In March, after 70 years of business, Toys R Us announced it's closing its giant sliding doors. But the fun didn't stop for one Toys R Us location. As it was revealed this week, one abandoned store soon became "Raves R Us" for a cheeky group of partygoers in the Hounslow borough of West London. The dance-loving opportunists saw their moment to seize a giant Toys R Us for their own bidding, but it was a short-lived opportunity.
As the story goes, five people were arrested on March 31st for trying to preserve the fun-loving integrity of Toys R Us by holding a massive, nightclub-esque store-wide rave. There's no word on whether or not Geoffrey the Giraffe was invited to the shindig. As it was reported in Variety, the former toy providing retailer, located at Hounslow's Bull's Bridge Industrial Estate, was going to host a "massive Easter weekend rave" before the cops got involved. The officers confiscated a sound system found inside the cleared-out store. The police authorities also alerted the public that all attendees and ticket holders for the event would be swiftly turned away. The would-be partygoers also didn't do a tremendous job of hiding their intentions for the weekend. As you can see below, the rave planners were quick to change the store's name to fit their new endeavors.
C'mon guys. The "R" should be backward! Were these rave-loving party people merely fun-seekers looking to score the perfect party, or were they inconsiderate hooligans who vandalized and (tried to) tarnish the once-proud child-first integrity of Toys R Us? That's for the court (and, subsequently, the court of public opinion) to decide later on. For now, though, it appears the short-lived legacy of Raves R Us is Raves No More, just like the store.
Toys R Us has been struggling to keep up with the 21st century, particularly with the rise of Amazon. In September, the retailer declared bankruptcy. Then in March, Toys R Us finally announced it was closing and selling most of its 735 locations in both the U.S. and UK. Once a harbor of child excitement and giddiness, Toys R Us hasn't captured the same excitement and imagination in the new millennium. Nevertheless, for many nostalgic people who grew up with a local Toys R Us location nearby, it was the end of an era. And it'll be strange to imagine a world without Toys R Us stores all over the place. But for these rave enthusiasts, they wanted to keep the party going. But just like the store itself, it was shut down. Still, they are both gone but not yet forgotten.
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Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
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