On May 21st, 1980, ABC7NY’s Peter Bannon filmed a segment about Star War toys on the day of the release of The Empire Strikes Back. The raw footage has just surfaced thanks to btm0815ma on YouTube. The film’s footage is simply mesmerizing as it depicts the now-all-but-extinct Toys ‘R’ Us in its prime. From teeming shelves to open product displayed above and around the store, gave the retailer a feel of being a true toy store and not a cookie-cutter corporation which it would become.
This film also draws significance in regards to the toy shelves of the 2020s which are notably characterized by empty pegs and shelf space.
This video is a joy to watch as it is a reminder of a time when toys and action figures held the imagination of youth and were primarily made to entertain through play. A time that was not caught up in collectibility or exclusives or eBay scalping. A time when your Mom takes you to Toys ‘R’ Us for your birthday so you can “hit up the Star Wars”. Enjoy the 25 minutes stroll down memory lane and thanks to Craig from the Yes Have Some Podcast and Toy Anxiety for the heads up!