Toys-R-Us

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StoreLiker2006
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Toys-R-Us

Post by StoreLiker2006 »

If this is acceptable here, I'd like to bring up the classic era of Toys-R-Us (which is stylized as Toys "Я" Us). The usage of the Russian letter "ya" (what the "Я" represents) was TRU's way of pleasing small children at the time ("Я" was also a small child's way of writing down the real "R," an abbreviation of "are"). This Cyrillic letter was green from its inception in 1969 until 1986, at which point it changed to the current yellow; since 2000, it was seen against a blue star.

The three original Portland, OR-area stores - in Clackamas, Tigard and Jantzen Beach - all opened at somepoint in the year 1980, and all seem to still be intact after 30 years in business.

TOYS "R" US (CLACKAMAS)
12535 SE 82nd Ave.
Clackamas, OR 97015 (97086)

TOYS "R" US (TIGARD)
10065 SW Cascade Hwy.
Tigard, OR 97223

TOYS "R" US (JANTZEN BEACH)
1800 N. Jantzen Beach Ctr.
Portland, OR 97217

All of these three builds were architectured the same way, no doubt since they all opened in 1980.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Ei2Ik5quiI0/S ... s+1970.jpg
(Link takes you to a picture of the early version of the classic scheme; note the different-looking "Y")

The colors of the letters were unchanged from 1969 to 1986 (you know, the letters of TOYS "Я" US spelled out in the colors of red, yellow, blue, purple, green, orange and blue). Since 1986 the color scheme became red, orange, turquoise, purple, yellow, turquoise and red.

~Ben
bobsjers
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Re: Toys-R-Us

Post by bobsjers »

I remember one in Bailey's Cross Roads, VA. I think it opened in the 60's, and may have been one of the first ones. It seems that it was called "Children's Supermarket," and Toys R US (sorry, can't do the backwards R) was the slogan underneath the sign.

I believe the founder's last name was Lazarus. So I wonder if Toys R US is a play on Laz R Us.
StoreLiker2006
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Re: Toys-R-Us

Post by StoreLiker2006 »

bobsjers wrote:I remember one in Bailey's Cross Roads, VA. I think it opened in the 60's, and may have been one of the first ones. It seems that it was called "Children's Supermarket," and Toys R US (sorry, can't do the backwards R) was the slogan underneath the sign.

I believe the founder's last name was Lazarus. So I wonder if Toys R US is a play on Laz R Us.
Yes, Charles Lazarus...

~Ben
StoreLiker2006
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Re: Toys-R-Us

Post by StoreLiker2006 »

I also want to ask you all, exactly how long did TRU also have the additional legend on the orange-colored gateway entrance sign on their buildings which read: "THE CHILDREN'S BARGAIN TOWN" (That additional legend, of course, referred to one of Charles Lazarus's other ventures, Children's Bargain Town USA.)? According to this link, this additional legend ran from the '70s to the mid '80s.

I know the three original Portland-area stores in Clackamas, Tigard and Jantzen Beach all opened in 1980, so I'd think they did have the legend on the gateway entrance sign.

TRU also had two primary color schemes used on its channel letters since the '70s:

The first one consists of, in this order:
T is colored Red
O is colored Yellow
Y is colored Light Blue
S is colored Pink
"R" is colored Lime Green
U is colored Orange
S is colored Rich Blue
(On some of the 1985 and older TV commercials, the two blue hues that represent the "Y" and the second "S" respectively, are reversed)

By 1986, the color scheme changed to this order:
T remains Red
O is now colored Orange
Y is now colored Dark Green
S is now colored Purple
"R" is now colored Yellow
U is now colored Light Green
S is now colored either Light Red or Pink
(other subtle variations of the channel letter colors on the store's exterior exist, including a pastel version of the '70s color scheme, in order being red-orange-light aqua-purple-lime green-orange-light blue)

~Ben
bobsjers
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Re: Toys-R-Us

Post by bobsjers »

Here is something I found, that confirms that Toys R Us was called Children's Supermarket. Perhaps they bought them out? Or did the chain start as Children's Supermarket?

There may be a few other things that apply to this web site. Such as a mention of Korvettes. Most of it is probably "off topic." I should mention that I drove by the high rise collapse minutes after it happened, even before the ambulances got there.

http://tbwb.blogspot.com/2006/11/day-th ... roads.html
StoreLiker2006
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Re: Toys-R-Us

Post by StoreLiker2006 »

bobsjers wrote:Here is something I found, that confirms that Toys R Us was called Children's Supermarket. Perhaps they bought them out? Or did the chain start as Children's Supermarket?

There may be a few other things that apply to this web site. Such as a mention of Korvettes. Most of it is probably "off topic." I should mention that I drove by the high rise collapse minutes after it happened, even before the ambulances got there.

http://tbwb.blogspot.com/2006/11/day-th ... roads.html
I'd think it's a case of evolution. TRU had its roots as the Children's Super Mart in 1948, initially founded by Lazarus as a baby furniture store. It was located at 2461 18th St. NW in Washington, DC, which is now the site of a nightclub called Madam's Organ Blues Bar.

In 1957, the first TRU opened in Rockville, MD. Interstate Stores, already the owner of White Front, Topps Department Stores and Children's Bargain Town USA, bought out TRU in 1966. This acquisition made CBTUSA a sister firm to TRU, and in subsequent years all the existing CBTUSA stores would be rebranded as TRU stores.

Image
2010-10-24 16.39.15 by tory.me, on Flickr
(This photo is of a TRU at 6207 Westnedge Road, Kalamazoo, MI - just look how bastardized it is: all the vertical striped paneling is blue; and the original TOYS "R" US letters on the brown roof have been replaced with the 1986-2000 color scheme with white outlining - I'd be hungry to Photoshop this back to the way that it looked in the mid '70s.)

And speaking of these TOYS "R" US letters I can think this store may even be from the mid '70s due to the slightly different letter style, as it looks more ragtag than the circa 1978-2007 lettering.

~Ben
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BK31
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Re: Toys-R-Us

Post by BK31 »

I ran across this location in North Charleston back in March of 2011. It looks to have a similar version of the late 80's color arrangement of the letters Storeliker2006 mentions. I was bummed when I saw the paneling painted out white. At least the blue is a little more interesting and less bland.
Image
StoreLiker2006
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Re: Toys-R-Us

Post by StoreLiker2006 »

BK31 wrote:I ran across this location in North Charleston back in March of 2011. It looks to have a similar version of the late 80's color arrangement of the letters Storeliker2006 mentions. I was bummed when I saw the paneling painted out white. At least the blue is a little more interesting and less bland.
Image
I would like to point out that the first updated color scheme they used in 1986 ... it seems to follow a pattern: whereas the original 1969-85 color scheme was all CMYK-type colors (in order: red, yellow, cyan, light magenta, pea green, orange and light cyan), the 1986 version seems to be an all jazzed-up version of the original: the red "T" now borders on magenta, the yellow "O" now borders on orange, the cyan "Y" now borders on green, the magenta "S" now borders on purple, the lime green "R" is now yellow, and it's the last two letters making up the word "US" that had their two basic colors switched over: whereas the original called for an orange "U" and a light cyan "S," the 1986 version now called for a light cyan-going-on-green "U" and an orange-going-on-red "S."

1969-1985: TOYS "R" US

1986-1999: TOYS "R" US

Let me know if I need to make any corrections on the colors, but I think I got both of them correct.

~Ben
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