5 toy stores that aren’t around anymore

Selling toys isn’t all fun and games.

The advent of e-commerce and changing consumer preferences have ensured that the business is as twisty and full of pitfalls as a game of “Chutes and Ladders.”

Read more: ‘Stranger Things” new season features a slew of iconic stores that no longer exist

Certain retailers like FAO Schwarz or Toys R Us have doubled down on running a single flagship store or promised a comeback, respectively. So it’s no surprise that some toy-store chains just didn’t survive.

Here’s a look at a few toy stores that aren’t around anymore:


Zany Brainy came onto the toy scene in 1991. The company lasted for a decade before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the wake of slow sales.

Source: CNN


The Lionel Corporation was on the right track for decades, opening in 1900 and chugging along until the ’90s. The company owned a number of toy store chains, including Lionel Playworld, Lionel Kiddie City, and Lionel Toy City. The company liquidated in 1993.

Source: The New York Times


K·B Toys, also called Kay Bee Toys, first launched back in 1922 as a candy store chain. After WWII, the retailer pivoted to toys. The company shuttered in 2009, but it toyed with and later abandoned the idea of launching a second life as a pop-up-based chain in 2019.

Source: Comic Book, The Los Angeles Times


Founded in 1964, Circus World packed up its tent for good in 1996, thanks to a merger with K·B Toys.

Source: Me TV


Founded in 1962, Child World fell into debt over the decades. Its financial struggles ended in 1992, when the company filed for Chapter 11.

caption
A shot from a 1980 Child World commercial.
source
commercial classics 1975 – 1985/Youtube

Source: The New York Times

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