With the possibly impending complete closure of Toys R Us retail operations in the US, and the slow downward spiral of Kmart, I feel now may be a good time to look at and discuss the diecast market here in the US.
Losing TRU wouldn’t simply mean losing a single retail location to find diecast cars, it’ll be even more detrimental than that.
For some (including myself), they’re the only major source for Greenlight models (Hobby Lobby being a lesser source).
They’re also the exclusive US market retailer of Majorette, who reentered the market last year.
Compared to Walmart, they typically stock more Auto World, Johnny Lightning, and Racing Champions Mint models, which means that losing TRU won’t make them impossible to find, just much more challenging.
And, for LEGO car fans, they’re also the easiest store to get their Speed Champions line (which Target, Walmart, Kmart, and even Barnes & Noble don’t carry).
On top of that, there’s the threat of possibly losing Kmart and their Collector’s Day events as well.
For many people, possibly losing both of these stores will also make Matchbox harder to find, since between Walmart and Target, only Walmart does a decent job stocking the orange brand. That could be a bad thing, especially with their efforts of improvement, premium upmarket products, and their 65th anniversary.
The scariest part of it all...losing two retail markets will actually BENEFIT the diecast collector’s worst enemy...scalpers. If Kmart and especially TRU go, they’ll increase their efforts to snap up as many highly desirable models, either directly from the manufacturers or remaining retail stores, and prices for said desirable models will likely get even higher than they already tend to be.
There could be some potential solutions, though. Like, if a bigger company bought out and potentially saved TRU, someone like Amazon or a similar corporation. Just look at what happened after they bought out Whole Foods Market, for example. The struggling natural food market has become a bit more successful as of late.
Cash flow is one of the major things that TRU is struggling with, and something that could possibly save them.
On the topic of Kmart, if they go under completely like TRU might, Collector’s Day could be in danger. If that happens, another retail partner, like Walmart or Target, could pick it up and carry it on. Plus, with more Targets and Walmarts out there, that could be a positive for collectors.
Feel free to share your opinions and ideas below.