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17 Stores From Your Childhood That No Longer Exist

I haven't been to find a proper rain stick since Natural Wonders went out of business. RIP.

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1. Natural Wonders: 1986–2004

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What you bought there: Pure Moods CDs, rain sticks, those eagles that balance on your finger, geodes, and other random rocks.

Who shopped there: Primarily 13-year-olds and women in their fifties.

Random fact: You can, thankfully, still buy their Natural Wonders CDs compilations on Amazon.

2. Discovery Channel Store: 1996–2007

https://www.flickr.com/photos/10542402@N06/
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

What you bought there: Those mini-planetariums, glow-in-the-dark stars you put on your ceiling, and gross space food.

Who shopped there: Earthy middle-aged women and tweens.

Random fact: In 1996, Discovery bought the Nature Company store and turned them into Discovery Channel Stores. The store closed into 2007 because Discovery was losing $30 million a year.

3. Warner Bros. Studio Store: 1991–2001

https://twitter.com/waldengalleria/status/522109615761543172
Mark Peterson/Corbis via Getty Images

What you bought there: Looney Tunes and D.C. swag that you thought made you cool.

Who shopped there: People who were too cool for the Disney Store.

Random fact: Time Warner closed all the stores down when the economy started to go bad in 2001.

4. KB Toys: 1922–2009

Tim Boyle / Getty Images

What you bought there: Gak, Skip-Its, action figures, and Barbies.

Who shopped there: Literally children and their sad parents who got dragged in.

Random fact: KB Toys started in the 1920s by the Kaufman Brothers (get it, KB) as a wholesale candy business. They changed from candy to toys in the 1940s because of shortages during the war.

5. Discovery Zone: 1989–1999

Michael L. Abramson / Getty Images

What you bought there: Junk with arcade tickets.

Who shopped there: Screaming 11-year-olds and their poor parents who had to watch out for them.

Random fact: Dee Zees were worldwide. At one time, they had locations in London, Madrid, and Paris. I pity the child who didn't go to a birthday party here.

6. Club Libby Lu: 2000–2008

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Paul J. Richards / AFP / Getty Images

What you bought there: Tutus and glitter, I think.

Who shopped there: 7-year-olds who had birthday parties there. Everyone else in the mall just walked by quickly because of the large groups of 7-year-old girls.

Random fact: This isn't a fact, this is how Club Libby Lu described their services:

"At the party, girls arrive at the Club. They are all greeted by a fairy and make a wish on her fairy dust. Each girl then creates her own secret Club name. Then their Libby Dusβ„’ comes true. After dressing up and playing games, they visit our Goodie Shop and make their own Goodie Bags. Singing and Dancing, all the girls celebrate the guest of honor." *SHIVERS*

7. Sam Goody: 1951–2006

Flickr: 10542402@N06

What you bought there: Overpriced CDs and blank VHS tapes.

Who shopped there: People who didn't care that their CDs were way, way overpriced.

Random fact: Sam Goody (the man whom the record store is named after) started selling records after someone came into his toy business asking for records.

8. Steve & Barry's: 1985–2009

Johnny Nunez / WireImage

What you bought there: Eerily cheap sportswear.

Who shopped there: Ninth-graders.

Random fact: In 2007, Amanda Bynes had a fashion line called "Dear" available for sale only at Steve & Barry's. Sarah Jessica Parker had a line called "Bitten" only available at S&B too.

9. Zany Brainy: 1991–2001

Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times
Robert Lachman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

What you bought there: Boring learning games and shitty fake Legos.

Who shopped there: Overachievers.

Random fact: According to the WSJ: "Zany Brainy was part of a wave of hands-on, kid-friendly stores that focused on nonviolent educational toys such as bridge-building kits and ant farms." Fun.

10. Noodle Kidoodle: 1931–2001

ben12084.wordpress.com

What you bought there: Boring learning games.

Who shopped there: Parents who wanted their kids to be overachievers.

Random fact: Zany Brainy was Noodle Kidoodle's biggest competition. In 2000, Zany bought Noodle.

11. Waldenbooks: 1933–2011

Flickr: cycrolu

What you bought there: Books and magazines, LOL duh.

Who shopped there: Old people, I think. And random kids who would read comics for free there, or look at nudie "art" books.

Random fact: In the 1980s it was the world's largest bookseller. In the '90s it would be overtaken by Barnes & Noble.

12. Delia's

Flickr: jeepersmedia

What you bought there: Halter tops, spaghetti strap tanks, and little T-shirts.

Who shopped there: "Every cool girl"... according to my co-worker Lauren.

Rando fact: Delia's relaunched online this year.

13. Ruehl No.925: 2004–2010

commons.wikimedia.org

What you bought there: Polos, tees, and hoodies β€” basically what you bought at Abercrombie & Fitch.

Who shopped there: Literally the same people who shopped at A&F and who were willing to pay even MORE for the clothes.

Random fact: It targeted older customers who still wanted to buy A&F clothing (but didn't want to shop at A&F). The store was also owned by A&F.

14. Gadzooks: 1983–2005

Tim Boyle / Getty Images

What you bought there: Mainly your all-too-important back-to-school outfits and random "funny" T-shirts.

Who shopped there: Cool teens that were into fashion.

Random fact: The chain went bankrupt and was bought out by Forever 21 β€” who then closed all the locations

15. Imaginarium: ?–1999 (when it was acquired by Toys β€˜R’ Us)

ghosts-of-retailers-past.wikia.com

What you bought there: Cool educational toys that didn't seem educational, Playmobil toys, puppets, and books.

Who shopped there: Kids whose parents were pretentious and against traditional toys.

Random fact: It started in Spain and there are still stores open in Europe.

16. Media Play: 1992–2006

Media Play's old website

What you bought there: CDs, cassettes, and probably your Discman.

Who shopped there: Teens and old people. Like, your grandparents who brought you there.

Random fact: Media Play opened in 1992 by the same company who owned Sam Goody and Suncoast Motion Picture Company stores. It was basically a big-box version of those places. It closed in early 2006 (probably) because of the internet.

17. Sharper Image: 1977–2008

Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times

What you bought there: Nothing. You just sat in the massage chairs. That's why it went out of business.

Who shopped there: Rich people who didn't know what to waste their money on and people who were obsessed with air purifiers.

Random fact: Sharper Image started really going downhill in 2003 when a Consumer Affairs report claimed their Ionic Air Breeze fans didn't actually clean the air β€” they actually made the air worse.

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