In September 2017, Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy. By March 2018, Toys “R” Us had liquidated all of its stores and the company was no more.
Yet somewhere in the six months between bankruptcy and liquidation, there was an attempt to bring the company back to life. It began with a team of nostalgic graphic designers who had little time for wondering how they could successfully rebrand the company before the doors on colorful aisles of toys and fond memories of childhood would be closed forever.
The emblematic “R” became the focal point of the new Toys “R” Us branding. Designed to be adaptable for use in different contexts, the dynamic backwards “R” appears in many different colors, textures and patterns.
“One second, the “R” is a fluffy plush animal. The next, it’s a pinewood block. It was also imagined as an animated object that acts like a cuckoo clock or antique nickel bank. The “R” became a CGI toy with a hypnotic appeal–and the DIY, crafty vibe that could appeal to a younger generation of parents.” (source)
The playful patterns combined with reimagined shapes brilliantly showcase the creativity and joy of youth. As each form of the letter “R” cheerfully transforms itself, a new space opens up. What seems to fill that space are questions best left to the imagination: “What could be?” and, “What could have been?”