RIP KB Toys

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With some Christmas cash in my pockets, I had to go out and spend the money today before it got mixed in with my everyday money. Christmas money is not to be spent on things like oatmeal and rent. So along with all the ingrates returning their unwanted, ill-fitting gifts, I hit the malls. Visiting the mall today was a triathlon. The first event was competitive parking, the second was race-walking, and finally, full contact shopping. My main goal was to shop for the last time ever in KB Toys.

KB didn’t necessarily always carry the coolest toys — their business model relied on closeouts and discounted toys. As of 2008, they still carried Kong as one of their main toy lines–like kids today can appreciate a good V-Rex fight. But for a lot of reasons, traditional toy stores are disappearing. Today’s children will recall the three aisles at Wal-Mart as their sanctuary, but I’ll always remember entire stores, stores like Lionel Kiddie City, Toys R Us, and of course, KB.

KB existed in malls and outlet centers. They were an oasis at the outlets. For the price of behaving good while your mom looked in all the boring clothes and purse stores, you were guaranteed a stop in the KB. At the malls, KB had a marvelous table display full of yippy, dancey, chatty, buzzy toys. They drew you in, whether you were 5, 15, or 50. They went Arf arf arf FLIP Arf arf arf FLIP. There’s my textual impression of how those things work.

My main shopping goal was to see what was left of KB Toys. It was the dregs. The arfing, buzzing toys were gone. Balls of hay blew in the aisles. WARNING, the following photo is graphic.

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As you can see, the KB was a bit, erm–picked over. This surprised me, as I was just in there last week and they still looked like a real store. A lot of depressing toys were left–Star Wars figures that had 9 seconds in the films, whom only the nerdiest could name, 45 lb boxes of Smarties, generic-looking Godzillas, LED baseball games, and parcheesi boardgames. Oh yeah, and there was a 6 pack of plastic onions. That was the most depressing toy I’ve ever seen in my life. 6 plastic onions. It made me want to slash my wrists.

Despite the fallout, I managed to grab a couple of fun things that didn’t make me feel too guilty. See I didn’t want to nab the last Optimus Prime at $4 when some kid could get that toy. Not that there were any Optimus Primes. Not that there were any Transformers. But you get my gist. I chose these toys carefully–this was the last time ever I’d shop in KB Toys. Sucky cell phone pictures, my photographer’s on vacation.

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In this photo:

1) Got some Mad Balls for $1.79 each. Mad Balls were originally born in the 80s and they came out again this year or last year. I hope that today’s kids can appreciate bulge-eyed balls that are slobbing, braining, and barfing all over themselves. They’re fun to throw and … well, throw. Throwing is fun.

2) A Sega Master System/Game Gear plug-n-play. The game list is pretty awesome. It has 4 Sonic games, the Alex Kidd games, the Sega version of Tetris, a mini-golf game, and about 10 others. Got it for $16.

3) Motherfuckin’ MAGIC ROCKS for $3.99. Those are not just an entire blog post–they are an entire date, event, and maybe even a New Years Eve centerpiece. Something like, oh, SURFING PIZZA’s New Years Extravaganza with the MOTHERFUCKIN’ MAGIC ROCKS. I could “live blog” it, updating on their growth every ten minutes. Can you picture it? I can.

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Here is R2D2 and a 1962 Lincoln Continental Convertible. In the backseat is R2’s assload of guns that he came with. They’re making a pit stop in the desert where Linda Hamilton stashed an assload of artillery for Judgement Day. Why does this adorable little R2D2 come with an assload of guns? But also, why did the model 1962 Lincoln come with a teepee and cactus? The packaging calls it a “bonus prime diorama.” It charmed the pants off of me and I bought it just for that awesome little teepee. R2 and his assload was $5, the car and diorama was $1.66.

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Bullet Bill from Mario Bros and UNO! $1.79 and $3.50 respectively.

And finally I bought a small car called a “Stunt Racer”. The packaging claims it can do wheelies, gyros, and perhaps it takes flight as well. I couldn’t get it to do anything except drive backwards. The packaging also boasts that “no walls can stop it,” but if you’ll watch the video, you’ll see the wall stopped it just fine.

The packaging says nothing about GIANT ATTACK CAT.

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4 responses to “RIP KB Toys

  1. your blog is going to make me fat. Not because it’s called Surfing Pizza…but due to the fact that it’s making me want to sit around, completely lazy, and just read your posts.

    I was pumped to read that you mentioned Lionel Kiddie City. I loved that store more than Toys R Us if you could imagine that. They always offered obscure toys you couldn’t find elsewhere and with my meager allowance I was able to pick up a shitload of cool junk.

    I’m crazy jealous of your sega plug and play. Admittedly, I was a Sega kid. I never owned a Nintendo system of any kind. Not NES, Super NES or Wii. No joke. I had SMS, Genesis, and Game Gear. I also wore British Knights and Reebok high top pumps. I’ve matured I guess and now I own PS3 and wear Nikes. lol.

    I’ve always despised that KB table that attracted all kinds of crowds as if there were miniature break dancers putting on a show on the table. I never wanted any of that crap. I zoomed past it just to get back to the aisle of Action Figures and playsets.

  2. Oh yes, I want to see the live Magic Rocks post. And it would make a great centerpiece. Or shrine.

  3. Greate article. Keep writing such kind of info on your site.
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