Friday, May 31, 2013

Remembering Toys R Us

Carolina Circle Mall Before Demolition 004

First of all, I apologize for not posting here lately. Been busy with a lot of things but I’ll try my best to start posting regularly again.

For the past month or so, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the old Toys R Us across from Carolina Circle Mall. I’ve never really discussed this store much but I actually visited Toys R Us almost as much as I did the mall.

The Toys R Us across from Carolina Circle Mall opened sometime in 1985 and was one of the first and only major outparcels to open across from the mall. Service Merchandise was next door, which opened sometime in the ‘80s and lasted until about 1997 or 1998. Another Toys R Us opened on High Point Road near Four Seasons Mall about a year later and is still open to this day.

Toys R Us was relatively successful in its life and always seemed to do reasonable business. Unfortunately, when Carolina Circle Mall started its decline in the late ‘90s, Toys R Us felt the effects. Toys R Us closed in August 2002, 8 months after the mall closed. Like the mall, Toys R Us was left empty for several years until May 2005 when the building was demolished for the new Wal-Mart/Pyramids Village.

Toys R Us 1The Toys R Us had a pretty normal design for a store of its era, once having a giant Geoffrey on next to the sign. Inside, the store had very bright lighting with a very colorful color scheme consisting of dark blue, red, green, and yellow. In the front left corner of the store was a blocked off section containing video games where customers would pick up their video game purchases after taking the game ticket to the register.

Toys 'R Us November 27, 1994As I mentioned earlier, I visited Toys R Us almost as often as Carolina Circle Mall on the other side of Ring Road. Toys R Us was the focal point for all toys and fun that kids got excited for in the 1990s and I was in the middle of it. I recall my dad taking me to Toys R Us in early 1994 and we got my first Power Wheels Jeep, a toy I would be attached to for years. In 1995/1996, when I was in kindergarten, my dad would take me there after school every other day to buy a Thomas the Tank Engine toy. My first video game console came from that Toys R Us in early 1997; a Sega Saturn. If only I had kept that Sega Saturn because they’re worth quite a lot 16 years later. The ad on the left is from November 27, 1994. Any of you remember Gator Golf? Good times. Smile

981302_10201320998573896_1373991040_oI have recently been very nostalgic for the old Carolina Circle Mall Toys R Us. This week, I searched for some old Toys R Us memorabilia on eBay. I found an old Christmas catalog that I really wanted with a bunch of toys I probably remember from that era. Unfortunately, it was being sold for $80, which was way too much. Instead, I settled for something that’s still pretty nice; a 1993 Toys R Us yo-yo, pictured on the right.

Like Carolina Circle Mall, I’ll never forget Toys R Us. The Toys R Us on High Point Road in Greensboro, even though it’s from the ‘80s, it was massively remodeled in the early 2000s and has no nostalgia factor whatsoever. But the memories will never fade away.

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