Charles Lazarus, Founder of Toys R Us, Dies at 94

Sunday, 25 Mar, 2018

He said a total Toys "R" Us liquidation could mean MGA would have to lay off workers at an OH plant that makes the Little Tikes toy vehicles.

Four years later, Lazarus stepped down as chairman and chief executive of the toy giant he created, which is now based in Wayne, N.J. Instead, they were greeted by signs alerting them that the sales had been postponed, and in some cases apologizing for the confusion.

Larian and his brother eventually started an import business that later became MGA, which blossomed in 2001 with the debut of Bratz, a line of sassy dolls with eye shadow and glossy lips that cut deeply into sales of Mattel's iconic Barbie doll.

Lazarus, who founded Toys "R" Us over 70 years ago died Thursday at age 94, a week after it was announced the chain would be going out of business.

First, they expressed a sense of loss at finding out last week that the toy-store institution was closing or selling its 750 stores across the country.

Since Lazarus stepped down as chief executive officer in 1994 and chairman four years later, the company has faced new competition from online retailers such as Inc. and from the rise of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which overtook it in USA toy sales in 1998.

Charles Lazarus, Founder of Toys R Us, Dies at 94
Charles Lazarus, Founder of Toys R Us, Dies at 94

The company went on to open up cavernous big-box stores across the American suburbs, dominating toys sales with deep discounts and a huge selection, and squeezing out smaller toy shops. Lazarus' first toy-specific store opened in Rockville, 1957. However, not all stores have begun liquidation sales. Babies R Us is no longer able to order furniture of any kind, but boxes of furniture already in stock was placed at the front of the store with price tags.

"It's convenient but I'm the type of person who likes to go in and see stuff, touch stuff and try things on", Harness said.

There was no date given on when registries will be turned off.

He died Thursday in Manhattan, Michael Goldstein, a close friend who was the company's former chairman, said in a phone interview. However, shoppers in Toledo lined up to find out that the sales weren't starting as planned.

Customers at a West Houston Toys-R-Us told KHOU 11 they were told by employees to come back on Thursday, but it seems the company has postponed the sales.

The news comes a week after Toys "R" Us announced it would conduct "an orderly wind-down of its USA business" and liquidate inventory in all 735 of its USA stores. "I mean, they have been around for a long time, and, you know, the kids always love coming over".