Friday, January 6, 2017

Toys 'R Us: December 21, 2016

I meant to get this posted before Christmas, but you know how the holidays can go. Anyhow, I had to make a quick trip to my local TRU store in Pineville, NC the week of Christmas and I thought why not document my trip if you will. I always get a kick out of those old photos of the toy aisle that you see pop up on the internet from time to time. I thought why not take a few photos of the aisles I was browsing and share them. Remember, you can click on any of the pictures for a larger view.

The dedicated Nexo Knights end cap display prominently at the front of the Lego section. Nothing new here, but the sheer awesomeness of these sets will still attract your attention.

I started my visit in the Lego section like I normally do. I usually gravitate to the City section since that has traditionally been my favorite theme, however the Nexo Knights have caught my attention ever since they were released in early 2016. The good thing about late December is you can sometimes find some of the new sets already out on shelves. This was the case as I found several of the new Nexo Knights themed sets for 2017. If only I had more space and money I'd buy all of these sets!

Across from the Nexo Knights section was the aforementioned City theme sets. I noticed a few new sets, like the Pizza Van, but many of these were sets that have been out for awhile now. Surprisingly I didn't see many of the "Cops vs Crooks" sets I've seen at places like Target and Walmart. The selection was still pretty good, especially if you don't have a Lego store nearby.

The end cap around the corner from the City section was supposed to be spotlighting the new sets, but it had been picked over. I swear that jet and limousine set looks awfully familiar. I keep saying I'm going to buy that construction set w/ the Port-A-John before it disappears from retail shelves.

Being the Marvel van that I am, I didn't bother to take pictures of the DC Super Heroes sets! I should mention that many of the larger Marvel sets were actually on the action figure aisle shelves. Other than one small Captain America set from when Lego first started releasing Marvel sets, I've stayed away. It's not because I don't like the sets, but like other collectors I only have so much money and room for my collections. This new Spider-Man and Ghost Rider set looks pretty cool though.

My wife and I finally caught the new Star Wars Rogue One movie in the theatres as part of our wedding anniversary celebration on New Year's Day. Man oh man was that a great movie! Makes some of these new sets that more intriguing, especially that new TIE fighter.

Before leaving the Lego area, I walked around to where the Mega Bloks were and noticed a few of the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sets. I've seen the Krang set before, but the Turtle van and Technodrome I hadn't seen least in person. I couldn't believe the $249.99 price tag of the Technodrome however. Guess I shouldn't be surprised as it looks to be similar in size to the Lego Star Wars Deathstar.

After finishing in the building block section, I made my way around to the other side of the store where the action figures were. I first went down the comic themed aisle, looking specifically to see if there were any of the new Spider-Man/Sandman Marvel Legends figures. There was one lone figure of the Jackal, but that was it. The rest of the selection was average fare...Absorbing Man, Ant Man, Juggernaut and Dormammu Build-A-Figure waves. There were a few of the 4 inch figures that I hadn't seen before. The figures of Gamora (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Rage (New Warriors) were particularly favorites of mine. I will eventually pick up that figure of Rage as the New Warriors was the first Marvel title I read when my brother first introduced me to comics in 1990.

Sadly the Transformers section was pretty poor. It had been shopped, but not well managed by the store staff. Do you ever find yourself tidying up the shelves and pegs at your local stores like I do? I couldn't help to put things back in the right spots...I guess it comes from all those years I worked retail while in high school and college. The only new items I saw was the new packaging for Robots in Disguise. They had the new wave of Legends figures, but TRU is asking $8.99 when they can be bought for $5.99 at Target/Walmart. I'm OK with a small mark up, but $3? Come on, man!

What I didn't intend on seeing on this visit was Playmates new Voltron toys. These of course are based on the new Netflix series. I started to watch the new show while on vacation last week, but after walking 6 miles through the streets of Savannah, GA I just couldn't make it very long and fell asleep. I'll have to revisit the show again very soon.

The non-combing lions were present, as well as some figures of the enemy. There was a full set of the combining lions which was surprising...especially after I've heard from others that they have been hard to find. There was 3 of the black lion too. I was tempted, but ultimately held off since Christmas was just around the corner.

The last section I checked out was the "collector's area" that has taken over a part of the R Zone where the video games and other electronics are held. This is where you find a lot of the comic and movie franchise figures. There didn't seem to be a lot of rhyme or reason to the way this area was set up, however there was some cool stuff there. I particularly liked the Funko Dark Crystal figures...always loved that old Jim Henson movie.

Well that about wraps it up. I wanted to take more pictures in the action figure aisles, but being that it was only a few days left before Christmas the store was busy. I was already getting odd looks from other customers taking the pictures that I did, so I just settled for what I had. 

I will make mention that I visit a TRU store in Greenville, SC when I travel for work and it's a much nicer store. It's one of those combined TRU / Babies R Us stores so it's much larger. The video game area usually leaves a lot to be desired, but their Lego and action figure sections are always well stocked. The store also seems to be given more attention than the one located near me.


  1. Good stuff! It's probably been about 20 years since I've been in a TRU. And after a year working at Kmart in high school, yeah, I know what you mean about the lingering urge to tidy up shelves.

  2. I swear LEGO gets more of my money than any other company, between stuff for my kids (Ninjago, Jurassic World, LEGO Dimensions) and stuff for me (Star Wars, Marvel, DC). Those NEXO Knights sets are cool, but we just can't afford to add another line to our collections.

    I have never worked retail, but I sometimes tidy up the shelves, and more often I tidy up the cart returns in the parking lot.

    I used to buy a lot of action figures, but one day I just stopped. There were just too many of them, and there were other things I wanted more. I still like to look at them in the store, though.

    1. I hear you on the not having the space front. I've only sparingly bought LEGO sets period due to having other higher interests and such, but the NEXO Knight sets I have bought are pretty cool. I hope to share my thoughts in blog format soon of the sets I do have.

  3. It is a good idea to document these down. As far as I can see the store are still well stocked. They didn't pay much attention to Transformers maybe the new cartoon was not that popular. In fact I think most of the people are quite tired of Transformers.

    1. I don't know if I'd say that people are tired of Transformers, it just that on this visit the TF section had been heavily picked over. The G1 themed stuff sells...the toys for the current RID cartoon series is hit and miss.