I was a Toys ''R'' Us kid (dedication)

I just want to take a moment or so to acknowledge and thank Charles Lazarus, the founder of Toys ''R'' Us, the retail chain of stores that sold (mostly) toys and other things marketed to kids.

Lazarus is one (1) of those people a person can go their entire lives not knowing who they are, but be familiar with their works. Walt Disney and Kiichiro Toyoda are two (2) others that comes to mind.

Mr. Lazarus passed today, in the midst of his founding company's legal battles with creditors and liquidation. It's sad and in a way ironic, yet it's also good to know that what he grew (it was the largest toy seller in the world at one point -- ".. the biggest toy store there is.") ended with him.

Growing up (and believe me, I wasn't in a rush to do so), Toys ''R'' Us was, to me and countless other American children, the go-to hub for instant happiness. I have so many memories of going to their stores in different cities, that it's hard to choose just one. I do recall, though, that Nintendo of America had a kiosk set up in those stores and that helped propel sales of their games and consoles, which are a whole bunch of other memories from my childhood in themselves.

We also can't forget the brand's mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe, which in my opinion, epitomized a secondary image (behind the backwards 'R' on the logo) for marketing. Altogether, the retail chain packaged itself and its merchandise in such a way that it became indelible in the minds and hearts of generations of young people and their parents alike. When you consider that toys have been made, gifted, and sold across the world for ages, what Lazarus achieved has to be another one of those things that - as they say - probably only could have happened in America.

I got my start designing toys (puzzles and later character designs) with my portfolio, Egglepple. I became a performance artist (my words) when I was a teenager in an effort to have a domain in which I could 'play' with those toys. It was a totally selfish act back then. My parents were sometimes kind enough to take me to the toy store and let me hang out to my heart's delight. I didn't often get a toy to take home; it was mostly window shopping (holidays and birthdays aside), but the lessons I learned were sprouted in my imagination. Bright colors, childish play, what it meant to be a kid, all stemmed from my emotional connections to Toys ''R'' Us.

Thank you, Charles Lazarus.
A big Toys ''R'' Us kid,

🥕

$1 /carrot🥕

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