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Toys ‘R Us: Where a Grown Man Can Be a Grown Man Shaking Hands With the Ashes of His Childhood.

But only for a limited time!!

For many children of the 80’s and 90’s, Toys ‘R Us has been dead since they canned that old video game purchasing ticket system years ago, but now it’s official. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the news that TRU is currently on their last legs and stores are closing all over the country. Since I live in San Francisco, this doesn’t really affect my day to day at all as there hasn’t been a city location for who knows how long. But it did feel like like rounding up my good buddy @theminimateproject and heading down to the South Bay for one final shopping trip was the right thing to do. There wasn’t any real endgame in mind other than I wanted to to buy something, it of course had to be Nintendo related, and I needed to keep my shit together in front of the cashier when paying for it. The photoblog which you are about to read is an account of the tragedy which befell this long lasting toy store chain. It is all the more tragic in that I had to travel about 50 miles to get to the nearest one. The events of that day were to lead to the last Nintendo product this dork will ever own a Toys ‘R Us receipt for.

Let’s go shopping!

The Toys ‘R Us we went to is down in Hayward, CA and is one of those spots that you could tell was actually built to be a TRU and not converted into one from the remains of a Gemco or Lucky supermarket. Also, don’t think for a second it didn’t take every last drop of willpower I have to not work in a Chuck E. Cheese lunch for this. I swear I would have done it, but it was brought to my attention that these days in order to get in you actually have to have a kid with you. Which made me think of those cones dogs have to wear. That rule must have been put in place for a reason.

Walking up, I was genuinely moved by the hordes of parents forcing their confused kids to pose in front of the store for snapshots. It made me feel great that I wasn’t alone in grabbing endless photos but also a little weird when I realized that I was taking pictures of parents taking pictures of their kids. With that in mind, all likenesses have been removed by request for the sake of anonymity. After I’d been given the stink eye long enough and almost flattened by about 6 or 7 mini-vans trying to nab this angle, it was time to head in!

We didn’t plan it, but our trip coincided with the first day of the going out of business sale. Despite the discounts of course not being too nuts this early on, the place was definitely crowded and messy but it wasn’t looking like a Super Toy Run had just gone down quite yet. Not pictured, the 3 year old demon seed putting his father’s kidneys to the test with some rapid fire left/right hook combos. As you can see, the signage did a great job of making this closure look fun! And while I did indeed catch myself browsing the Star Wars row, there was only one face I was looking for.

It’s-a You.

Of course and for the sake of nostalgia, my gut was really hoping to walk out of that store with a new video game. But as you can see, the selection for Switch titles was pretty slim. Of what’s pictured here, I already own Doom and I’d be damned if my last purchase was gonna be Troll. I did consider that Telltale Batman thing before remembering that all sales were final. With that in mind, it was time to accept that by going digital and downloading most of my games these days, I am part of the problem. Time to cruise on over to the amiibo display!!

Sweet baby Bowser, those Animal Crossing figures didn’t exactly set the world on fire huh? Maybe this is karma for Nintendo making that Wii U Amiibo Fest board “game.” As you may or may not be aware of, I’ve got a sincere and truthful amiibo habit so there’s nothing on that wall I can honestly say I don’t already own. This is around the time that worry set in that there may not be anything to grab that was something that I actually wanted. An officially made by Nintendo product just wasn’t in the cards that day so it was off to the third party ghetto World of Nintendo.

Look at how sad it all is. While I did briefly flirt with making a novelty purchase that would look ridiculous bringing back home on public transportation, I just can’t support stuff like this. My options seemed to have run out and I found myself nervously double and triple checking the games and amiibo walls to be sure there wasn’t something someone had hidden or had flown under my eyeline.

Then I looked over and remembered those Jakks Pacific figures.

Now I’m not the biggest fan of this line but I do like that they sometimes release characters that you wouldn’t expect to see in toy form. My main problem with them is that the toys feel kind of cheap and generic, but I have bought a few in the past. There’s a neat looking little Shyguy and an adorable little Bob-omb they put out. I also own a Bullet Bill from their Mario Kart series because c’mon there’s wheels on the bottom. So I accepted the fact that it was gonna have to be something from over here which began the process of elimination: What figure could I take the coolest picture with on my Nintendo focused Instagram site Nintendo f/64? Immediately out was Zelda because the sculpt is just awful. Slippy and Peppy were briefly considered as I’m positive they will never be molded into their own amiibo, but eh. Which left Villager from Animal Crossing…that would just have to do. But upon grabbing the first box facing out to begin the great “which one has the best paint job” inspection, there, three toys deep and hanging up against the back wall was what was to be my last Nintendo Toys ‘R Us get.

And what a sweet pull it was. This Samus is on the rare side of these Jakks toys and I’m pretty sure it has everything to do with the morph ball that she comes with. Just look at how easy it’s gonna be to lose that thing! The series overall is a pretty interesting one to look at since you can clearly see which characters the sculptors have their heart in and Samus is about as top shelf as they get. She may be a bitch to get to stand on her own but the articulation is pretty good and the paint looks solid. With her in hand, I made my way to the checkout stand when a young boy no older than I was when I became the proud owner of one of my favorite Nintendo figures that I still own to this day came running up. “Whoa! Where did you find Samus!!?” I turned and looked at him, the excitement in his eyes. If I remember correctly, he was even wearing a Breath of the Wild t-shirt. I held out the figure and said “Pretty cool huh, kid? Hiding behind the Villager figures back there.” He turned and ran straight to the section.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him it was the last one.

So, so long TRU!! That was quite a run. I’ll never forget buying my insanely discounted Virtual Boy and games from you, the first time laying eyes on the glorious Super Mario 64 kiosk, not to mention those Star Wars prequel figure midnight launches and all of the Goddamned G.I. Joes over the years. You’ll be greatly missed but never gone.

Like so many others all around the world, I’ll always be a Toys ‘R Us….

BAAAAHHHH, Mr. Face say this closure HORRIBLE. Mr. Face never wrong!
BAAAAHHHH, Mr. Face say this closure HORRIBLE.
Mr. Face never wrong!