For more than 60 years, Toys“R”Us has been helping kids be kids and grown-ups to revisit their childhoods by providing one of the largest selections of top-brand toys, electronics, games and everyday baby essentials. Founder, Charles Lazarus, revolutionized the toy business by modeling his stores after supermarkets, providing a variety of options to suit varying ages and interests and offering customers to help themselves and have fun in the process. Today, that sense of playfulness is evident at nearly 600 stores in the United States alone, including a flagship location in Times Square where kids are greeted by a 60-foot Ferris wheel, a 5-ton animatronic T-Rex, and a life-sized, 4,000-square-foot Barbie house.
Beyond everybody's favorite bikes, trains and video games, each Toys“R”Us store keeps its shelves stocked with the season’s must-have toys as well as nostalgic standbys that never go out of style. Time-tested brands such as LEGO, Radio Flyer, NERF and Fisher-Price share the shelves with an expansive selection of electronics for older kids, including Wii U and tablets. And though the company has inspired generations of boys and girls to try their hardest not to grow up, it also strives to ensure budding brains develop right on track by devoting a significant portion of its stores to “smart-play” with a wide selection of electronic learning toys and software.
Toys“R”Us—whose extended family of brands includes Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz—has earned a number of awards and recognitions through the years, including a spot on Fortune’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies in 2012. The company has also drawn considerable recognition for its expansive charitable efforts, which include partnerships with the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Save the Children. This year also marks the tenth consecutive year that the company has partnered with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to collect new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations in its stores to benefit the organization.
Inside Learning Express Toys, children of all ages can find a host of entertaining and educational toys designed by brands such as Lego and Scientific Explorer. Seven days a week, staff members share their enthusiastic attitudes as they help children and parents peruse dolls and accessories, brain-stimulating word games, or science kits that fuel interactive learning. The store frequently holds special events for festive occasions, such as Father's Day and Lego Day, hosting such costumed characters as Santa Claus and welcoming royal delegates from the King of Legoland.
With an area encompassing a track and hobby shop, the nearly 14,000-square-feet state-of-the-art racing facility at Space Coast R/C is the ultimate pathway for high-speed competition enthusiasts. The venue offers track time to drivers of levels from avid racers to curious spectators. Drivers watch and control electric off-road 1/8 and 1/10 scale vehicles from the driver stand, which can accommodate up to 20 drivers, navigating them over the course's challenging turns and around sharp corners. Lap timing encourages racers to monitor their progress with increased speed, spurring them to take smoother turns and avoid bumping into the yellow tubing that forms the track's boundaries. After races, hobbyists can peruse the onsite pro-shop for new car chassis and replacement parts to keep their rides in top performing shape. Space Coast R/C also makes their venue available for guests looking to celebrate a variety of functions such as birthdays and business meetings.
OhConcept's design team scouts fresh-from-the-runway silhouettes, accents, and prints to create their line of trendy urban womenswear. Though its apparel is its most prominent department, the OhConcept look doesn't stop at clothes. Designers also keep an eye on the season's hottest fashions to create glittering jewelry, looping infinity scarves, and whimsical home accents.
The knowledgeable staff at Learning Express helps parents navigate a selection of hundreds of educational, time-tested, and eco-friendly playthings for children from birth to age 12. Stuffed animals frolic on the shelves next to classic wooden building blocks, imagination-stimulating toys, and digital learning tools. Customers can surprise budding sleuths with undercover spy cases by Alex ($24.99), soothe bedtime tantrums with twilight turtles ($32.99), or teach favorite babies how to speak horse with plush barnfuls of My Barnyard Friends by Aurora ($19.99). Free gift wrapping at the colorful shop can ease time crunches and provide more decorative packaging for gifts than a pile of credit-card receipts sewn together.