Toys R Us

Toys R Us
Source: Tru Kids Brands

Just nine months ago, Target Corp. and Tru Kids Brands (Tru Kids) revealed a partnership deal under which Target’s toy assortment, digital capabilities, and fulfillment services would support the relaunched Toys “R” Us shopping experiences in the U.S. both online and in-store. That relationship has come to an end.

Last October, both parties touted the relaunch of as a digital destination for toy-related content with purchasing powered by Target. Consumers interested in a product from Toys “R” Us would be taken to Target’s website to make a purchase. Upon opening during the holiday season, the new Toys “R” Us concept stores in New Jersey and Texas featured digital displays on which shoppers could browse the Target toy selection and place orders at the physical Toys “R” Us locations for products that would ultimately be delivered by Target, either direct-to-consumer or via same-day pickup.

Heading into Toy Fair New York back in February, Tru Kids still sounded keen on the Target arrangement. A month later, Target Corp. Chairman and CEO Brian C. Cornell declared that the absence of Toys “R” Us had been good for the Bullseye.

“Since Toys ‘R’ Us’ market exit, we picked up more than $1.7 billion in toys and baby,” Cornell said on a call with investors and analysts. “And there’s not a day that goes by where you don’t see a headline predicting another share donation to Target from a struggling competitor.”

As of this month, all Target branding, information, and product links have been removed from the Toys “R” Us website.

Source: Tru Kids Brands/The Toy Book

All purchases made through the current incarnation of are being made through the Amazon Associates Program.

Somewhat ironically, it was 20 years ago that Toys “R” Us made a deal with Amazon to power its e-commerce business. On Aug. 10, 2000, Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and then-Toys “R” Us CEO John Eyler announced a 10-year pact between the two retailers.

Just four years later, the pair landed in court with Toys “R” Us suing Amazon for breach of contract. In 2006, Geoffrey and Co. ultimately prevailed against Amazon.

Now, just two years after Toys “R” Us liquidated its massive U.S. operations — and a large part of its global footprint — the company is using its site to earn commission through an affiliate program that’s open to nearly everyone.

Neither Target nor Tru Kids Brands responded to requests for comment.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.