Toys 'R' Us, a childhood staple for people across the country, filed for bankruptcy late on Monday after a long struggle against competitors like Walmart and Amazon and a huge amount of debt.
The bankruptcy filing doesn't spell the end for the retailer. But it does signal the end of an era, as Toys 'R' Us stores had been a central part of many kids' lives before people shifted their spending online.
Many people were overcome with nostalgia when they heard of the toy company's bankruptcy. Here are some reactions online and at BuzzFeed News.
People shared memories of specific toys they got at Toys 'R' Us.
It was parents' ultimate bargaining chip to get their kids to do their homework.
"Wanting a Ouija Board SO badly and my mom promising to get me one at Toys 'R' Us if I got over a 90% on my 4th grade math test. I got the score only to go to Toys 'R' Us."
— Brittany Berkowitz, BuzzFeed News
People remembered how Toys 'R' Us stores seemed so shiny, bright, and awesome.
"My parents would take me and my younger sister and brother there as a treat, and walking around and seeing that volume of toys stacked up high, filling an entire huge warehouse, made us mad with excitement. (I have never had that feeling shopping online.) Somehow, every toy looked cool, even if I had no idea what it did or who the character was. It made me want to play... Probably more than anything, I remember spending so many hours as a kid shopping with my parents for stuff that was totally boring — housewares and clothes — and this was a shopping experience that was very clearly just for us kids."
— Venessa Wong, BuzzFeed News
Entering a Toys 'R' Us was a "euphoric" experience, one person recalled.
Others remembered the complete meltdown they'd have at the mere suggestion their parents might take them to Toys 'R' Us.
"The best was merely the knowledge that you were getting to go to Toys 'R' Us. None of this 'going to the mall and shopping at KB Toys' less than exemplary selection,' no sir. No, a visit to Toys 'R' Us meant rows upon rows of toys, all the variations that you could possibly want. Every single action figure you could want — or at least want to stare at."
— Hayes Brown, BuzzFeed News
"It would make my day just to window shop," said one person.
Even the Toys 'R' Us catalog was thrilling.
"SO much excitement every time the big Toys 'R' Us holiday catalog would come in the newspaper in the middle of November. It was eagerly parsed by everyone in my household, with pages tagged and items circled."
— Jennifer A. Kingson, BuzzFeed News
"You will never feel the excitement of getting the Christmas catalog and circling your toys!" said one person.
Some even describe the iconic catalog as Toys 'R' Us' greatest product, giving kids a guidebook to every toy they could possibly dream of.
"While whatever toys I would get there once or twice a year were great, the catalog was the store's greatest product. Not only was it only stuff I might want, and might even receive, but it was only that. Just toys, pages and pages and pages of toys. Unlike everything else in a newspaper, every other insert, printout, or catalog, it was something for me and me alone. Even the comics pages were full of baby-boomer humor (how many toddlers read Doonesbury?) And this was the promise of Toys 'R' Us itself, a place full of the things a child would want, but unfortunately, could only occasionally have."
— Matthew Zeitlin, BuzzFeed News
Some people remembered how cool it would be to get a chance to be on Nickelodeon's Super Toy Run and get their pick of Toys 'R' Us toys.
"Dreaming of the day that I would be a contestant on Nickelodeon's Super Toy Run."
— Gabriel Sanchez, BuzzFeed News
And then of course there was the jingle that no one can seem to forget, because I don't wanna grow up...
"The jingle. 'I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Toys 'R' Us Kid...' My brothers and I used to sing it as our parents drove us to Toys 'R' Us in Oklahoma City."
— Hannah Allam, BuzzFeed News
"These commercials because I still get the jingle stuck in my head for days at the mere mention of 'Toys 'R' Us'."
— Lisa Tozzi, BuzzFeed News
Leticia Miranda is a retail reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Leticia Miranda at email@example.com.
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