Imagine our surprise when, while getting our daily dose of Wayne Brady on “Let’s Make a Deal,” we saw an ad that we haven’t seen in many years: the original “Toys R Us Kid” ad. And the faces on the ad seemed familiar, almost eerily so.
There was no irony behind the ad, just the same kids singing “I don’t want to grow up/I’m a Toys R Us kid” ad that sung the song way back in 1985, when the ad first aired. Among those kids are at least three who have gone on to bigger things — Lindsay Price, Jaleel White and Jenny Lewis. Yes, that’s right, the kid who played Urkel got his start as a Toys R Us Kid. The only updated part of the ad is a new tagline: “Still the World’s Greatest Toy Store.”
Our curiosity about the ad was piqued enough that we got in touch with the folks at Toys R Us to confirm that what we were seeing was true. They told us that the ads started airing on October 30 and will run through the holiday season. “Toys R Us has been around a long time and have created Christmas miracles for kids of many generations,” said spokesman Adrienne O’Hara. The toy giant wanted the ad “to bring out an emotional connection between the parents who shopped in a Toys R Us stores (as kids) and were Toys R Us Kids and their own Toys R Us kids.”
When we asked about the future stars that were in the ad, O’Hara wanted to make sure the focus was in the right place: “It was really more about celebrating the heritage of the Toys R Us brand than anything. That was the main focus.”
Well, we welcome the trip in the wayback machine… but it’s especially poignant when you realize where some of the ad’s stars (remember Price in “Lipstick Jungle”?) ended up.
Watch the original “Toys R Us Kid” ad: