Toys "R" Us Could Be Making a Comeback

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Kids and kids-at-heart still mourning the shuttering of Toys "R" Us may not have reason to mope for much longer. As CNN Money reports, the owners of the company's remaining assets are no longer putting the rights to the Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us names up for bid, and instead are considering reviving the brands.

Following years of damage sustained from competing online retailers and last decade's recession, Toy "R" Us filed for bankruptcy in September 2017 and liquidated hundreds of stores in June. News outlets at the time proclaimed the death of the toy store chain and "the end of an era," but those reactions may have been premature.

A group of Toys "R" Us investors thinks the branding attached to the iconic company could still be valuable to them. Their original plan was to auction off the assets to the highest bidders, and they had already attracted a few offers before taking the properties off the auction table. Who the interested buyers were, and whether they planned to do something with the Toys "R" Us name or just keep competitors from using it, wasn't disclosed.

In a recent bankruptcy court filing, the investors said they're making early plans to launch "a new, operating Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us branding company." The company would open new domestic retail businesses and expand its presence overseas, but it wouldn't necessarily be the same store customers remember. Rather, the group said it's looking to "bring back these iconic brands in a new and reimagined way."

The demise of Toys "R" Us left a hole in the toy market, with some analysts predicting a 10 to 15 percent loss in overall toy sales. If Toys "R" Us doesn't return to close the gap it left behind, there are plenty of retailers looking to take its place.

[h/t CNN Money]

The Mental Floss Store Is Back!

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Wa Wa Wee Wa: The Origin of Borat's Favorite Catchphrase

Wa wa wee wa! Sacha Baron Cohen is back in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2020).
Wa wa wee wa! Sacha Baron Cohen is back in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2020).
Courtesy of Amazon Studios

When Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan was released in 2006, a new audience was exposed to Borat Sagdiyev, a “journalist” portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen who had made frequent appearances on the comedian’s Da Ali G Show.

Soon, in our country there was problem: People mimicked Borat’s catchphrases, "very nice" and “wa wa wee wa,” incessantly. The latter phrase was used to denote surprise or happiness on Borat’s part. While some may have assumed it was made up, it turns out that it actually means something.

Wa wa wee wa is Hebrew, which Cohen speaks throughout the film and which helped make Borat a hit in Israel. (Cohen is himself Jewish.) It was taken from an Israeli comedy show and is the equivalent of the word wow. Reportedly, the expression was popular among Israelis, and they appreciated Cohen’s use of it.

The original Borat also sees Cohen singing a popular Hebrew folk song, “Koom Bachur Atzel,” or “get up lazy boy,” among other Hebrew mentions. It remains to be seen how much of it he’ll be speaking in the sequel, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. It premieres on Amazon Prime Friday, October 23.

[h/t The Los Angeles Times]