Whenever I or anyone else talks to the press these days, we end up being interviewed about the demise of Toys R Us and its impact on toy companies. While the fate of some toy companies is certainly a concern (particularly smaller ones) there seems to be something that is missing in these discussions: "What is the impact that the loss of Toys R Us will have on children?"
Those of us who grew up with great toy stores (and there are still some out there) know what an experience it is to lose oneself in a toy menagerie. That sense of wonder and surprise, that escape from the real world, that feeling of giddiness that is far more about the toy than the price for which it sells.
That's mostly gone. Let's face it, Toys R Us had not been a great toy store for a long time and the FAO that has come into and out of and into existence again is a pale comparison to the mighty FAO that offered a multitude of toy trains, dolls, games and magic. The one that demanded a visit when you visited the big city.
Wal-Mart and Target cannot remotely provide what a true toy store can. They are too functional, too price driven and the product selection too limited.
Its certainly not right nor is it fair and it may even be unhealthy. These children deserve better and it is up to the toy store retail community, yes ASTRA members I am talking to you, to step up and open more stores and do it now.
The kids deserve it.