Nobody can accuse Isaac Larian of not being a “Toys ‘R’ Us Kid.” The billionaire and toy maker of Little Tikes and Bratz dolls brands has been “toying” around with the idea of trying to save Toys “R” Us for some time, but now he has made things official, reports MSN. And he’s got friends.
Larian previously created a GoFundMe campaign in hopes of creating awareness. “Toys ‘R’ Us is on the verge of permanently closing its doors. It feels like the end of an era, with sad headlines spreading across news and social media, BUT there is still time to save this American icon—and you can help,” reads the opening paragraph on GoFundMe. “This GoFundMe campaign is spearheaded by Isaac Larian and various investor associates…Isaac and his associates are devoted to saving the retail chain and preserving the Toys ‘R’ Us experience for future generations.”
The deadline given for the campaign has been set for May 28 in hopes of raising $1 billion. As of today though, almost 2,000 people have contributed $60,000 in the last 22 days in addition to Larian’s own $200 million contribution.
MSN has reported that Larian states that he would pay $675 million to keep the doors of 274 U. S. stores open and $215 million for outlets in Canada. Toys “R” Us has until April 16 to let Larian and other bidders know whether or not their offers will be entertained to be part of an auction. For the various bids to be considered, Toys “R” Us will need to file a proposed form-of-sale agreement.
“Could my dream come true having the possibility of having my two favorite toy stores from my childhood come back,” said Lauren Hansel in a recent Twitter post. “Oh please I hope @isaaclarian bid gets accepted for Toys R Us and @KBtoysstore comes back. Bring life back to the toy industry!!!” Other fans are posting similar sentiments as well.
After falling below expectations last December, Toys “R” Us, which had filed for bankruptcy in September, has been left with no other option but to liquidate until now. The company had said that it planned to close all of its remaining U.S. stores, but last month stated that there were hopes that 200 of those stores could be saved if sold as part of an auction for the Canadian stores.