On Sept. 21, 2022, Twitter user @patriottakes tweeted, “This old Toys ‘R’ Us location in Yuma, Arizona is now a gun store.” The tweet displayed two pictures. One of the photos displayed the old Toys “R” Us sign, and the second picture showed the same building later as a gun store, Firearms Unknown, still with the former toy store’s colorful rainbow extending over its entrance, exit, and front windows. This was all true.
A second tweet also showed how signage near a main road was updated from Toys “R” Us and Barnes & Noble to instead show the company name, Firearms Unknown, as well as “Guns & Ammo.” The second picture appeared to come from Yelp.
The address of the building was listed as 801 W. 32nd St. in Yuma. According to Google Maps, the old Toys “R” Us was still empty and unoccupied as of March 2021. In February 2022, the building reopened as Firearms Unknown.
Photographs of the inside of the store showed walls of guns and ammunition in the same space where children and their parents used to browse toys.
On July 8, a Facebook user posted about the contrast between the building’s former and more recent owners, saying, “Many many years ago, this used to be a Toys ‘R’ Us. Not anymore. I find it humorous that they kept the color scheme outside of the building. #pride #guns.”
When did the Yuma Toys “R” Us store close? According to the Yuma Sun, the toy store appeared to have shuttered around April 2018, and many other store closures for the toy retailer followed as the company faced bankruptcy.
The Sun’s newspaper article was published on Jan. 25, 2018, and began, in part, as follows:
Yuma customers of Toys “R” Us woke up to sad news Wednesday morning. The big box toy store announced plans to close up to 182 stores as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan, and the Yuma store located at 801 W. 32nd St. is on the list.
Fans of the store filled up local Facebook groups with comments, most of them voicing dismay but a few excited about the going-out-of-business sale to begin in February and run through April.
“I liked their layaway at Toys ‘R’ Us. Walmart only had it available the last 4 months of the year but Toys ‘R’ Us price-matched. I guess I can still order from them online,” Debra Morley posted on What’s Going On in Yuma AZ.
“It sucks, but they’re expensive compared to the other chain stores in town,” Joe Deckers wrote.
Others lamented how the closing would affect employees and others pointed out that they do most of their shopping online anyway.
In sum, it’s true that a building in Yuma that was formerly occupied by a Toys “R” Us store for children later became the gun store Firearms Unknown.
Firearms Unknown. https://www.firearmsunknown.com/.
“Firearms Unknown – Yuma, AZ.” Yelp, https://www.yelp.com/biz/firearms-unknown-yuma.
Google Maps. https://www.google.com/maps/.
Knaub, Mara. “Yuma’s Toys ‘R’ Us on Closing List.” PressReader.com via Yuma Sun, 25 Jan. 2018, https://www.pressreader.com/usa/yuma-sun/20180125/281487866776612.
McDowell, Erin, and Bethany Biron. “Inside the Wild and Tumultuous History of Toys R Us, the Beloved Children’s Brand Once Again Attempting a Comeback with in-Store Shops at Macy’s Just in Time for the Holidays.” Business Insider, 7 Aug. 2022, https://www.businessinsider.com/the-tumultuous-history-of-toys-r-us-photos-2020-8.
@patriottakes. Twitter, https://twitter.com/patriottakes/status/1572614388686721024.
“Toys ‘R’ Us Retrenches Again, Shutters Its Last 2 US Stores.” Snopes.com via The Associated Press, 29 Jan. 2021, https://www.snopes.com/ap/2021/01/29/toys-r-us-closed/.
Yuma Sun. https://www.yumasun.com/.