Toy market news

Flashback: Newly discovered video goes inside Toys ‘R’ Us circa 1991

If you’re feeling nostalgic for the “old days” of toy retail, a newly unearthed video may just scratch that itch


A mysterious YouTube Channel called btm0815ma has been uploading a massive collection of archival news reports and b-roll for nearly six years. The prolific uploader has nearly 5,000 videos in its library, but it’s a collection of recent videos that have really started turning heads. Just days after digging up some vintage footage from Nintendo of America, CES, and the launches of Playstation 2, Microsoft’s Xbox, and the Nintendo GameCube, a 20-minute reel of raw footage from inside a Manhattan Toys “R” Us location has arrived.

In the clip shot on Nov. 27, 1991 at the Herald Center Toys “R” Us, shoppers can be seen browsing an incredible assortment of early ’90s toys and games from an era where “stack ’em high and watch ’em fly” was still a big part of the retail mantra. The sheer volume of inventory available in a single location is a reminder of how much the business of physical retail has changed in 30 years.

The Toys “R” Us in Herald Center opened in 1990 and remained open for roughly 11 years until Geoffrey moved to a new digs in Times Square. That store was open for nearly 15 years before the company pulled the plug citing rising costs.

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