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Use Your Toys R Us Gift Cards ASAP!

toys R us

Chances are, you have a Toys R Us gift card lying around somewhere. (Trust me: You do. I happened to just find one last weekend that’s probably more than five years old.)

If you’ve got them, use them: The iconic chain announced today that they will be closing all their stores in the U.S. The retailer intends to honor gift cards for the next 30 days, a company spokesperson told USA Today.

At a time in which it’s easier (and often cheaper) to purchase toys online — and in an era in which kids have endless scheduled activities and, you know, iPhones — the shuttering of Toys R Us probably comes as no surprise. After all, the company has been struggling for years and filed for bankruptcy six months ago.

Still, the news comes with a fair share of wistfulness. For so many kids of the 80s and 90s, Toys R Us was a magical place: A land filled with endless fun and toys; those appealingly round, oversized balloons that your parents never bought you; and, of course, a friendly giraffe who favored an uncommon spelling of a popular name.

The stores in the 1980s featured an amazingly bright, striped exterior that always reminded me of the Museum-Go-Round from Mr. Rogers. (Remember that?!) And who could forget Nickelodeon’s completely awesome annual Toy Run contest — in which one supremely lucky kid got five minutes to run wild through a toy store, grabbing whatever she or he could during that time? (These were often filmed at Toys R Us, of course.)

Our advice to you: Cherish these memories. Hold them dearly. When you’re standing in an interminably long line with your screaming toddler, or you’re scouring near-empty shelves looking for something to spend that $18 gift card on, remind yourself of the joy you, too, once felt at Toys R Us.

Godspeed, Geoffrey.

(Photo by Laura Northrup/Flickr)

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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