Tuesday, October 30 2018 12:10

Geoffrey's Toy Box: Coming to a Kroger Store Near You?

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It hasn't been officially announced by any of the involved parties just yet, but those awaiting news on where Geoffrey's Toy Box merchandise would show up now have an answer. Pallet shippers of Toys "R" Us house brand merchandise are now arriving at Kroger stores as part of the new Geoffrey's Toy Box collection from Geoffrey, LLC. The Ohio-based Kroger operates stores under several names in around 35 states, and there's no word yet on if all of their affiliated brands will be included in the Geoffrey's Toy Box program or not.

In this highly-competitive and unusual holiday season, this is a way for Toys "R" Us to keep Geoffrey and their brands in the public eye during the first season in 70 years without a TRU store in the U.S. In the meantime, other players have been upping their game as the "toy wars" have been heating up.

The Rock Father™ was the first to bring you news on the launch of Geoffrey's Toy Box back on October 2, and the reaction has been mixed from both consumers and toymakers. While many companies were left unpaid and badly burned by the closure of Toys "R" Us (not to mention all the jobs lost because of it), now Geoffrey, LLC is positioning themselves as a competitor to many of those same companies as they place their toys alongside of them at retail.

I've gone on-record as saying that I believe that Michigan-based Meijer stores are a likely outlet for Geoffrey's Toy Box displays as well, and with this new development I'd say that Kroger won't be the only place where former TRU brands like Journey Girls, Fast Lane and Imaginarium will pop up. 

UPDATE: Spotted in the wild at a Kroger Marketplace location. Photo by David Langford, used with permission...

Geoffrey's Toy Box - Kroger Marketplace

Kroger has a solid history with toys, maintaining small but robust departments in their stores over the years, and also being a notable seller of Mattel's Hot Wheels products. At one point, the famed Kenner toys (now part of Hasbro) was even headquartered in the Kroger building in Cincinnati. This is also not the first foray into grocery sales for Toys "R" Us, who previously maintained "Toy Box" branded aisles in select Albertson's-owned stores back in 2002. Here in the Chicago area, Jewel-Osco had the "Toys 'R' Us Toy Box' aisle. If all of this seems like history is just repeating itself, you're not wrong. Back in October of 2012, I shared news that Toys "R" Us was launching pop-up stores inside of select Macy's locations. Heading up that initiative was Richard Barry, the same guy that's currently EVP of Geoffrey's Toy Box. 

Update: Photos from a Fred Meyer location via Instagram

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Geoffreys back!!! Lmao ?? #geoffreystoybox #geoffreythe giraffe #geoffrey #toysrus #exclusivebenji

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Stay tuned for more to be revealed shortly...

Last modified on Wednesday, October 31 2018 15:14
James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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