Sorry Geoffrey, we hope you didn’t get too comfortable in retirement, because there’s a chance that Toys”R”Us is coming back. According to reports from The Wall Street Journal, the beloved toy store may not be so dead and gone as we all thought earlier this year. It looks like the Toys”R”Us we grew up with might be reincarnated as something a little different.
If you’re confused, you aren’t alone. The mega-toy retailer famously closed its doors this summer following a downturn in sales, and eventually bankruptcy. Despite this, Toys”R”Us is still poised to make a comeback—we just don’t know all the details of exactly how or when—but we do have some clues.
Photo: Philip Pessar via Flickr
Instead of going ahead with the previously scheduled bankruptcy auction, the controlling lenders decided not to sell off the retailer’s intellectual property assets. This includes the brand names Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us, along with the image and character of Geoffrey the Giraffe and multiple domain names.
The group of private equity funds that currently owns the controlling stake in the now-closed toy retailer has a re-organization plan in the works. So what would that look like? Reportedly, the hedge fund funders want to re-launch the brand as a toy wholesale business.
But there’s also this curious tidbit as the The Toy Association’s annual Fall Toy Preview gets underway in Dallas, Texas. Geoffrey the Giraffe has been spotted on the trade show floor! Note what’s on his cape: “Back from Vacation.”
But he’s not carrying his previous “Toys”R”Us” mantel, instead attached to a company called “Geoffrey’s Toy Box.” According to The Toy Book, a leading toy trade magazine, the company has been restructured as Geoffrey, LLC.
Richard Barry, executive vice president of global merchandising at Geoffrey LLC, told The Toy Book that Geoffrey’s Toy Box is a new initiative for the re-organized company. Per The Toy Box:
Barry told The Toy Book exclusively that the company will launch a “shop-within-a-shop” concept, called Geoffrey’s Toy Box, with a prominent regional midwest retailer this November. The concept will feature a train of branded Geoffrey’s Toy Box displays.
Hmmm…curiouser and curiouser! For now, we’ll just have to wait and see what’s next for Geoffrey the Giraffe.