Less than a week after rumors began swirling that mall-based toy retailer Toys R Us would soon go the way of slap bracelets (or, for that matter, the American shopping mall itself), The Washington Post confirms today that the once-massive retail chain is preparing to close the entirety of its 800-plus U.S.-based stores. The company—which has struggled to survive in a world of big box retailers and online marketplaces—filed for bankruptcy six months ago, and is reportedly as much as $8 billion in debt to its various suppliers, including Hasbro and Mattel.
The consequences for the collapse should be obvious; 33,000 people are expected to lose their jobs as the stores close nationwide. Meanwhile, all of the company’s fabled “Toys R Us kids” will be forced to suddenly grow up, with horrifically rapid results as they advance to their proper ages. The backwards Rs will be spun ‘round the correct way, in the hopes of donating them to local dictionaries. And Geoffrey The Giraffe, the company’s long-time mascot, will presumably be remanded to the custody of the state, to be placed in a zoo somewhere where he’ll inevitably wither, and pine.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though; one of the company’s creditors, MGA Entertainment, has expressed an interest in buying the company’s Canadian stores, and as many as 400 of its U.S. branches, for itself. “There is no toy business without Toys R Us,” the company’s chief executive, Isaac Larian told reporters. “It’s a big deal and I’m going to try to salvage as much of it as possible.”