Toys R Us is Selling its ‘Kinky’ US Trademarks

April Davis By April Davis | 21 May 2018

Toys R Us is having a fire sale to raise funds following its bankruptcy in the US, UK and Ireland, but some of the items its selling are a little less PG than its hoards of wholesome children’s toys.

The global toy retailer is selling off its intellectual property in an everything-must-go fire sale, with its Geoffrey the Giraffe logo and Babies R Us trademark among the items up for grabs.

However, rumour has it that the company will also be selling off a set of kinky domain names to the highest bidder at next month’s auction. According to Reuters, bidders will have the chance to purchase kinkytoysrus.com and sex-toys-r-us.com, as well as domains like ihatetoysrus.com.

While Toys R Us never actively used any of these domains, the company purchased them to prevent anyone else from misrepresenting the Toys R Us brand. According to a brand specialist and Retail Doctor Chief Executive, Bob Phibbs, the company went to large lengths to protect its brand.

“They just went crazy,” Phibbs said. “I’m sure they were laughing and drinking Red Bull and then just came up with every iteration they could.”

Listed as part of the sale includes dozens of domain names, including lodges-r-us.com, bistros-r-us.com, recipes-r-us.com and cigars-r-us.com. Phibbs believes this shows the value of the ‘R Us’ component of the brand.

“It shows the power of the brand,” Mr Phibbs said. “The ‘R’ Us is the key to the brand, not the Toys.”

In March last year, the company’s Chief Executive, David Brandon announced that its 700 remaining US stores would close down, with 33,000 jobs also on the chopping block. In September, the company filed for bankruptcy protection after further restructuring efforts failed.

“We’re putting a for sale sign on everything,” Brandon told employees in a conference call. “Frankly, all anyone has to do is offer one dollar more [than liquidators].”

Toys R Us has confirmed that its UK and Irish stores will also be closed, however, for now, its business as usual for the toy retailer’s Australian branch. Speculation as to what the long-term goals are for operations down under has been circulating for some time now, with News.com.au reporting the business might be bundled with the brand’s Asian stores and sold as a bundle to potential buyers.

Corporate filings show that Toys ‘R’ Us Australia made a $7.6 million operating loss in the 12 months to January 28, 2017, and posted a $9 million loss in the year prior. Australia was heavily reliant on the financial support of the US parent company, which means there is major uncertainty about whether the retailer will be able to continue operating down under.

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