteo


As I got older I fell in love with the notion of Subbuteo as my love of football grew and grew. Then as birthdays came and went I would always ask for a new team or a bit of stadium or new goals!
There was a Subbuteo catalogue that I would constantly revise to see what I was going to get next. The good thing about Subbuteo was the smaller bits were pocket money prices. That meant I would often get bits n bobs from our local toy shop Jennings and then at birthdays the trip to Toys R Us would wield a larger purchase like a piece of stadium and some crowd figures to paint. The thing is that setting up Subbuteo was actually more fun than playing it. A game of Subbuteo would often be shortened into penalties as the figures would fly around all over the front room and whoever I was playing would lose interest. There was also the massive amount of space that the set up took up in the house! If I was to revisit this passion I would set up a permanent pitch and stadium. I would also buy the astroturf pitch so I didn’t have to iron that cloth pitch!!

Action Man


Action Man were probably the one constant throughout my childhood. I always seemed to have Action Men knocking about to play with. I would often play with them in the garden and get them to camouflage themselves in the trees and shrubs. This would often mean I’d lose them and find them months later! The one Action Man I remember buying from Toys R Us the most though was the one I had who came with a Zip Line! I had the loft room in those days and it meant that I set up the zip line from my room window all the way down into the garden. Oh what fun I had until Action Man got stuck in the roof gutter and didn’t budge for another 6 months!

I was inspired to write this article as Toys R Us is about to exit our lives for good. I have nothing but great memories of visiting that enormous Toy Store and I am gutted that my kids wont experience it as much as I did. I have managed to take them there a few times so hopefully they’ll have some memories of the great place when they grow up.

I figure that I’ll need to make different memories by taking them for special visits to Hamleys in London every now and again.

What are your Toys R Us favourite purchases and memories?

Let me know in the comments box below
 
 Article By Rich