Going to Toys 'R' Us was literally the highlight of our childhood. Each and everyone of us would run through those sliding doors and would immediately turn into little Tasmanian devils and tear through the store as though we had no knowledge of manners.
The reason that we got to enjoy this epic experience was because of Charles Lazarus. Lazarus founded his company in 1948 and every since he has watched his company grow. That is, until this week.
The first toy store he opened was not called Toys 'R' Us, but instead "Children's Bargain Town." He knew that the baby boom generation would need a lot of toys, so he stocked up on Barbies and Hula Hoops, but that store wasn't the one he cared most about.
It was in 1957 that he opened up the very first Toys 'R' Us in Maryland.
They would go on to open 1,600 stores worldwide, but recently the company announced that all of its stores will be closing. Even though that seems like devastating news, the company wasn't done.
On Thursday, March 22nd, the Toys 'R' Us company released a statement revealing the sad news about Charles Lazarus's passing .
“There have been many sad moments for Toys ‘R’ Us in recent weeks, and none more heartbreaking than today’s news about the passing of our beloved founder, Charles Lazarus. He visited us in New Jersey just last year and we will forever be grateful for his positive energy, passion for the customer and love for children everywhere.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Charles’ family and loved ones.”
Fans of the store have a lot of sweet things to say to the founder of their favorite childhood store, and it's heartwarming to hear their memories...
Shopping at Toys 'R' Us was an epic and important part of our childhood, and we all have Lazarus to thank for it. Even though he is gone, he will not be forgotten. For seven decades he brought joy and imagination to the kids of the world, and we are all extremely grateful.
Many people have been leaving sweet comments for the family on Facebook.
"Thanks for the memories Charles... You made my childhood awesome."
"I bet he lived a great life," one person said. "And didn't want to watch his stores close and wanted to go with the great memories and no the end Toys 'R' Us. Rest in peace."
"RIP...This store made Christmas and every birthday extra special when I was a child. I can remember running through Toys 'R' Us on my birthday playing with toys and trying to decide what I wanted before coming home for my birthday party...Those were great times," one person recalled.
Whatever your Toys 'R' Us memory was, chances are it was positive. Personally, I remember always grabbing a bike and wheeling around the store until someone told me not to. Honestly, they didn't tell me to stop that often at all.
It was such a fun place to be, and even though the stores are closing we were lucky to have it as long as we did.