From The Ashes Of Toys R' Us Could A New KB Toys Rise?!? (UPDATE)

by Jay Cochran
March 20, 2018
UPDATE: According to CNN, Strategic Marks, LLC is looking to open 1,000 pop-up KB Toys stores for Black Friday and the holiday shopping season. Marks CEO Ellia Kassoff has been talking with Hasbro, Mattel a various other toy manufacturers who will be looking for new places to sell their products after Toys R' Us closes.

"My assumption is that there's about half a billion dollars worth of toys that have been produced for Toys "R" Us with no place to go," said Strategic Marks president Ellia Kassoff, in a phone interview with CNNMoney. "That's a big, big void that we're hoping to fill up."

After the 2018 holiday season ends Kassoff will then determine which pop-up stores will continue to operate long-term based on how they perform.

While we continue to wait and see if a bid submitted by MGA Entertainment CEO Issac Larian and a group of inventors is successful to buy the Canadian division of Toys R' Us and and possibly 200 stores here in the United States, we now have word another bankrupt toy chain could be set for a come-back. KB Toys, a well-known toy retailer that had 1000+ stores close it's doors back in 2008, which incidentally got bought by Toys R' Us soon after on September 4, 2009.

It seems KB might be looking at some kind of return at least in name thanks to Ellia Kassoff of Strategic Brands, LLC. Kassoff issued this statement via Linkedin this week amongst the news that Toys R' Us had begun the process of liquidating or selling all it's stores in the US.

"As some of you know, our company Strategic Marks, LLC has acquired KB-Toys about a year ago. During that period, we had been working on several models to resurrect the "Great American Toy Store" and to make sure the stores can compete with Toys R Us, other brick and mortar stores as well as on-line retail. Well, with the demise of Toys R Us, this week, we have now accelerated our business plan and hope to have our stores up and running before Christmas. We're in discussions with many of the toy manufactures, as we try to find out the best way to support them and the 20% loss of the US toy market due to the Toys R Us liquidation. We believe we will have the infrastructure in-place and [hopefully] save the toy industry. If you are a toy manufacturer or distributor, or ex KB Toys associate, please feel free to call us at: 949-424-1664 or email us at: We hope to help the industry and at the same time resurrect the amazing KB Toys name!"

The statement of course gives no specifics of how it could compete against the likes of Walmart, Target, Amazon or just the overall problems of kids being more interested in electronic devices than actual toys these days, all factors that helped lead to the demise of Toys R' Us and the original KB for that matter.

Even if Kassoff was able to gather up enough resources to launch a new toy chain in any kind of significant manner to offset the losses from Toys R' Us he mentions, I would not expect it to follow the old KB model which was to have most of it's stores located in malls across the country. I say this mainly because most traditional malls aren't in much better shape than the now defunct toy stores we are discussing.

Never-the-less we wish Kassoff the best of luck and hope he can back up the above statement with real action, and of course we will continue to follow this story and update as events warrant.

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