Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Toys R Us Humble Texas evolution

Now for yet another Toys R Us post, seeing this store close was very sad. This Toys R Us store opened in either 1983 or 1984, and my first visit here was in 1986. 

How the store looked in 2010, the good years.

Post Harvey, the short lived Geoffrey's Big Box of Toys. After the store was gutted out completely, this clearance store opened up for the Christmas season of 2017. About a fifth of the store was used for this pop-up store. The rest of the store was blocked off by peg board walls.

I visited during the last 3 days of the sale. Only a couple of racks and some stuff by the counter remained. Only the center area of the store near the main entrance was used for the temporary store. 

The enclosed area had been filled with racks.

Store closing signage.

Photo during the renovation into the post Harvey Toys R Us, just before the liquidation sales were announced. The Toys R Us was going to reopen later in 2018, but that never came to pass. 

After the Toys R Us liquidation was announced, all of the equipment was removed. A few weeks later the fencing was removed. 

And added bonus, the Toys R Us display at Kroger in 2018. Once the Toys R Us name was purchased, an agreement to place these Toys R Us branded displays in some Kroger stores was made. As we know Toys R Us made a small comeback in 2019. You can click here and see my visits to the Houston location of the short lived Toys R Us reboot.

Spring 2019
After seeing the building sitting for over a year now, we decided to take an up close look. We were able to see inside of the building without glare just before the sun set that evening.

Crews were out here at the site for well over a month before the liquidation was announced. They didn't get much done at all. From what I could tell all that they did was strip the foyer area of the Toys R Us side and entryway of the Babies R Us side. I guess they had a feeling that the job was going to get cut short with the bankruptcy of Toys R Us and uncertain future of the company in early 2018.

In early 2021 redevelopment of the building into Bel Furniture. 

And finally the conversion is complete. Toys R Us has been completely wiped away. The Bel Furniture road sign was put up about 2 months after the store opened.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Ollie's inside of former Toys R Us Waco October 2021

Here is the second installment of the Ollie's inside of a former Toys R Us. To see what this store looked like prior to the conversion to Ollie's click here. Besides the entryway and exterior shapes, this location has been renovated to remove most of the Toys R Us elements of the past. 

This was the Kids R Us side of the store near the entrance.

The light fixtures are mostly the same with some minor changes throughout the store.

More views of the store, looking at the checkout area.

As you can see, the signage above the checkouts were removed. The checkout counters don't appear to be the ones used in the former Toys R Us but I could be wrong.

The office area looks like it was the video game pickup counter. The office walls have been extended to the ceiling. 

More views of the store.

This sanitizer was probably easily mistaken for alcohol. I remember this stuff was one of the first brands to show up after the initial Covid-19 run on hand sanitizer. This stuff was very tough on hands and was basically pure liquid alcohol. 

Could you tell the difference if this was placed in your liquor cabinet?

More views of the store, here is the entrance.

Another view of the front area near the checkouts.

The most recognizable part of the store from the Toys R Us days, the entry and exit hallway.

All in all, this was a disappointing redevelopment. While I am glad that Ollie's is keeping the site active, so many vintage Toys R Us fixtures were removed that could have been used. This was one of the few locations Toys R Us did not remodel in the 90's or 2000's so it is a shame to see it like this now. 

More to come on the blog, stay tuned.