Toys R Us: A Decades-Long Legacy of Recognition and Prestige

Categories: Toys

Founded in 1948, in Toys R Us is one of the most well-known and recognized brands in the United States. For decades, it has been one of the most premiere places to shop for gifts, birthday presents, and even serve as a recreational place for children and kids. It was known as its industry’s powerhouse and most elite brand. At age 25, Charles Lazarus, started a baby furniture retail store catering to the post war baby boomer epidemic. At this time ‘Toys R US ‘was simply ‘Children’s Bargain Town’s.

It was this visionary thinking, of knowing that families would want to reproduces after World two that motivated him to sell children’s cribs and baby furniture. It was then at this moment when he began to turn his dream of creating a child oriented business into reality. Toys R Us originally begin in Washington, D.C. Charles was actually born on October 4th in Washington DC, and was the son of an entrepreneur who operated and owned his very own bicycle shop.

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From growing up, and being raised by his father who was a business man, these subconsciously rubbed off on him as he got older in age. As time went on, and Charles got older, he began shadowing and assisted his father with his bicycle shop in whatever way that was needed. He developed a hustler’s mentality and a true business acumen by looking for opportunities in the market and coming up with ideas to potentially make his father’s business more profitable.

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With a few years of experience under his belt and a solid knowledge of the industry, Charles began to notice trends in the furniture industry. Generally, furniture tends to last a long time being very durable and malfunctioning hardly. In addition, most customers do not replace furniture very often as it is more of a long-term investment with one’s money. From these analysis, and the facts that there were inquiries from several customers to bring upon an assortment of toys to collaborate with the furniture, he began to add toys to his business. He realized that toys were quite the opposite in comparison with furniture. This meant that toy industry was very cyclical and consumer purchases was based on many different factors. Some of these include the obvious, if the toys break or not. Other things included trends with children, being if the toys were popular and cool to have. Charles knew the potential of the emerging market and capitalized on it. Demand grew, and so did the variety of offering that’s were placed inside the store. It wasn’t until June of 1957 when the first, official Toys R US was founded and operating in business. He used the blueprint of other successful supermarket stores to build the foundation of how the store would be ran. Creative and a visionary to say the least, the original Toys R Us logo had a backwards are to give the impression that a child had wrote it. The brand also adopted the signature giraffe, which was named “Geoffrey” which was originally Dr. G raffle. This was a huge success for the company and its brand. The giraffe became a huge association with Toys R Us and was viewed as a public figure. Children, adults, and families admired Geoffrey so much, that he would serve as the mascot showing up to events and eventually having its own array of products. Crossing new endeavors, Geoffrey the giraffe was also used in promotional tactics through advertising and commercials. In later stages, Geoffrey also had a family with kids and a wife all each unique role to add on to its iconic image to the public. As the business continued to grow, Toys R Us eventually went public in 1978 after their parent company, Interstate Stores went bankrupt. It began to positioned itself in the market as a public conglomerate with high emphasis placed on valuing the everyday consumer. Things like parents searching for birthday gifts, or children spending its allowance money were characteristics of the everyday shopper. Toys R Us began to find its unique niche and value proposition as specialty stores and off price retailers were not concepts that existed in the market in the late 1970’s. This was used in Toys R Us’s favor as they began to build a solid foundation through the community and a loyal customer base. As years began to go by Toys R Us constantly looked for ways to increase and diversify its brand. IN doing such, they began to branch out into children’s clothing to add more incentives to attract new resources. Nonetheless, Toys R us began its initiative to expand beyond the United States, going International with Its first store in Canada.

Updated: Apr 29, 2023
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Toys R Us: A Decades-Long Legacy of Recognition and Prestige. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

Toys R Us: A Decades-Long Legacy of Recognition and Prestige essay
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