♫ I don't wanna grow up, because if I did... I wouldn't be a Toys "R" Us kid! ♫

Everyone's favorite toy-peddling giraffe is set to make a return to the retail landscape this holiday season! But will it come back to New Hartford?

For a kid in the '80s and '90s, Toys "R" Us was Mecca. Me, I always made a bee-line to the action figure section, to see if I could fulfill my destiny of "collecting them all." If we're talking about Ghostbusters, Ninja Turtles or WWF Wrestlers, I came pretty close.

Then there was the strange, yet satisfying procedure of buying a video game. There was a "wall" of selections, but the physical game was locked in a cage. You had to grab the paper "voucher" from the sleeve, then bring it to the gatekeeper, who kept all those precious items behind lock and key. There was definitely a finite number of vouchers. Good luck getting Super Mario Bros. 3 for Christmas in 1988.

Nick Crocco on YouTube
Nick Crocco on YouTube
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But sadly, it doesn't look as if Toys "R" Us will return to New Hartford. The 2022 version of Toys "R" Us will exist in a different form... as a pop-up store inside existing Macy's department stores.

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The Macy's in Sangertown Square closed in spring of 2021. And the old Toys "R" Us building on Commercial Drive is now home to Planet Fitness and All Season Outfitters.

DESTINY USA

The good news, however, is that you won't have to drive too far to get your toy rush. There's still a functioning Macy's inside Destiny USA in Syracuse, and they are tentatively set to house the pop-up Toys "R" Us sometime this fall in time for your Christmas shopping.

 

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We all have memories of those great little five and dime stores and general stores of our youth. They were the heartbeat of our communities. They sold just about everything, you could get a pretty good meal in most of them, and of course the showstopper was always the rows of penny candies. Upstate still has plenty of these stores around (some of them 100, 150, 170 years old!). Here is a list to start you on your trip back to the general stores of your youth. They are all great!