Many of us Star Wars action figure collectors are still hoping that Toys'R'Us will make a grand return with retail stores across the United States. Retail stores of course which will have store shelves filled with Star Wars toys from the bottom to the top. Even though Toys'R'Us is still a force in some international markets with traditional retail stores, the future of the toy chain in the United States will go a different route.
An article on Forbes.com revealed that TRU Kids, which is Toys'R'Us parent company, is partnering with the creators of the Candytopia pop-ups to create The Toys R Us Adventure, temporary play spaces described as "mini-theme parks".
"The first two Toys R Us Adventure pop-ups created by Candytopia are scheduled to open in Chicago and Atlanta in mid-October. They will operate through the holiday season and then move on to other cities. The play spaces won’t be stores – although each location will have a small gift shop – but toy manufacturers will have sponsorship opportunities to showcase their products. Parents and kids will be charged admission - $28 for adults, $20 for children 4-12 – to enter.
This is the second joint venture entered into by Tru Kids as it works to resurrect Toys R Us as a presence in this country. In July it announced a joint venture with retail tech firm b8ta to open two interactive and immersive Toys R Us stores in malls in Paramus, N.J., and Houston. The play spaces will be “a mixture of play experiences and brand experiences,” said Tru Kids CEO Richard Barry, in a phone interview. “We’re going to have an environment where kids will really be able to experience being in a full Paw Patrol world,” he said.
While the Candytopia pop-ups emphasize experiences over retail, their gift shops still sell a lot, Goodman said. The gift shops inside Candytopias do over $2,000 in sales per square foot, in a footprint of 800 to 1,500 square foot. “So we’re blending retail with the whole experience,” he said. The Toys R Us Adventure gift shops will sell souvenirs and Toys R Us branded products like water bottles or sweatshirts, but will also carry toys by the vendor partners.
For the full article and more details about the location sizes and what to expect inside the play areas have a look at the Forbes article.