Toys R Us is closing...not just in Rochester, but everywhere. A lot of memories are tied to our toys, and to our visits to Toys R Us. Watching Doug, Arthur, Animaniacs, Spongebob, Sabrina the Teenage Witch...or whatever show you liked...you saw so many commercials. And one KB Toys was out of the Apache Mall, you had no store dedicated to toys. Then TRU moved in, and there were toys EVERYWHERE! For me, at least, I swear it was like walking into a palace of gold.

I was a kid, needed to have some stuff done at Children's Hospital in Detroit. Some would say there's a downside to going to the hospital, but for me, it was all upside! I lived in Northern Michigan. It was 6 hours to Detroit. Detroit, the only city I KNEW had a Toys R Us (I saw the commercials!).

My mom said if I was good the whole stay, she'd take me there...and I could have $10 to spend on ANYTHING! Well, I knew what I wanted. A Merlin! Watch the commercial above, it's a flippin' computer and played NINE GAMES! Do you hear me, nine games! I would have hours and hours and years and decades of fun!

Pavel Losevsky NOT A PICTURE OF JAMES RABE

So, I was on my best behavior, didn't fuss much (or so I remember...I'm sure I was a great kid) and she took me to Toys R Us. I promise, it gleamed. Geoffrey was there and I was kinda scared of him. I mean, would he really stick his neck out for me? ((rimshot))

I must have spent an hour in there. Maybe two. My mom was super patient, which wasn't always the case, you know? But this time I looked and touched and couldn't believe how many toys there were. And I knew 'em all because...commercials! I even looked at all the girl's toys. I'm sure the clerk had never seen anything like it. My eyes kept blinking hard, my heart was beating so fast.

What a great memory. The magic of childhood, the innocence, the silliness.

In sad news, I think I left the Merlin outside in April and it got snowed on.

Listen to James Rabe in the mornings from 6a to 10a on Y-105 FM.

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