Crowdfunding campaign a fizzer
NOSTALGIA hasn’t translated into dollars in a long-shot effort to crowdfund a future for Toys R Us.
Neither did efforts to recruit other toy makers.
A campaign led by a billionaire toy executive who pledged $US200 million ($256 million) with other investors in hopes of saving part of the bankrupt chain has foundered, with only $US59,000 ($75,688) more raised in three weeks. Isaac Larian said Thursday he’s disappointed but still plans to formally submit a bid this week for more than 300 stores in the U.S. and Canada.
Mr Larian, CEO of privately held MGA Enterprises that makes the popular LOL Surprise dolls, said other toy companies initially were interested in joining the crowdfunding effort but backed down. Mr Larian, who had said he would use his own money for the bid, said he was baffled and said they were public companies thinking about the short term.
The liquidation of Toys R Us “is going to have a longterm effect on the toy business,” he said. He plans to submit to the bankruptcy court a formal bid of $675 million to buy 274 Toys R Us stores and use the brand name. The money will come from his own coffers, other investors and bank financing.