Kay-Bee Toys may return to operations, as Toys R’ Us vanishes

With the impending demise of Toys R’ Us, it seems someone has plans to keep toy stores alive, in the form of an older chain that kicked the bucket some time ago.

Ellia Kassoff is the founder of Strategic Marks, LLC, whose brand strategy is ” re-introducing old brands to the public, through trademark acquisition and product/strategy development”. Among the brands he owns is Kay Bee Toys, a company which Kassoff aims to revive and reinvigorate in our time of toy buying needs.

Here is the official word from Ellia Kassoff’s Linkedin Page:

Wow! is all we can say after our first announcement here on Linked In that we’re bringing back @kbtoysstore very soon. We’re received so many calls, emails, and private messages of support as we try to #savethetoyindustry. Due to the overwhelming response, we can’t commit to replying back immediately but we will get to all messages as fast as we can. Many of you asked what our plans will be and all we can say is we spent the last six months working on a sustainable model to bring back KB Toys the right way so it can compete with not only the big box stores but on-line as well.

Our umbrella, Strategic Marks, LLC has been very successful bringing back many of the most popular products and companies over the last ten years because we follow a very strict formula; [To bring back the experiences we loved as a child, just as you remembered them]. With #kbtoys, we had to also look at why they initially failed and to make sure those mistakes won’t be made again. Now, with the closing of @toysrus so quickly, it caught us by surprise so we’ve spent the last few days with our team and leaders in the toy industry to figure out how we can accelerate the project so our stores can open for the Christmas season. When we’re ready, you will be very happy with the results and we believe our model can withstand both on-line as well as other large competitors for not only the short-term but long-term as well.

We understand, we’re not just restarting the only other well-known and loved toy chain in the US but hope to find places for those 33,000 jobs which will be lost as Toys R Us closes. Please be patient with us over the next few weeks as we get this rolling. In the meantime, if you are a toy manufacturer, supplier, distributor, industry head or ex-KB Toys executive, we want to talk to you. Please email us at: info@kbtoysstore.com. If you are a current #toysrus employee, please feel free to send us your resume to resumes@kbtoysstore.com but also know that we won’t get back to you for a little while as we finalize our concept. #savethetoyindustry #kbtoysareback

What will actually become of Kay Bee Toys is still to be determined, and I approach this with cautious optimism. I certainly look forward to a new toy store on the block, and want this to happen. Until I see an opening date and a store in my neck of the woods, words are wind.

Kassoff is currently the CEO of Leaf Brands, whose portfolio includes Hydrox Cookies, Bonkers! Fruit Chews, and Wacky Wafers among others.

Kay Bee Toys was originally founded in 1922, and at its height operated 1,300 stores across all 50 states. They went out of business in 2009 after going bankrupt and being bought by Toys R Us.

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