There are only three moments during the evolution of TLS that I had friends or a girlfriend take an actual photo of me signing a contract. These three moments were life markers, measuring my belief and my believed stations of critical magnitude for TLS. The first photo is when I signed the Hasbro contract. “Proud” lacked definition compared the feeling I had. It was pure joy, wonderment, disbelief – as if I was awarded a movie roll on the next Leonardo DiCaprio blockbuster. “Who, me!?” When the contract came it was like I was signing with the Lakers. I asked my girlfriend to photograph (me) signing the agreement. The Loyal Subjects at that time was myself and my then girlfriend who helped out part time until she was sick of helping out, and proceeded to get a real job at a very large Corporation making real money. The second photo I had taken was when I signed the Toys R Us retail contract. “Toys R Us!? Are you kidding me?! My collectibles are going to be featured and sold in Toys R Us?! I just died and went to heaven! How could it get bigger than Toys R Us! Break open the champagne! If this is as far as I ever go with TLS then I would die happy!” A buddy of mine at Hasbro, Mike Verrechia, emailed and congratulated TLS for getting placement! If a Hasbro Manager emails you and says “Congratulations” on getting placement at Toys R Us, it’s obviously a big deal! It was a big deal! Just to finish the loop on the three photos – the third photo was when I signed my partnership with Crofton Capital, which turns out to have introduced me to one of my best friends, Phil. A guy I would be aimless without. Those are three photos, which memorialize my perceived mile markers on the road to new heights.
Toys R Us was Santa’s fresh baked goodies straight from the sleigh! Out from the elves’ workshop, packed on to the sleigh and dropped, air delivery right into Geoffrey’s hands! Geoffrey, the magnificent, lovable, anthropomorphic giraffe who curated a pantry of delights – “Toys, and Trains and Video Games!” All in the color block RGB crayon lettering. “I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys R Us kid!” Could you create a truer sentiment? A path to Peter Pan, to Never Never Land, but it was through the Narnian doors of Toys R Us! None of us want to grow up, we all want to be Toys R Us Kids! The land that froze time, excited our imaginations, allowed that child, be it when we were kids or nurturing that forever inner child, to suspend reality even for a brief second. Toys R Us was a reminder of great birthday moments, of great Christmas moments, of great report card moments, or perhaps just a simple act of appreciation – a reward for a job well done! Mr. Magorium’s Magic Emporium only non fictional, REAL!
A huge thank you to Amanda who took a chance on a little ole Company in Atwater, Ca. I ran TLS out of the Beastie Boys old studio and record label in an office the size of a breadbox. I believed in my creativity, in the vision, in what we wanted to create for people’s enjoyment. Although I believed didn’t mean everyone followed suit. I pitched, I kicked, I shouted, I laughed – I told my story and the Co’s vision to anyone who would listen and if they didn’t listen, I still told it! I knew Action Vinyls would be that same Peter Pan vehicle and I believed it should see the light of day. With much convincing Amanda said, “I’ll give it a shot kid!” She didn’t sound much like James Cagney, nor did she say “kid” (I might be 10 years older than her, lol), but she did give us a shot and we made hay, enough to be asked back! Soon after, Errin picked up the rope and started towing the boat to shore, with BIG plans! Errin had incredible vision. Still does and I hope he and Amanda land at great opportunities, because they deserve them – true heart and soul, passionate folks.
There is sadness knowing there will be a whole generation who won’t have the opportunity to be Toys R Us kids. To have a live, analog experience on the back of delayed gratification, which makes a Toys R Us event ever so sweet! A reward proposition! In a true Magic Emporium of wonderment with magical wands ablaze.
To the many thousands of folks who lost their jobs, our hearts go out to you and your families. TLS loves you deeply and we know you guys will have great opportunities!
“I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys R Us Kid”…