Friday, December 12, 2008

Requiem for a Toy Store

It is a sad day in The Middle Room and beyond it, too. If buildings had tear ducts, we suspect every mall in America would shed a tear.

After a long and painful battle with financial troubles, KB Toys has finally succumbed to unfavorable market conditions. On December 11, 2008, KB Toys slipped into bankruptcy. An analysis of the sales revealed that there was no hope - the retail chain would never recover. A decision was made to pull the plug: all KB Toy Stores are now set to close after liquidating their inventory.

It is with a heavy heart that we dedicate today's toy review in memory of KB.

Rather than dwell on the tragedy, we thought we would share our memories of KB Toys. Many times we have stepped into a mall in hopes there was a KB within. We have visited KB Toy Works whenever we've had the chance; delighted in their discount prices and aisles of forgotten toys.

Yes, a stop in a KB Toys or a Toy Works was like a trip through time: their shelves housing action figures and play sets from years past. Toys R Us and Walmart may be better locations for finding new releases, but KB... ah, a visit to KB was like a visit home.

As we look around The Middle Room we see memento after memento purchased at KB Toys. The Ghost In The Shell figure from McFarlane Toys: that we found at a KB in western Massachusetts for less than two dollars. In a Toy Works on the east side of the same state, we found three of our Kingdom Come action figures. The Pigs In Space play set was found at a Toy Works in New Hampshire - for twelve dollars, including First Mate Piggy. We bought a Wolverine action figure at a KB Toys located in Maryland. And right here in New York, we found a pair of "What's Opera, Doc?" figures, produced by DC Direct and being sold for six dollars each.

Truly, we could go on. Whenever we've sought out collectible figures, no matter where we were, KB was there for us, waiting in a mall or nestled in an outlet village. We have many fond memories of KB, and it is these we should cling to in our time of grief.

In times like these, we need to remind ourselves that it is not the building that matters, nor the sign in the front. What truly matters is what's inside, and that, dear reader, is the assortment of toys and games.

And these, we know, are now in a better place:


KB Toys/KB Toy Works
1922 - 2008/2009

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