Like many children around the world, I was a huge toy fanatic when I was younger. From cars to dolls, to video games, I have always turned to Toys R Us. I remember coming to New York in 2005 from Pakistan and I can recall every detail of my first visit to Toys R Us. I was being told by the salesperson about some new doll that just came out, but I told her I was only interested in collecting Hot Wheels for now and she helped me collect the tiny cars in a basket.
A few years later, I remember hauling out a bright blue bicycle out of those doors, then Lego sets, and then video game consoles. After that, I always accompanied my little brother on trips to the store when he wanted a toy. I honestly think that Toys R Us was a great bonding experience for my brother and me. We would walk through those doors and buy Lego sets, and take them home and build them together brick by brick not having a care in the world.
It's unfortunate that other kids won't get that wide-eyed experience when a child walks into a toy store and sees all their favorite toys on the shelves. That experience cannot be labeled with a price because no matter how old you get that feeling never leaves you. Toys R Us has been there as a celebration of all my childhood memories, whether it be doing well on the state exams, winning the spelling bee, to graduating from elementary school. Each one of those events was celebrated with a trip to Toys R Us. I have baby cousins in Pakistan whom I promised to take to the toy store when they get here, but unfortunately that won't be happening now.
The closing of this store is just one of the many things that are evolving us as a society. Imagine explaining to the future generations the feeling of walking out to a toy store and their blank stares as they ask you "Walk into a toy store? What's the point when I can just log in to Amazon and buy the same thing and save the trip?" But you'll know that it just isn't the same.
So thank you to Toys R Us, for allowing me to experience that magical feeling. Thank you for celebrating my childhood milestones with me. Your closing will leave a huge gap- perhaps like a missing tooth from a child's smile- in many malls. You will be missed deeply. Thank you for allowing me the perfect childhood with my brother.