The beloved retail brand is back. Kinda.
Toys R Us is making a comeback.
A new joint venture by Tru Kids Brand, owners of the Toys R Us brand, and tech startup b8ta will see the beloved former toy giant return in US malls this holiday season. The new stores, which will be smaller than the retail giant's former big-box locations, will be located in Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey and The Galleria in Houston, Texas.
The companies promise that additional locations "in prime, high-traffic retail markets within the US" will open "over the course of 2020."
The new stores will be designed to be "highly interactive" with daily events and activities. These will include displaying toys out of the box to allow kids to play with them, and demoing games that embrace STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) education.
The brand's mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe, will also be present and featured in an "open playspace."
It is not yet clear exactly which brands and toys will be available in the new Toys R Us stores. Prior to its bankruptcy last year, the brand sold a wide range of products, from bicycles and board games to Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo game consoles.
"As a kid, my memory of Toys R Us was running up and down the aisles kicking balls and playing with the coolest toys," said Phillip Raub, co-founder and president of b8ta and interim co-CEO of the Toys R Us joint venture, said in a statement.
"As the retail landscape changes, so do consumer shopping habits. But what hasn't changed is that kids want to touch everything and simply play. We are excited to bring back Toys R Us in an immersive way, focused on creating a fun and engaging experience for kids -- and adults, too."