Back from the Dead: Toys ‘R Us Partners With Entertainment Earth to “Resurrect” Dwindling Market Share Among Toy Fans and Collectors

DC Direct’s new deluxe Sgt. Rock action figure is a full 1:6 scale’s worth of “Fightin’ Fury!” (Photo: ToysRUs)

Have you been inside a Toys ‘R Us (TRU) store lately? YAWN…

Probably not. If you don’t need any diapers, strollers or wooden toys for 2-year olds, there’s often little reason to visit. Over the last couple of years, the venerable toy chain has grown decidedly DULL for many collectors. Its once large inventory of toys is noticeably reduced and the total amount of floor space devoted to baby-related items has grown dramatically (aka “Babys ‘R Us). But don’t give up hope yet, toy fans…

There are now some indications that Toys ‘R Us is at least TRYING to come “back from the dead.” First…

Recent news of a partnership with the good folks at Entertainment Earth (EE) has perked up many a collector’s ears. The two mega-retailers have high hopes their new agreement will light a fire under today’s tepid toy market, starting with the sale of three new “deluxe” action figures from DC Direct and Dragon: Sgt. Rock, Captain Picard and Lieutenant Data. In an official press release, Toys ‘R Us excitedly announced the new agreement stating…

Dragon’s new 1:6 scale Captain Picard action figure is about as realistic as you can get.
(Photo: ToysRUs)

“Toys ‘R Us has partnered with Entertainment Earth! Toys ‘R Us acknowledges the true value collectors prize in rare items that ultimately add worth to a collection. Therefore, as a tribute to each of our collectors, Toys ‘R Us presents a unique partnership with Entertainment Earth®, Inc. to provide you with the ultimate collector assortment.

This will include the newest, hard-to-find, and limited edition action figures, dolls, statues, bobble heads, novelty collectibles and more. Together, we’ll now offer thousands of collector items along with a “Mint Condition Guarantee™” on all Entertainment Earth items purchased on toysrus.com.

Dragon’s Data even comes with his cat. Meow!
(Photo: Toys’RUs)

Much like Toys ‘R Us, Entertainment Earth is a worldwide multi-channel retailer. Since 1996, they have been a leader in the collector market, shipping millions of collectibles to thrilled collectors around the world.”

Entertainment Earth has indeed shown itself to be a major mover of merchandise, and its partnership with TRU is sure to benefit both companies. However, it’s also a sad truth that with the rise of the internet, many collectors simply no longer feel the need to visit actual Toys ‘R Us stores. What the future ultimately holds for these companies and toy retailing in general remains to be seen.

For now however, with its new offering of “deluxe” EE action figures and offers of free shipping, TRU hopes to woo collectors to its own website and back into their stores. Let’s hope this new partnership strategy works out and proves beneficial for all involved (especially collectors).

In this superb photo of the 1:6 scale Can Am by New Bright, Astro Dan has added a waterslide decal from Patches of Pride and a tough-looking fuzzhead rider. Looks like that Joe was “Born to Ride!” Vrrooom! (Photo: Astro Dan)

And in Related News…

1:6 Scale RC Vehicles Spotted at Toys ‘R Us!

I was inside a Toys ‘R Us store myself just yesterday, “doing research” for this article, when I spied two exciting RC vehicles in 1:6 scale: the 2011 3-wheel Can Am by New Bright ($99) and a new yellow, big-wheeled Mustang ($99). Of course, we’re all familiar with the hugely popular Can Am (see photo at right by Astro Dan). You can easily remove its plastic figure and put a Joe on in its place. Just make sure your Joe’s got Kung-Fu Grip so he can hold on tight. See the Can Am demonstrated in an short, entertaining video HERE.

This new 1:6 scale Mustang would make a great addition to any Adventure Team. (Photo: ToysRUs)

As to the Mustang, its doors are fused shut and you couldn’t put a Joe in it without serious modifications, but it’s loaded with nice details, available in yellow and those stickers should come right off (I THINK) if so desired. The ‘Stang is also available from the TRU website HERE, but I think the Can Am is now an “in-store only” item (since it was originally released last year). What I spotted may in fact be just some NOS (new, old stock) that has only now put out on display. It’s hard to say. Either way, I was excited to see some 1:6 scale RC vehicles back in a TRU store.

One final thing…Don’t confuse the 1:6 scale Can Am ($99) with its 1:10 scale version ($69). They look very similar, but the 1:10 size is too small for 12″ figures (possibly okay for Kid Action). 

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4 thoughts on “Back from the Dead: Toys ‘R Us Partners With Entertainment Earth to “Resurrect” Dwindling Market Share Among Toy Fans and Collectors

  1. James says:

    Don’t forget that TRU is also the only mass-market retailer to be carrying the new Captain Action line, giving collectors yet another reason to go there!

    James

  2. Newt says:

    EE and TRU have been teaming up for a while, at least a year or more as TRU continues to try and evolve. They used to have a partnership with someone else too, which is how oddball figures from the 80’s started showing up at their website, but they tended to be overpriced “collectors” items.

  3. Paulo Duarte says:

    Lucky you guys in he US !!!! … here in Portugal, we have no 1/6 Action Figures available in Toys’R Us :(((

  4. kneonknight says:

    Just a quick note-the 1/10 scale Can Am is perfect for 8″ figures like the vintage Mego Action Jackson and Superheroes.

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