Thursday, October 13, 2011

What Ever Happened to Kay-Bee Toy Stores?

This was a sweet eBay pick-up. It is actually only part of the purchase. I got about 12 boxes of 80's era proprietary cards produced by Topps. My favorite thing about all of these boxes is the feeling of nostalgia they inspire. Not only are the players the young versions of my childhood baseball heroes, they have often times been commissioned by the purveyors of my youth.

Ka-Bee toy stores were one of my favorites in the mall. I think I probably bought at least a couple of G.I. Joe's from the mall in Columbia, Mo.

These are only 9 of the 33 cards in the set. And man do they have everything you would want.

Dwight Gooden is throwin' the heat. I would not want to be in front of that fastball.

Vince Coleman is running the bases. The stirrups are cool, but man those pants were ugly.

And, check out the George Brett card. The bat he has thrown behind him is rendered wonderfully in the photo, and it is too bad no one rocks the double sweatbands on the wrists anymore. Reminds me of Wonder Woman.

To answer the question in the title. Kay-Bee toy stores filed for bankruptcy twice in five years which finally led to its demise in 2009. 'Tis a product of the Wal-mart beat down that main street America has been feeling for decades. Kay-Bee was the second oldest toy retail outlet in the country (behind FAO Schwartz), operating 1300 stores in all 50 states.

It comforts me to know that Eskimos had access to G.I. Joe's.


  1. I always enjoyed those little box sets, especially the Toy-R-Us Rookie sets.

  2. For the longest time there was a Kay-Bee toys in the mall where I live. It closed down and a different toy store moved into its spot. But everyone still called it Kay-Bee toys. I'm sure this really annoyed the new toy store owners. They eventually closed down, probably out of frustration.

    By the way, I saw that you've landed yourself an A&G glossy set. I'd much appreciate a trade for the Dodgers. I'll trade you Cardinals, Ozzies, whatever you like.

    And, yes, that Kay-Bee story was just a not-so-clever segue into trying to set up a trade. I'm shameless.