Unearthed Video Captures The Experience Of Shopping At Toys 'R' Us In The Early '90s

Remember this paper tag nonsense? Those were the days.
Remember this paper tag nonsense? Those were the days.
Screenshot: btm0815ma / YouTube

Remember going to Toys ‘R’ Us as a kid? Perhaps this 20-minute collection of raw footage from a November 1991 store visit will refresh your memory. Journey with me back to the days when we bought video games with slips of paper and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had their own dedicated aisle.

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Uploaded earlier this week from the same YouTube account that gave us a peek into early ‘90s Nintendo, this video is like a window to a simpler time. The footage, shot inside a New York City TRU location, show folks with bad haircuts but far fewer worries than we have, as they go about their day-before-Thanksgiving shopping.

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It’s just an empty shell now. The city, I mean.
Screenshot: btm0815ma / YouTube

Gaze upon shelves filled with Cabbage Patch dolls, which just a few years earlier would have caused a riot due to demand and scarcity. I can almost hear the shelf stocker whispering, “Never again,” under their breath as they stack boxes of $26.99 fake babies.

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My younger sister had a Cabbage Patch doll named Barlow Mort. I called him Barlow Death. I was a bad brother.
Screenshot: btm0815ma / YouTube

Any Lego fans out there? How much would you pay for a five-minute time portal to a 1991 Toys ‘R’ Us Lego aisle? I would sell any one of you for the chance. No hard feelings.

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Give me every one of these.
Screenshot: btm0815ma / YouTube
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You want turtles? Oh, they got turtles. There are literally piles of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys, as well as an entire dedicated row and an endcap for good measure.

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Glasses moustache man desperately hunting for Baxter Stockman. Maybe Metalhead.
Screenshot: btm0815ma / YouTube
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Meanwhile, in the video game section, I’m pretty sure someone stole a Game Boy. Or maybe it’s just an empty display box. It’s just fun to imagine ‘90s-era crimes.

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Someone check Helen’s purse.
Screenshot: btm0815ma / YouTube
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Check out the full video below. It’s full of wonderful memories. Not yours or mine, but I’m sure the people don’t mind if we borrow some.

Kotaku elder, lover of video games, keyboards, toys, snacks, and other unsavory things.

DISCUSSION

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MajesticEagleWarrior

I saw a similar video on Youtube. I love these old time capsules of gaming history. They’re rare.

I see the younger generation in comments asking why didn’t people record more moments like these, well as an older person, yes some people would record moments like this, but no where near as much as today. You gotta understand that back then Camcorders were huge and you rested them on your shoulder. It was more invasive walking around with a Camcorder. Some people thought you were from a TV network filming a story. You weren’t as bold to just go out and record. There was this eventful quality to walking around back then lugging along a huge Camcorder and putting it people’s faces.