A little known fact about the founder of the Toys R Us franchise, was that before he opened “Children’s Bargain Town” his first baby furniture store in 1948, within his fathers bike shop in Adams Morgan, and his first toy only store in 1957, he had served in the U.S. Army during World War II as a cryptographer.
After the war, Lazarus focused on selling just children’s furniture but eventually found it to be more lucrative to sell toys to the many parents of the “baby boomer” generation. This enabled him to build to toy store franchise that brought him together with other World War II veterans, such as President George H.W. Bush, a former fighter pilot, when Lazarus opened a new Toys R Us in Kashihara, Japan.
In my childhood, I had always enjoyed going with my twin brother and my parents to Toys R Us to see all the different Transformers, X-Men, Marvel and other action figures that were on display. I did take my children to a Toys R Us one last time before the stores shut down for good in April 2018.
In the future I’ll be sure to take my children to local toy stores, and retro toy stores in the hopes they can see some of the toys that spurred my imagination as a child!
On a side note:
Lazarus’s first baby furniture store and his dad’s former bike shop are located within the site of Madam’s Organ, a very festive bar that I used to venture in within Washington DC!