The Toys “R” Us Rebranding That Never Was!

As of June 2018, the toy retailer giant Toys “R” Us shut its doors for the last time. Now, in an interesting piece of “What If” news. The fastcompany website is reporting on the proposed Toys “R” Us rebranding and redesign plan that could have saved them, but sadly never came to be.

After nearly 70 years, Toys “R” Us stores across the United States, not mention the rest of the world, are gone. Another staple of our childhood has disappeared. In part due to competitors such as Amazon and Walmart, but also because waning interest from customers falling out of love with the brand as the years rolled on.

However, things could have turned out quite differently. During the six month period between the company filing for bankruptcy and its final liquidation, Toys “R” Us COM Carla Hassan and Creative Director Lee Walker, enlisted the Lippincott firm, responsible for such big name branding as Starbucks, Carnival and Samsung, in an attempt to address their identity problems with a fresh new look. Not seen until now, this work is a peek into a sadly unrealized reality for the now defunct company.

As Brendan Murphy, Senior Partner in Design explains.

When Toys ‘R’ Us filed for bankruptcy, there was a small window of opportunity for them to reimagine their brand and experience and recapture their place in the market. Unfortunately, it became clear that the business outlook wasn’t going to give them the time they needed and the project had to come to an end.

Lippincot found that “oarennials”, millennial who were fast becoming parents themselves and were therefore the perfect age to be nostalgic for the toy brands of their youth, were the very much worth aiming for.

For our Toys ‘R’ Us reinvention to be successful, it would have to break though and connect with these new parents in a way no others had.

Lippincott decided that the backwards “R” as having the most nostalgic affinity to the new parents they were aiming for and, although this seemingly meant the loss of longtime store mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe. It would see the “R” became are malleable, changeable icon that could be altered to ft any context. A plush animal or pinewood block, a cuckoo clock or nickel bank. A shifting CGI toy designed to appeal to the DIY craftiness of this new, younger generations of parents. Aiming to find the sweet spot between the corporate finish of Amazon or Target and the hemmed  boutique vibe of Hannah Anderson.

Babies “R” us would have also seen a significant rebranding, as it to aimed to appeal to the “adult9ng” millennial with a tagline of “Prepared-ish”. As Lippincott explains:

We modernized the brand with a bold new color palette that broke down the old stereotypes of blue and pink.  Together, the new Babies ‘R’ Us visual language embodies the joy, imagination and humanness of parenthood.

Sadly, rebranding alone could not have saved Toys “R” Us from the inevitable. Still, it is an interesting glimpse into what goes on behind a companies name and logo.

To check out the full article and videos, head on over to the fastcompany website by clicking right here.

What do you think of this peek into what might have been. Could this potential redesign have saved Toys “R” Us? Whatever your opinion, join the discussion in the Toys “R” Us thread on the Allspark forums right here. If you’re a new user, please consider making an account right here. Or, if you’d prefer, jump straight into the livechat on our Discord Server or Facebook group.

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Ian

Ian

By day, he's an avid Transformers fan and collector. By night, he's a masked avenger.
Ian