Toys ‘R’ Us founder dies as fans on mission to fundraise and save store

Faigy Ashkenazi brought her 7- year-old son Yoel to the Toys 'R' Us on Bay Parkway just one last time.

“I remember coming here with my parents as a little girl,” Ashkenazi told PIX11. “It is so sad."

She had also just learned that the 94-year-old founder of Toys 'R' Us had passed away on the eve of its liquidation, just one more blow to an iconic chain that meant so much to so many.

Charles Lazarus founded Toys 'R' Us in 1948 as he was coming home from World War II and heard all his war buddies talk about starting families.

“He took post-baby boom World War II and saw his friends having children,” Jane King, CEO of LilaMaxMedia, told PIX11. “He’s the one who came up with the backwards ‘R’ that looks like a child’s drawing. He died along with the company,” she added.

The CEO of Bratz doll maker MGA entertainment Isaac Larian is hoping Toys 'R' Us isn’t finished.

He has started a GoFundMe page, putting up $200 million and hoping to raise a billion from other investors, big and small, to bid on up to 400 Toys 'R' Us stores being liquidated.

Consumer reporter Jane King says it’s a novel approach since GoFundMe pages are usually tax deductible charities and this is not;

“This crowdfunding is fairly new and it’s interesting that it is started by a toy manufacturer,” Jane King, the consumer reporter, told PIX11. “But then the hard part begins. They have to compete against Amazon which brings us back to where we are.”

Bargain hunters can expect to find 30 percent off of all toys on the bankrupt chain, but inventory’s already low on the most popular brands.

People with gift cards and endless earning ones should use them first since there’s an end in sight.

“I have about $300 in gift cards that I have to use by April 16th,” Natalie Dorsainvil, shopper “It’s heartbreaking that Toys 'R' Us is closing,” she added.