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Subject: Fuzzy memories... Did Toys R Us actually sell Squad Leader and other wargames? rss

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SSgt. Crapgame
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Okay this question has bothered me a long time... did Toys R Us actually carry Squad Leader and other wargames? Being a young man during the late 70's I seem to have a fuzzy memory of the game Squad Leader and even the game "Armor" on the shelf's there. The artwork on the games intrigued me but of course these were "adult" games that my parents would never have bought me at the age of 7. Was I imagining things or did this actually happen? To think how mainstream these games once were.

JC
 
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Don Barree
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I used to buy AH games at K-Mart in the early '60s and I know they sold them at Kay Bee Toy stores too. IIRC Toys R Us did sell them but we didn't have one of those near us so I didn't shop there.
 
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Hugh G. Rection
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Yes, they did. There was another toy store called "Playco" or "Play Co" that carried a lot the old AH titles. I'm not sure if they were only a small chain in San Diego, regional, or bigger - I was a kid at the time. :-)
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Into at least the late 80s, maybe even early 90s, they were selling AH wargames locally at Payless, Bi-Mart and MacGregor's (our local dime store). That was in addition to several game stores, and I live in a small town. Times have changed.
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SSgt. Crapgame
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Now that I think of it I remember picking up Gunslinger and Gleam of Bayonets from a store called "Child World" (very similar to Toys r us) on clearance for $5 each. I do slightly remember some games at KB Toys but was more into D&D when I was there. KB must have had a contract with TSR because I also remember buying Dawn Patrol from them.
 
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Thomas Eager
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cry They absolutely did. I can well remember purchasing (or having my parents purchase) Panzer Leader for me at Toys R Us. This was way back in the 1970's. If only they would revive those buying practices today. cry
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Andrew Brown
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They had tons in my town's Kay Bee. I got a copy of Nato Division Commander there - go figure... We didn't have Toy's R Us
 
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Richard Hutnik
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jgerman wrote:
Monkie wrote:
Now that I think of it I remember picking up Gunslinger and Gleam of Bayonets from a store called "Child World" (very similar to Toys r us) on clearance for $5 each. I do slightly remember some games at KB Toys but was more into D&D when I was there. KB must have had a contract with TSR because I also remember buying Dawn Patrol from them.


KB definitely sold TSR games as well. As did Electronics Boutique ... way before they become EB Games. In fact Electronics Boutique carried not only AD&D books, it carried miniatures and tubes of dice as well.


I remember seeing Avalon Hill's Starship Troopers during the 1970s and 1980s at KB Toys. I also remember purchasing Dune on clearance in the late 1980s there.
 
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Mike Pranno
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My grandfather picked up Squad Leader from a Toys R Us in 1985 and gave to me for my birthday. It was my first non-mainstream game.
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Robert Wilson
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Hugh_G_Rection wrote:
Yes, they did. There was another toy store called "Playco" or "Play Co" that carried a lot the old AH titles. I'm not sure if they were only a small chain in San Diego, regional, or bigger - I was a kid at the time. :-)


I think they were regional, I used to get my games from the one in Chula Vista, or the one in La Mesa
 
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David Reed
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I think I got Crescendo of Doom at Toys 'R' Us up the road from my house in the St. Louis suburbs. I know that I picked up Rail Baron there and, at the time (late 1970s), they had most of the other Avalon Hill titles.
 
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Gary Krockover
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My first wargame was "Blitzkrieg" bought by my grandmother at a "5 & 10" in the D/FW area (Dallas). I recall seeing AH classics at Toys 'R Us as well. That was back when I would go there to buy computer games for my Commodore 128 ("Kampfgruppe" anybody?).
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SSgt. Crapgame
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GaryJK wrote:
My first wargame was "Blitzkrieg" bought by my grandmother at a "5 & 10" in the D/FW area (Dallas). I recall seeing AH classics at Toys 'R Us as well. That was back when I would go there to buy computer games for my Commodore 128 ("Kampfgruppe" anybody?).


Kampfgruppe... yes another classic memory. It is ironic to think that the Commodore games that we were buying there at that time were ringing the death bell for the classic wargames that were gracing the shelves just an aisle or two over.
 
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castiglione
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My copy of Commando (currently floating around somewhere in the ether that is my parent's house) was purchased at a Toys R Us.

I distinctly remember TSR stuff (D & D and Star Frontiers) being sold there as well.
 
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John Mehrholz
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They didn't just sell them at toy stores back then. I remember seeing them at B. Dalton Bookseller in the mall when I was growing up (that would be in the late 70s or early 80s). They carried several of the Avalon Hill Bookcase games: Panzerblitz, Panzer Leader and Squad Leader I remember for sure. I think that's where I got my copy of Panzer Leader.
 
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castiglione wrote:
My copy of Commando (currently floating around somewhere in the ether that is my parent's house) was purchased at a Toys R Us.

I distinctly remember TSR stuff (D & D and Star Frontiers) being sold there as well.

TSR stuff was even more widely distributed than Avalon Hill back then. Heck, I got my first copy of Dungeons & Dragons at Wal-Mart!
 
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Bill Gates
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In the 1970's, I bought Squad Leader, Panzer Leader/Panzer Blitz, Starship Troopers and a few other AH games at a toy store near my neighborhood that I think was called Lionel Kiddie City (it was a big place, long gun, and a movie theatre now stands where it used to be.

Like Jeremy, however, I lived (and live) in Baltimore, not too far from where Avalon Hill was located.

And, yes, the mall store which eventually became Electronics Boutique (I think it was called Games and Gadgets) sold SPI, Yaquinto and AH games until the mid-80's. At least, it did in Eastpoint Mall.

 
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Bill Gates
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jgerman wrote:
milgate wrote:
In the 1970's, I bought Squad Leader, Panzer Leader/Panzer Blitz, Starship Troopers and a few other AH games at a toy store near my neighborhood that I think was called Lionel Kiddie City (it was a big place, long gun, and a movie theatre now stands where it used to be.

Like Jeremy, however, I lived (and live) in Baltimore, not too far from where Avalon Hill was located.

And, yes, the mall store which eventually became Electronics Boutique (I think it was called Games and Gadgets) sold SPI, Yaquinto and AH games until the mid-80's. At least, it did in Eastpoint Mall.



Lol my malls were Golden Ring and White Marsh (after it was built) but I bought stuff from Eastpoint from time to time as well.

Lionel Kiddie City...that rings a bell.. there used to be a Franks and a Horn and Horn there right? It was across from the mall?

If that's true, that's where I used to see a crapload of gaming stuff, not Toys R Us... my memory had me convinced that was a Toys R Us. They carried tons of games, though I was way too young for most of them at the time, and we went there infrequently. I still think that they got a lot of overstock from game companies, once they had tons of the James Bond rpg adventures... just stacks of them.


You've got a good memory ... yes, the Kiddie City (I'm almost positive that is what it was, not a Toys R Us, because I seem to recall it closed when the whole chain went under) was right across the street from Eastpoint Mall, as well as a Horn and Horn (It's a Cactus Willie's Buffet now) and a Franks (which is a Goodwill Superstore now). I grew up in the neighborhood right next to that shopping area.

I'm pretty sure Kiddie City carried the whole line of AH wargames at the time (I was never interested in the non-wargame stuff, so I never checked). They started clearing it all out around 1985, when I got a bunch of games (including Gunslinger) for $5 each.

Yeah, good old Golden Ring Mall (R.I.P.). I worked there as an EB store manager for three years in the late 1990's, between newspaper jobs. Man, did I wish EB's still carried board games.
 
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Paul M
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mcpranno wrote:
My grandfather picked up Squad Leader from a Toys R Us in 1985 and gave to me for my birthday. It was my first non-mainstream game.

That brings a tear to my eye. *sniffle*

Cool grandpa.

Some AH games sold hundreds of thousands of copies, so they had to be everywhere games were sold and some places they weren't.
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Xander Fulton
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jgerman wrote:
Monkie wrote:
Now that I think of it I remember picking up Gunslinger and Gleam of Bayonets from a store called "Child World" (very similar to Toys r us) on clearance for $5 each. I do slightly remember some games at KB Toys but was more into D&D when I was there. KB must have had a contract with TSR because I also remember buying Dawn Patrol from them.


KB definitely sold TSR games as well. As did Electronics Boutique ... way before they become EB Games. In fact Electronics Boutique carried not only AD&D books, it carried miniatures and tubes of dice as well.


Ah, the old Electronics Boutique...miss them. Heck, that was back when Radio Shack used to sell PC games, too. Picked up 'Silent Services II' and 'Lightspeed' from our local rat shack back in the day.
 
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Bob Roberts

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Bought my first game, Tactics II, at a Kay Bee toy store.
Bought Squad Leader at Toys R Us.
Used to be a really cool privately owned toy store that carried historical miniatures, Avalon Hill, SPI, Yaquinto and Subbuteo! I still dream about that place sometimes...
 
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I got Ultimatum from a TRU... the rules were a bit too much for me, but I tried to play it a lot - just never got it.
 
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Ernest Schubert
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I don't know about Toys R Us, but KB actually carried GW's Warhammer games at one time. I remember going in there around x-mas one year and there was a huge stack of the starters for Fantasy and 40K in the middle of store.

I was lucky enough to have a three game shops in the area, once I got really into it, after high school. There was the Complete Strategist in Montclair or Verona NJ? Also a game shop in Parsippany, as well as one down in FairField - That place also sold pool tables and dart boards and up-scale card tables, etc. So that was strange - they had a whole corner of the store devoted to board games. The owner must have been a fan.
 
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Mr Lovegrove
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Back in the heady days of the '80s, I remember a Toys'R'Us opening near me in South Wales and I was pleasantly surprised to find a pretty large D&D selection among the remote control toys and dolls. I seem to remember them selling Axis and Allies, but as for real wargames, no.

I was left to haunt the one shop in the entire region, a tiny place called FC Parker, that had a whole wall full of AH, Victory Games, and more. Paradise!
 
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Mark Crane
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I have vague memories of the first Toys R Us opening in Sunnyvale in the 1970s, and recall being fascinated by the exit door, which blended with the adjoining wall so that it looked like it was a secret passageway.

We then moved to Utah and I bought my early games at Hammond toys and hobbies, similar to K-bee. I bought a number of crappy games, like UFO: Game of Close Encounters and Time Tripper that I barely understood and played once or twice. Actually, time tripper was kind of cool in theory. And I had a friend in high school with some sort of huge AH WWII game that we never fully understood either. And we played marathon games of Risk complete with turtling and backstabbing that ended when we all quit talking to each other. Good times.
 
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