Monday, December 01, 2008

Retro Toys "R" Us Round-Up

It's been too long since we've featured a Toys "R" Us related update, and thanks to plenty of badgering by our own reader Jonah Norason, a regular who always provides worthwhile feedback in our mall sphere, he provides us with his own array of photos captured from a vintage store still out in Waco, Texas, which appears to resemble one such store in Horseheads, New York and a now (still?) vacant one in Battle Creek, Michigan.


WACO, TEXAS: STILL FEATURES RAINBOW-STRIPED CURTAIN MOTIF, RETAINS JEOFFREY SIGN; AN ENDANGERED SPECIES (IMAGES: J.NORAHSON)

The Caldor Rainbow knows of most of the vintage-looking, left-behind, or unremodeled stores left in the country in large part to our own research and on-site of Ames Fan Club board member Daniel Fife, who'se just about raided the entire eastcoast in confirmation of these stores. This year, we've visited one such location in Boardman, Ohio and have no updates regarding other stores we've since exposed here including Horseheads, NY; Clay, NY and Woburn, MA. We've also got a superb set of shots submitted by Steven Swain, another friend of ours, whose taken shots direct from the Roanoke, Virginia store.




ROANOKE, VA; FEBRUARY 2008 (IMAGES: S. SWAIN)




BOARDMAN (YOUNGSTOWN), OHIO; MARCH 2008




SAINT CLAIRSVILLE, OHIO; MARCH 2008




WOBURN, MA; MARCH 2008

LIST OF KNOWN VESTIGIAL OR RETRO STORES
Below is a compiled list of stores we know of that still feature original build date design elements, though some may be painted over, signs and other features removed or replaced.
NEW YORK
CLAY
HORSEHEADS Stripes repainted white

MASSACHUSETTS
WOBURN Stripes repainted blue

MAINE
BANGOR Stripes, roof repainted white

OHIO
EUCLID (MIXED USE; STILL VACANT)
BOARDMAN Original; removed Jeoffrey
SAINT CLAIRSVILLE Stripes repainted white

CALIFORNIA
ANAHEIM (VACANT)
ONTARIO A real oldie! Roof repainted white, stripes removed
RICHMOND (VACANT) Stripes removed; roof repainted white, then green

MARYLAND
CATONSVILLE Stripes, roof repainted white

INDIANA
INDIANAPOLIS / 4575 W 38th St. (VACANT) Stripes removed
LAFAYETTE Original though roof ripples removed

ILLINOIS
BLOOMINGTON Stripes repainted white
MOLINE Stripes repainted white, signage updated to "Concept 2000"

IOWA
CEDAR RAPIDS Stripes repainted white

IDAHO
BOISE Roof repainted red, removed ripples

MICHIGAN
GRAND RAPIDS
BATTLE CREEK (VACANT)
PORTAGE/KALAMAZOO Stripes repainted blue

KENTUCKY
BOWLING GREEN Rainbow stripes removed

TENNESSEE
KNOXVILLE

ALABAMA
MONTGOMERY

FLORIDA
BRADENTON Stripes repainted white, roof repainted blue
GAINESVILLE Stripes repainted white
TALLAHASSEE
ORANGE Roof repainted gray, stripes repainted white

NORTH CAROLINA
WILMINGTON
DURHAM Stripes removed

GEORGIA
SAVANNAH (RECENTLY RELOCATED, NOW VACANT)

TEXAS
WACO

VIRGINIA
ROANOKE Stripes repainted blue

WASHINGTON
SPRINGDALE Roof repainted blue, stripes repainted white
If you have an update or one we've forgotten, please inform us.

Hey, You! We like on-site photography here and since our resources limit us from traveling halfway across the country, you'd be swell to lend us your digital eye for The Caldor Rainbow and its audience. Just enter any information about old-school Toys "R" Us stores -- we've become synonymous with any information and, of course, the best images out there.

If you missed our report on the now twenty-year, classic Clay store, see it here. Look at my personal collection, a gallery of stores on Flickr. And of course, tons of user submitted pictures on the Ames Fan Club forums.

17 comments:

Kendra said...

Fantastic photos! Love that old-school Toys R Us style, I wish they all still looked like that. Nice post.

Jonah Norason said...

Wow, my pictures are finally up! The Waco Toys R Us was actually an accident...I was driving to a funeral in Waco...and I saw the familiar brown roof and multi-colored striping. It was quite a find.

GeorgeL said...

How was the inside of waco? Someone needs to start taking pics of the inside of these old gems before they are gone for good!

thanks for the great exterior shots too!

Nicholas M. DiMaio said...

George,

I failed to even think about asking about interior pictures though someone informed me the interior had splits between the TRU and KRU. Believe you me, I wish I could get down to Waco to get a full account of this gem (as with Montgomery, AL).

For the record, if anyone wants to see an amazing interior Toys R Us, check out the Horseheads, NY store or see the pictures on my Flickr. The walls were classically rainbow painted in accordance with TRU and the late Kids R Us with signage in and out!

If anyone can confirm or update if they've updated the interior decor as I've not seen it since January 2007.

Jonah Norason said...

I wasn't really able to go into the Waco Toys R Us...the people in the car with me needed to go home too. Ideally, I would've stayed there. Since Waco is only a few hours away, I should go there and take follow-up pics eventually. :P

Anonymous said...

I actually live 3 minutes from the Woburn, Ma one, let me know if you want any other pics! It is actually next to an abandoned store, Boston Bed and Bath which has been vacant since the late 90's. It is odd, considering the rest of the plaza is thriving, with a new Whole Foods, upscale restaurant, and many other stores.

Nicole Nanciel8@gmail.com

Justin Hill (Sponge1987/ShopKoFan) said...

You misspelled the name of the giraffe. Change the "J" to a "G"
His name is Geoffrey.

Anonymous said...

Ok find me more brown Toys r us! its me Dan Fife. I saw the one in WAco last week and I saw one in DAllas that had a left behind look, but the roof was cheaply repainted blue but the old roof is there and the rainbows are off, but it has the glass exit!!

I want to find more Brown Toys r us! I went to one in Grand RApids MI last summer and a manager there told me there are 75 stores like theirs and they did not make the new standard, I WANT OT FIND THEM!!!!!

Peter said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
daniel said...

its a sad day for REtro Toys r us', the Toys r us in Woburn will be remodeled to become a Toys r us Babies r us hybrid

Mark said...

I'm saddened that the Woburn store is getting remodeled it was one of the last brown roofed Toys R Us in the area!

Glad I got pics of it before it was remodeled.

Anonymous said...

I saw one near Carlsbad, CA with the brown roof and green "R". No rainbow stripes though :(.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
daniel said...

http://dodgeprojects.construction.com/Toys-r-Us-Babies-r-Us--SBS-Conversion---Bloomington-IL--Demolition---Illinois_stcVVproductId130795704VVcatId546395VVviewprod.htm

Noah said...

The store in Shoppers World, Framingham could be considered old. It isn't the classic scaffold look-it is in the "White, Bright, and Tiled" look with "Concept 2000" signage. The "Kids R Us" logo is on a truck here, meaning that there was a Kids R Us here too. When I got a book that has to do with Pokemon in some way, I noticed they still had the "R Us" license tag hanging in there.

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Anonymous said...

in Miami on 163rd Street is another old style, tho its in awful shape