A Billionaire Toy Maker Will Still Try to Buy Hundreds of Closing Toys ‘R’ Us Stores, Despite Failed Crowdfunding Attempt
Billionaire toy maker Isaac Larian isn’t letting a failed crowdfunding effort stand in the way of his plans to buy hundreds of Toys ‘R’ Us stores.
Larian had attempted to raise $1 billion via GoFundMe, but secured only $59,000 in three weeks, the Los Angeles Times reports. Nonetheless, the businessman has said he will still submit a $675 million bid to purchase 274 Toys ‘R’ Us stores, and a separate $215 million bid to buy 82 Canadian locations, according to the Times.
Larian is the CEO of MGA Entertainment, the company behind products such as LOL Surprise and Bratz dolls. He will finance the bids using his own money, supplemented by bank and investor financing, the Times adds.
Toys ‘R’ Us filed for bankruptcy in September 2017, and announced in March that it would close all of its U.S. stores. Internet giant Amazon — which likely contributed to the demise of the 70-year-old retailer — was reportedly interested in buying some of its empty storefronts.
The chain’s shutdown could result in as many as 33,000 lost jobs, and has brought uncertain futures for toy companies such as Mattel, Hasbro, and Lego.