I like to say I grew up before kids were special.
That's not true, I just grew up before people had access to social media to tell everyone why their kid is special.
When I was a kid, there was one type of Barbie. She was tall, skinny, and pink and nobody thought anything of it. Now, there are Barbies of all genders, races, and body types.
Toys "R" Us is officially closing all of their locations, as well as the door on a generational childhood. Millennials grew up in a time where Geoffrey the Giraffe was a household name and face, and Toys "R" Us was at the top of its game with its brand being more popular, bigger, and brighter than it ever had been...and ever would be.
Childhood is dying with us. While we had TV and Pajama Sam computer games, we also played outside and knew who Fisher-Price was. He was a member of the family and present at every playtime. Kids today have access to technology at ages as young as two- or three-years-old, and often know how to unlock an iPad by toddlerhood.
First, it was eliminating lead paint, and then it was glass baby bottles. The more people became aware of the dangers of childhood, the more they eliminated it. The more limited our colorful, plastic, Fisher-Price worlds became. Technology can fix all those problems; you can come up with alternate materials. But just like everything else, childhood is turning virtual. We are past the age of action figures, dolls, and dream houses and onto the age of a fourth "Angry Birds" movie, with a few stuffed animals thrown in to go with the franchise.
Toys "R" Us is a company that was unfortunately late on the retail aspect and has been beat out in recent years by companies like Target and Walmart. How do you compete with companies that carry merchandise such as toys and dolls that have a trend expiration date, but they sell countless other types of merchandise? How do you also compete with companies who have everything you could ever want at your doorstep in two days without you ever leaving your house? How do you compete with Amazon?
Just like the secret to remaining a child forever and preserving youth, the answer is simple: You don’t.