Cabbage Patch Doll. 1983.
Teddy Ruxpin. 1995.
Tickle Me Elmo. 1996.
Nintendo, XBox, Playstation. Forever.
These are just a few of the toys that made us lose our mind.
Marketing strategies stirred up popularity, kids begged for their favorites from Santa. Manufacturing shortages led to holiday shopping riots.
It brought out the “ugly” in parents on a global basis.
Even Arnold Schwarzenegger is reduced to tears, caught up in the Christmas Eve frenzied search for a fictional hot toy in the 1996 film “Jingle All the Way.”
This past September, retail giant Toys “R” Us announced that it had filed for bankruptcy. Weeks later, it issued its Christmas wish catalog, saying the brick and mortar stores will be open for holiday shopping.
It seems like the writing was on the wall when they announced the closure of their flagship store in Times Square at the end of the 2015 holiday season.
The mammoth store, that featured a working Ferris wheel, a life-size Barbie house, and a 10 ft. animatronic T- Rex, closed just months after F.A.O. Schwarz, the palace of unique, traditional toys featured in Tom Hanks’ movie “Big.”
It seems like toy stores are going the way of the mall in 2017 America.
And that’s too bad. Or is it ?
Parents won’t be lined up at midnight on a cold Black Friday night to get this year’s hottest toy, electronic baby monkeys called Fingerlings.
They’ll be stationed at their computer, waiting to connect to Amazon.
And if you find yourself in the city that never sleeps, you can shop from 8 am to 2 am at the Gap/Old Navy store that just opened in that choice location on Times Square.