I recently read that Toys R Us is closing its doors. The reasons are unclear. The only thing I know for sure is that a store dedicated to one theme, and one theme only, will be gone.
Also gone will be the memories formed as children run into a toy store, eyes wide opened, so excited about the treasures that lay before them.
For me, it was Marshall Field’s in Chicago. In the 1950s, they had a massive toy department on the fourth floor. Every Saturday, like clockwork, my mother and I would climb on the #62 bus and ride it to the State and Randolph bus stop. Entering the store was magical, and as we took the escalator to the 4th floor, my excitement grew and grew until I felt like I couldn’t contain it any more. Surrounded by toys, I would run from one counter to the other, filled with joy and dreams. I was immersed in the world of toys – what a wonderful memory.
Now, today, we have Amazon. Yes, I know – it’s much easier and more convenient to order the toy of choice on your computer or iPad or phone. I wonder, though, if our children will find the same excitement by looking at pictures on the computer. I sincerely doubt it. Personally, I’m saddened by the loss of a store dedicated to toys, and only toys. I’m saddened for the memory many children will never experience.