The life and times of KB Toys

Half of the fun of Christmas lies in the act of anticipating it. As a kid, you would spend months downloading and sifting through tons of toy commercials to procure the perfect gift(s) that aligned with your sensibilities. Polishing your behavior to comport with the highest ideal of goodness, you'd spend the entire school year acting like a felon up for parole. Eventually, if you toed the line just right, your parents would shepherd you to the twin altars of avarice for tykes around the globe: Toys R Us and KB Toys.

Most of those traditions have melted in the face of modernity. Kids have become too savvy to believe in Santa beyond three, and they barely play with any toy that isn't an app. Beyond all that, both Toys R Us and KB Toys are extinct. Even though Toys R Us was the alpha toy store, KB always held a special place in my heart. Going to Toys R Us was the equivalent of vacationing out of state, but visiting KB Toys was akin to spending the weekend with your grandparents. Sure, the former was more exciting, but the latter was familiar and far more frequent.

In the video linked above, Company Man's YouTube channel gives a concise history of how KB Toys became an institution and eventually a memory.