When I was growing up, we didn’t have a Toys R Us in Utica. Â But somehow, and it was definitely the devil’s work, we were forced to watch Toys R Us commercials on the TV when we were little, even though we didn’t know how to get to one. Â The place Â looked like heaven. Â All those TOYS, in one building. Â It seemed like Santa’s workshop here on earth, just not in Utica, and with giraffes. Â I remember thinking, “Some day. Â Some day I will walk into this Toys R Us place and I will buy myself a toy.”
(We also never had Carvel Ice Cream. Â And to this day, if I even think about that guy’s voice who narrates those commercials I start to salivate for cookie puss ice cream cakes I’ve never tried.)
Anyway, I go into Toys R Us today to buy some toys for the kids, and I can not believe what a dump that place is. Â It was like, totally depressing. Â The lighting is horrible. Â The toys are all over the place. Â It looks like it hasn’t been renovated since I was 8 years old. Â There’s just no spirit in there. Â It wasn’t even decorated for friggin Christmas.
Maybe they’re taking a hit in this economy and everyone is buying all their stuff at Wal Mart, but still, someone could have put up some lights or something. Â Or maybe swept. Â I’m not sure if they even realize their “R” is backwards.
Anyway, are there any local toy stores, either around Albany or in NYC, that aren’t big chain stores? Â There was a place called the Village Toy Shop in Utica, NY that was so great. Â I wish we had a place like that around here.