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Toys ‘R’ Us is back… Again

The first article we ever wrote for Toy Store Guide was about how Toys ‘R’ Us was making a comeback by opening their first new store in New Jersey… Well, today we are here to tell you about how Toys ‘R’ Us is making a comeback by opening their first new store in New Jersey!

The previous article was titled “516 Days Later, Toys ‘R’ Us is Back”, that store closed at some point during COVID so it’s anyone’s best guess as to the exact day count this time around. 

Just like last time, we were able to attend the Grand Opening. Just like last time, the store is located inside a New Jersey Mall. Just like last time, it is not the same toy store adults or even young adults remember. But having visited a Toys ‘R’ Us or two as a child, and the previous incarnation in 2019, we figured we can take a few moments to talk about the latest effort to revitalize the brand.

The new Toys ‘R’ Us flagship store is located within the American Dream Mall. The two story store features a slide and an ice cream parlor.  As of today it is the only planned stand-alone Toy ‘R’ Us location, with the other locations utilizing the “store within a store” format within Macy Stores.

Like last time, the store has more of an interactive landscape for different brands to showcase their products. At the grand opening there were magicians showing off magic sets, a Tik Tok personality showing off Squirmles (a worm puppet on a string that even after he explained to me how it works I was still freaked out by), and a guy doing yoyo tricks.

That is where you can see the wonderment for the kids… the next generation of Toys ‘R’ Us kids. It was great to see the kids in amazement walking into a store full of toys… Then the new Toys ‘R’ Us store adds another layer with the presentations.

Like the 2019 reincarnation of Toys ‘R’ Us, this version is about the kids. There is not much for the adult collector. A few Star Wars Black Series, some POPs, and maybe a 2000+ piece lego set are surrounded by a Treasure Trove of Bruder Trucks, PlayMobil, and Stuffed Animals.

It’s fine that they are aiming their efforts at children, in the wake of the original Toys ‘R’ Us going out of business so many local toy stores have opened and flourished. Stores selling both vintage and the newest toys and figures. Just 15 minutes from the American Dream Mall in Little Falls is Chubzzy Wubzzy Toys & Collectibles. They are always stocked with the newest figures in boxes that are not beat up like you might find at the big box stores. 

One thing we noticed about the new Toys ‘R’ Us were the shopping carts. As far as we can remember Toys ‘R’ Us had the large blue carts with the custom graphics on the side. Sometimes you can find these carts (and baskets) in your local toy store. One store also in North Jersey, Rip ‘N Run Collectibles, uses a classic blue cart as their Clearance bin. The new store has smaller generic carts with a “Property of Toys ‘R’ Us” sticker on it. 

The main difference between this 2021 Toys ‘R’ Us and the 2019 is location. While both were in New Jersey shopping malls, the American Dream shopping mall is more of an entertainment complex. The space is full of attractions like a Nickelodeon theme park, a Dreamworks themed water park, indoor Ski Slope (currently closed due to a fire), an aquarium, Legoland, and a bunch more. Toys ‘R’ Us joins those attractions.

That gives this new Toy ‘R’ Us flagship location a feel much like the former Times Square flagship store. Hopefully with the help of the spectacle that is American Dream this time the Toys ‘R’ Us comeback can last and we will not have to write this article a third time.

Article By: Dave and Jerry at ToyStoreGuide

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