Night of the Walking Toys “R” Us

Back from the dead

Hear that rustling in the dirt? That low, mournful moan?

That’s the sound of Geoffrey, the Toys R Us giraffe, rising Zombie-like from the grave. Less than a month after the retail toy giant declared bankruptcy, the beloved mascot was spotted in Dallas at the Fall Toy Preview promoting the Toys R Us brand (presumably shuffling about on half-rotted legs begging for brains). His ghastly appearance at the toy industry event comes just days after the secured lenders who control the company said in a bankruptcy court filing that they are planning a comeback.

Not every toymaker at the expo was feeling nostalgic warm-fuzzies about Geoffrey’s resurrection. “Geoffrey being here just reminded us about how much money they still owe everybody,” said Beaver Raymond, co-founder of Dallas-based Marshmallow Fun Co., the maker of Marshmallow Blasters.

Twitter ghouls

The reanimated Geoffrey wasn’t done, though. Two days after the event, he was spotted again, this time on Twitter. A tweet from Toys R Us’ handle shows a cartoon image of Geoffrey, suitcase in hand, marching around the globe. “Guess who’s back?” reads the tweet. “He’s been traveling across the globe for the past few months but now #GeoffreysBack and once again ready to set play free for children of all ages. Share some of your favorite memories and get ready to make a whole lot of new ones!”

Grave concerns

It will take more than some dark necromancy positive tweets for the toy seller to resurrect its image, though. When Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy in mid-September, they fired more than 30,000 workers, many of whom have yet to receive severance pay. Talk of a possible comeback has left many former employees feeling like they’ve been left for dead.

One sarcastic response to the Toys R Us tweet from the handle “Spooky Mayo” earned a few thousand likes: “Hey, so like, do I get severance pay for losing my job now that y’all have the money to stay open? Or do I get my job back?”


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