Toys R Us was a giant children's toy franchise that stuck around for 70+ years and things were looking solid, but looking back with 20/20 hindsight it's easy to see why the company went bust. Useless management, rude employees, failure to adapt to modern times, and severely underpaid and overworked staff all contributed to the fall of this toy titan.
As we’ll learn in this article, they weren't faultless - from thousands and thousands of toy recalls due to safety concerns and health hazard concerns, to employees hiding merchandise - we can all agree that sometimes they were a nightmare. There were mixed feelings among their customers when they declared bankruptcy, and it's anyone's guess what the resurrection of the toy giant will have in store. Let's look at 20 Toys R Us fails that probably got someone fired.
20 Questionable Teething Tablets
Heard of the teething nightmare? It causes your toddler extreme discomfort but with options like teething tablets available your baby is offered relief right? Wrong... Hyland’s Homeopathic Teething Tablets were recalled from retailers, including Toys R Us for containing confirmed amounts of belladonna alkaloids inconsistent with the product’s labeling.
19 Nobody Likes A Crispy Baby
When your baby is fussy the only thing that helps calm them sometimes is rocking them. Soft, rocking motions may lull babies asleep. And that was supposed to be the purpose of the Fisher-Price Soothing Motion Seats sold at Toys R Us. However, about 63,000 seats were recalled after reports of the product overheating and one report of a fire.
18 Unstable Drawers Traps Kids
The South Shore 5 Drawer Sets were recalled because the chests were unstable if not anchored to the wall, posing serious tip-over and entrapment hazards that can result in death or injuries to children. If the chest were to fall over and land on a child, this could result in severe injury or worse. The last thing any parent needs is a chest of drawers that don't meet safety regulations.
17 Let's Do Some Damage!
There are plenty of stories on review sites of customers who bought toys for Christmas or birthdays which naturally means in some instances it would be a couple of weeks before the gifts were opened. It was later revealed that the toys were defective upon opening them and Toys R Us refused to replace the defective toys.
16 Bowls Of Fury
Toys R Us recalled Playtex Bowls and Plates, stating that ''the clear plastic layer over the graphics can peel or bubble from the surface of the plates and bowls, posing a choking hazard to young children." There were 372 reports of the clear plastic layer over the graphics bubbling or peeling, 11 reports of pieces of the detached clear plastic found in children’s mouths, and four reports of choking.
15 Employees Setting Products Aside For Themselves
Have you ever gone to a store in a mad dash to grab something only to be informed it's out of stock? It's extremely annoying. It is alleged that some Toys R Us employees hoard certain items for themselves to purchase later— abhorrent behavior from such a renowned toy titan.
14 Choke On That Toast
It's adorable when kids play house with their toys and every parent's expectation is that the toys are safe. That wasn't the case with the Toy Toaster Sets sold at Toys R Us. The toasters themselves were safe, but the plastic slice of toast the set came with were feared to crack and break into small pieces under pressure, creating sharp edges and posing a serious choking hazard for children.
13 Sorry, Pay A Little Bit More
There have been ''wrong pricing'' customer complaints at some Toys R Us stores. Imagine having an item scanned at check out, only to find out its a couple hundred more than what the price tag indicated. This inefficiency is a clear indicator that someone did not do their job correctly.
12 Moldy Clay Craft Kits
The Totally Me Clay craft kits were recalled after 3 reports of mold were made. Approximately 6000 units were sold across Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores. Mold poses respiratory risks and infections to people who have "compromised" immune systems, lung damage or a mold allergy. The last thing any parent wants is to put their child's life at risk, yikes.
11 The Management Who Ran The Company To The Ground
After 70 years of being a titan of toy retail, Toys “R” Us announced it would be closing up shop for good. The announcement came after they had filed for bankruptcy. This was due to management's failure to embrace the community in the age of e-commerce. Consumers today willingly pay more for and invest in, trusted community relationships, where they receive better service.
10 Toys R Us Ruined Christmas... What A Grinch
There are several complaints of how Toys R Us ruined Christmas by mixing up customer orders. Late deliveries and system glitches that canceled orders without the customer's knowledge. Way to ruin Christmas and disappoint a bunch of children come Christmas morning. What a horrible way to break a kid's heart - we definitely hope the responsible parties were held accountable!
9 Pack Of Thieves!
Unhappy with your purchase and looking to get a refund? Well, good luck with that. Trying to get a refund from the store was like pulling teeth if at all you even got your money back. This behavior was totally acceptable and became something you'd normally expect from the toy giant.
8 The Worst Customer Service Ever
From customer service reps blatantly lying to customers to customers being kept on hold for 45 minutes to an hour before being connected to a supervisor, Toys R Us is one of the worst-reviewed companies when it comes to customer service. How rude can you be? This is not how you treat paying customers and theses employees needed a course in customer service and human decency.
7 Massive Recall Due To Choking Hazard
Toys R Us(and Babies R Us) recalled nearly 30,000 wiggle balls that could have posed a serious choking hazard for infants and children. No deaths were reported, but there were six reports received of rubber knobs breaking off, including four reports of pieces of product found in children’s mouths. Not cool.
6 Long Fingered Employees
After a string of thefts at one of the stores, an asset protection manager for Toys R Us launched an investigation. He later found a seller’s account on eBay that had been selling new toys, some of which were labeled as Toys R Us exclusives. An employee at a store in Virginia stole nearly 3,000 toys before flipping them on eBay for nearly $123,000, authorities said.
5 Deadly Booster Car Seats
While not all booster car seats were recalled— only the model with "an increased risk of a chest injury in the event of a crash" when the seat is used with a lap belt was— it's still worrisome. There are many different models of these car seats, and a total of seven different types were recalled.
4 And The Silence Lingered On
When you encounter a problem or are unhappy with your purchase, naturally you launch a complaint and expect feedback from the store. This is usually the case with many retailers, but Toys R Us doesn't generally see the need to get back to you as one customer stated. The radio silence on the store's end proves this.
3 Lies And Deceit
There should be a law against advertising items that are listed as "unavailable" on websites. If you complained about this, Toys R Us would issue you with their terms and conditions which stated in part, ''The inclusion of any products or services on this Web Site at a particular time does not imply or warrant that these products or services will be available at any time." What a scummy workaround.
2 Rude Managers
Berating employees on the sales floor does not reflect well on the store, there has got to be a procedure for handling these kinds of things in a professional manner. Reports of managers from 2 different Toys R Us stores talking down to staff in full view of customers made us wonder how they were able to get away with this.
1 Laceration Hazard Toys
The Lamaze Max Munching Toy was recalled because there were apparently parts inside the toy that could break off, creating a sharp point that can penetrate the surface of the toy, posing a laceration hazard. Toys R Us sold 9,300 units of this item in the US before it was recalled. The item was then replaced for each customer when the problem was resolved.