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Ultraverse Revisited: House Ads October 1993

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Here are the house ads that I came across throughout the October 1993 Ultraverse titles!

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We had this introduction to The Night Man, by Steve Englehart; it also included several pages from The Night Man #1; but as they were simply pages from the issue and I already covered the issue itself, and I haven’t been putting story pages in these posts, I’ve opted to simply present the introduction as it’s the unique content.

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Here we have another “split-page” ad, with the two titles sharing the page, though as their own pieces on it.

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This ad was in several issues, and totally spoils Exiles #3. Of course, there’s other stuff that happens in the issue, and the issue itself sorta left room for hope, if one hadn’t seen this ad already. The ad basically smashes any hope one would have for Tinsel’s outcome. That said, the ad doesn’t tell us how she dies–so you still have to read the actual issue for that.

This could have been a bait and switch sort of thing…after all, if they have to SAY “for real,” does that mean that it isn’t actually for real or permanent? Well, this was 1993, not 2018 Marvel, so…a bit more weight goes to it!

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I did not remember this ad at all, but it’s one that I really like. While on one hand you shouldn’t NEED to have something laid out for you like this as a reader…it’s cool to show both a checklist of issues-so-far for completists, as well as showing how stuff has, truly, actually been getting doled out all along without retcons or fudging to force something to fit.


While not exactly house ads, across the titles (themselves across several weeks–the entire month of October 1993!) there was a 4-part “strip” of The Mighty Magnor.

I was vaguely aware of the character thanks to a Savage Dragon crossover ; and it’s easy to forget (or never even realize) that Malibu Comics was actually the original publisher of Image Comics–those earliest first issues from Image were published by Malibu! [EDIT: vaguely aware enough that I mixed up Magnor and Megaton Man…bit of a brainfart! The Savage Dragon crossover was actually the Savage Dragon/Megaton Man. Apparently I was trying to recall the hubbub with the pop-up cover of The Mighty Magnor #1 but that got intercepted by recent thoughts on Savage Dragon and my enjoying the tidbit of Image comics first being published through Malibu!]

Anyway, here are the 4 Mighty Magnor strips from October 1993:

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Week #1

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Week #2

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Week #3

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Week #4

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The Weekly Haul: Week of July 18, 2018

This was a small week comics-wise!

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New Batman, first issue of Archie Meets Batman ’66, a #0-issue for Rise of the TMNT, and the second issue of The Magic Order. I either haven’t read #1 yet despite buying it, or have totally forgotten it already, but went ahead and picked up #2 to be sure to have it. Whether I’d go on to a 3rd issue remains to be seen!


I ended up splurging on some new DuckTales stuff this week:

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I was VERRRRRRRY glad to find that Launchpad is available as a single-figure card, and NOT exclusive to the Suncatcher (plane) playset, and got him, as well as Flintheart Glomgold.

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Larger view of Launchpad…

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Larger view of Glomgold…

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I also went ahead and bought the Target-exclusive 10-inch Scrooge McDuck Pop vinyl (From Funko. Not being much of a statues guy, this one struck me as "statuesque" and though it’s not my favorite interpretation of Scrooge, I like it for what it is.

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The cats didn’t know what to make of Scrooge, though, and both came over to check him out before I could even get him outta the box!

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Sarah took off after determining that he wasn’t food, treat, nor comics to lay on. Chloe settled in to ask how she might obtain the same sort of financial success as Scrooge…

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Ultraverse Revisited: Ultrafiles and Letters Pages October 1993

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Now that we’re done with the actual issues/story contents for the October 1993 Ultraverse titles, on to the Ultrafiles and letters pages!

All of these are at half-size to fit on the blog page…just click on the images to open a larger version!

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Ultrafiles page 1…

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Ultrafiles page 2 with the Ask Diane section.

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The Exiles letters page from Exiles #3.

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The Freex letters page from Freex #4.

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The Hardcase letters page from Hardcase #5.

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The Prime letters page from Prime #5.

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Prototype letters page from Prototype #3.

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And finally, the Strangers letters page from The Strangers #5.


It’s definitely cool to see letters pages–in 2018, they seem pretty much a relic of the past, so definitely a bit of nostalgia there. Several of these don’t even have a "name" yet, but letters were run anyway. And of course, the Ultrafiles pages deal with the entire line, and include a bit of information about the upcoming Break-Thru, as well as the Ask Diane blurb.

As said at the top of this post…click on any of the images to open them in a larger size, as they’ve been shrunk to fit this blog layout.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of July 11, 2018

This past week was a small week for me for comics!

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The new Superman #1–a long time (several months?) coming. I still think this would’ve been the place to start with the storyline that we got as Man of Steel (2018). Then we have the extra-sized Flash #50, with what I suppose is the "conclusion" of Flash War (at "only" 4 chapters…but an Annual prologue and whatever other lead-up threw me off with the title earlier in the year).

GI Joe: A Real American Hero #253…a series closing in on its 100th issue or so. This "began" with a Free Comic Book Day #155 1/2, if I’m recalling correctly–and then started properly with #156…picking up from the original Marvel numbering going back to the early 1980s! Given the time between 1995 and the start of this run, the series could legitimately have started with a new #1…but this has a feel of TRUE "legacy" in the numbering.

The second issue of Aliens: Dust to Dust is out; and the "surprise" new series from Kirkman Die!Die!Die! premiered with the barest heads-up that it was even going to be available. I opted to check it out on principle: the way I grouse about over-hype and over-marketing and such (particularly from the likes of Marvel) I feel I should at least check something like this out to "support" something NOT being part of the "hype machine" and all that. If they’re willing to take a chance putting it out withOUT all the hype/etc, I can take a chance on a #1. Normally I’d be annoyed at something with a distinct lack of information available…but especially as an exception to the norm, I’ll give it a bit of leeway.


And speaking of exceptions, I was actually going to go ahead and check out the new Amazing Spider-Man #1 given some online spoilers…I even went so far as to physically pick up a copy of the issue to look at…but the $5.99 (while not $9.99!) was still way too much for me for some "casual" "check-out." At $3.99…I’d’ve bought it. That extra $2–whether extra main-story pages or not, is too much. Marvel already put me off with years of $4.99 #1s…going up to $5.99 just keeps me out all the more! With all the relaunches/renumberings/WHATEVER…certainly they could do a "loss-leader" and give some extra pages for a lower price, to get folks to check the thing out?

There’s also some sort of "digital sale" for DC…and though I already have the print edition, $4.99 for the digital Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle was well worth a purchase…all the more as I’ve been annoyed lately at all the digital sales having been $5.99. Though my tablet (an iPad 2) is nearing the end of its functionality (I"ve already had to drop Marvel Unlimited due to incompatibility), it still works with the DC app (over 4 years on and I’ve yet to buy anything through Comixology itself since they dropped in-app purchases through Apple devices.) I’d been on the edge of paying $1.99/issue for the four-part The Mud Pack as it was…so here, for $3 cheaper, got a whole mess of additional issues’ content for the price. AND I don’t feel bad double-dipping on the digital for "only" $4.99 despite having the actual hardcover and numerous copies of each of the single issues from The Mud Pack.

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New DuckTales Toys in Target!

The other day, I was clued in that there is a new line of DuckTales toys at Target!

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I zipped out intending to get several. The first location did not yet have them out–an employee suggested they had them "in" but didn’t know when they’d be "put out." (this, despite the Target site AND app both saying they were "in stock"–something I’d take as meaning shelved and available for walk-ins).

So I went to another nearby Target where I had some actual success!

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Of course, it wouldn’t be DuckTales without Scrooge McDuck himself!

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And then, following behind, other primary characters like Huey and Dewey…

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Also Louie and Webby, rounding out "the kids" (how did I get old enough for that phrasing to seem most appropriate?)

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The single-figure cards were $8.99, while the two-packs of the kids were $12.99.

I also saw the single-card Donald Duck and Flintheart Glomgold, but passed on them, only having so much to spend. I do intend to get those eventually, assuming these are not a one-shot flash-in-the-pan for the store.

There are also a couple of "playsets"–the Suncatcher (plane) that comes with Launchpad McQuack (I suspect but have not confirmed it as the ONLY way to get the character, but I did not see a single-figure card for him!). There’s also some sort of Money-Bin playset.

And while not part of this line, there’s a HUGE Pop figure–like a "statuette"–of Scrooge on a pile of coins from his Money-Bin.

I also saw a pack of "inaction" figures with most of the key characters, and they had the first two graphic novels from IDW on the endcap as well. There was also a box/pile of talking plush characters, and though I didn’t see them, something for what I believe is a set of blind-pack figures.

All in all…a nice-size roll-out for a line of toys based on an excellent cartoon!

I have GOT to get caught up…they "lost" me last year with their HUGE hiatus, and I’ve yet to get back to the show since (and the DVR didn’t pick up any of the newer episodes, so I suspect the usual random quackery going on that seems to plague ALL cartoons I try to keep up with).

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The Weekly Haul: Week of July 4, 2018

Last week was an odd week for comics, with a US holiday being on Wednesday itself…and with both Marvel AND DC putting out key books on the day, many comic shops opened for limited hours so as to accommodate making sure people could buy the Wedding issue of Batman as well as the premieres of the new Catwoman and Captain America series, among other things. I had a mix of stuff, making it to two shops, amidst a couple of other things going on.

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I was doing my darnedest to avoid SPOILERS for Batman, and while I technically succeeded…I saw ENOUGH to have a PRETTY STRONG GUESS as to what happened, though I still hoped I was wrong. I ended up buying the issue digitally so I could read it before 1am, and thus be "safe" with spoilers I knew were out there. Suffice it to say that I opted NOT to buy Catwoman. The new Man of Steel mini had its final issue–and I really feel like this SHOULD HAVE BEEN simply the first three issues of the new Superman and 1001-1003 of Action Comics with Bendis. I just don’t see the "specialness" to it that warranted this as a mini-series…we have a new villain, major developments…but nothing to the LEVEL OF the John Byrne stuff.

I’m quite enjoying the TMNT: Urban Legends, reprinting the Image run of the TMNT book in color. While I know Peter Laird retained some publishing rights to his own series when he sold the property…given we’ve seen some IDW reprints of the Tales of the TMNT run from the 2001+ era, I hope we might also eventually get colorized reprints of his TMNT vol. 4…perhaps even some sort of finishing of the story that trailed off around 2007.

I need to catch up on my reading of Spawn, though being "on" the title since #256 or so, I’m probably still on at least to #300. Of course, a jump from $2.99 to $3.99 might have me reconsidering that. And as much as I like Priest, I have yet to actually read any of the Deathstroke vs. Batman issues, and as I’m easing out of DC, as this arc wraps, I’ll probably be off the title.

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Bane: Conquest finally gets to its 12th issue. I can’t even honestly remember at this point if I read the first issue last year with stuff going on in my personal life–but the intent was always there, so I stuck with the title. Now by the time I get around to gathering all 12 issues together AND actually reading, I should have waited for the collected volume.

The sheer audacity of this The Pouch character got me for Bloodstrike: Brutalists. I have had zero luck finding concrete info as to whether this Brutalists numbering is continuing from the 1990s’ numbering or a more recent numbering. If the latter, I may jump in; otherwise, might go for a collected edition.

TMNT Universe is another I have to catch up on reading…though being TMNT, it’s an exception to most of my usual problems with comics and gets that "pass" on its over-pricing.

Then we have the newest DC Nation issue; a 10-cent Project Superpowers issue, and another Back Issue issue caught my eye.


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With plans to catch Ant-Man and the Wasp, and known traffic issues with my route, I built a lot of extra time into things on Friday and made it to a Booksamillion I hadn’t been to in awhile, and managed to get this Tyrannosaurus Rex Pop that I passed on some time back and regretted doing so. I thought about getting the Velociraptor but ultimately passed on it due to other books (see further below) and a few other factors for present.

I continue to notice that I love these figures for non-human-face characters. They’re excellent for the style…but the human characters/faces just look too generic for my taste.

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I stopped in at The Exchange, a location of which I hadn’t been to in awhile…and had a 3-way excellent find!

Some years back, a friend had found a copy of this The Further Adventures of the Joker book for me…though in regrettably poor condition. Still, it was the only copy of the thing I’d ever seen or come across. But here, I found one in much better condition, and for 25% cheaper than a standard Marvel comic!

I’d been vaguely aware THAT there was a hardcover edition of The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told, but finding it for $10–half the price of the PAPERback edition–and in relatively decent shape, and it being Superman…I snagged it, as I know full well I’d have totally regretted it if I didn’t and missed out. This is now shelved next to my original paperback copy (that I received as a Christmas gift in 1989…my first-ever TPB/graphic novel/collected edition).

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The Exchange also had this Samurai Usagi figure. I don’t’ recall if I’d actually ever seen this "in the wild" or not–I’d seen a couple of the regular version, and bought one of those at the time–but seeing this for only $10 (basically a $2ish premium over Target or Walmart before they prematurely clearanced the line out completely) I jumped on it.

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Along with the Jurassic Park Pop, the Booksamillion also actually had The Son of Neptune with the other bargain-priced volumes. I’d been eyeing these for quite awhile, but saw no point in buying the hardbacks for vols 3+ without owning vol. 2…and having bought vol. 1 in hardback when it first came out (whenever that was now) I wanted the hardbacks instead of the paperbacks. So finding vols 2-5, I sucked it up and spent the money to get these. The next challenge will be actually getting around to–you guessed it–reading them.

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And speaking of "challenge" and "reading" as a singular thing… Sarah-cat here has really gotten consistent with inserting herself into things whenever I’m trying to read OR take photos for this blog… but she’s so darned cute, and I’d always loved spotlighting Ziggy as well as Chloe along with comics and such, I can’t be annoyed with her. Especially when I can get her to actually look at the camera like this!

But as I posted on Twitter when I sent this photo out…it’s safe to assume that any photos in this blog have passed her inspection, as I can’t seem to take any without her being on-hand to supervise. Chloe is often nearby as well, though she seems to have delegated to Sarah, which means between both of them, this blog is 100% kitty-approved!

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The End: Toys "R" Us – June 29, 2018 #TRU #ToysRUs #ToysRUsKid

This is it.

Today’s the end.

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Toys R Us is–after several months of liquidation and such–closing officially.

My final visit was the other day–Wednesday, June 27.

It was the Mentor, Ohio store–across from the Great Lakes Mall. This was the first Toys R Us that I remember…and in many ways, the most important. At least, to me.

This was the TRU that I got my very first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figure–an original Rocksteady (that has, unfortunately, been lost to the passage of time). This was the TRU where I got my Dino-Riders figures. This was the TRU where a friend and I loaded up shopping cards with clearance Star Wars Episode I toys one friday evening after we’d just gotten paid for the week, back in the summer of 2000. This is the specific TRU where I got some Marvel Overpower starter decks and boosters; where a friend and I once debated whether or not and which of us should go back in to try to ask out the cute cashier.

I specifically remember getting the mutant fly of the original TMNT  line–Baxter Stockman–at this location. I remember seeing some of the Marvel Onslaught/Heroes Reborn figures here. I bought my X-Man (Nate Grey) figure here.

I got my very first figure of the TMNT 2012 line here–a lone Donatello figure, and that was the only figure they had out that first visit.

I bought my Herocscape boardgames at this store.

And I made my two largest/most-expensive single-item toy purchases of my entire life at this store.

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Over the years–while yes, I’ve bought plenty of toys from places like Target and Walmart, even the occasional online purchase–Toys R Us was THE place to go for toys of pretty much any sort.

Maybe it’s the “looking back with rose-tinted glasses” of memory, but I feel like even when I had complaints about pricing, Toys R Us was consistent and always there. They would have that elusive Pop, that elusive TMNT figure, the elusive Marvel Legends figure. They would have chain-exclusive stuff, made specifically for them…and there was plenty that they would have exclusively, because they were the only place that would give something a chance.

Maybe most notably for me, the TMNT Classics line–reproductions of the original 1980s figures. While I eventually did find most of my ORIGINAL-originals, the reproductions filled things out. No other toy chain stocked this line–you could NOT get it from Walmart or Target or such.

And I never stopped going to Toys R Us. I wasn’t there every week, or even every month…but I was in there frequently. While maybe not every week or month, there were times that I’d be in this particular store a couple times within a week. And some times that I might make “the rounds” and visit not only the Mentor location, but other relatively-nearby locations.

Beyond Mentor, there was one in Mayfield Heights that I’d go to here and there. Rarely specifically, but when I was already in that area for Half-Price Books or Microcenter or some such, I’d stop in. There was one in Fairlawn/Montrose not far from where I worked for a time that I visited a number of times. In July 2016 specifically, I remember zipping over to that store on a lunch break to get a Charizard figure for my desk shortly after Pokemon Go hit–also not knowing I was a couple weeks away from being laid off.

There was one in Cuyahoga Falls that I went to most during my grad school years and then living in the city itself for another 8 years until being laid off. This one was across the street from a Target, and about a 5 minute drive from my apartment, so it was easy to get to just to “see what they have” at any given time. Back in 2009, after securing our tickets for the new Star Trek film, my roommate and I went in and between the two of us, bought the entire line of figures, along with a couple overlaps.

There was another Toys R Us over in Sandusky that I’d been to a number of times with a couple of different friends that live near there.

There was one in Toledo that I got to a handful of times during college, and where I got my 2003-TMNT turtle van. I remember on one visit to Toledo leaving several friends at the mall, driving to TRU myself because I was the only one that wanted to go in, and then meeting back up with my friends at the mall afterward.

So very many other memories I could dig up if I tried, and had the time.

Maybe it’s sentimentality. Maybe it’s my weird memory or the way my mind works, associating people and events with places and physical spaces.

I believe I would have been “introduced to” Toys R Us at least by 1988…and my earliest conscious memory of the store was that first TMNT figure, which I believe would have been sometime in 1989…so that late-1988 until whenever it was specifically in 1989 is a bit fuzzy.

But give or take a few months to a year…nearly 30 years.

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Ultimately–for me–it ended with a whimper. With a final $11.77 including sales tax. Two talking Titan Hero Series Avengers Infinity War figures–Thor and Starlord. A 2017-Power Rangers movie morpher. And a poster kit of some sort from a “pre-order” of the digital Star Wars: The Force Awakens…purchased for the posters, zero regard if it includes a digital movie code or not (I’m assuming it does not).

My final time in the Mentor store, it was just the entrance-area atrium and the front main aisle. Everything else was taped off…and a good 3/4ths of the space even there was empty, bare shelving. The Power Rangers morpher was on a shelf slightly into what used to be the videogames and such area–but otherwise that area was taped off, too.

I felt bad–like some vulture picking over the bones of something that used to be fuzzy and cute. This final time, I wasn’t there for some sale–not in itself. I mean, I was curious what was left, what they’d have.

But in a way, I wish that I hadn’t gone.

At least the previous time in the store, it still seemed like a store instead of a garage sale. This was pitiful–it was sad. To see a once-great toy store full of all sorts of toys reduced to whatever it was. It made my personal toy collection look like some huge thing, and the store selection look like some cast-off.

And I felt bad as well, hearing other people muttering about the lack of selection. Like they were inconvenienced by there not being MORE still there for up to 90% off. Like they’d been slighted.

Yet, all these employees hustling about–it was very nearly the end for their JOBS. I’ve been laid off twice myself in the span of 18 months, so I can sure as heck appreciate the “losing a job out from under” one’s self, but at least in my experiences, it’s pretty much been a matter of cleaning out my workspace and leaving–and that’s that. I’ve never had to hang around for weeks or months, doing my job as if everything’s normal, dealing with people as if everything’s normal. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have to put on the usual, cordial front, to be working RETAIL, being nice to customers, while watching my job drain away…even as customers are out for a deal.

There was virtually nothing left on Wednesday…because the chain filed for bankruptcy. Is closing. This liquidation sale’s been going on for several months. Employees are out of their jobs…and people were upset because they thought there should’ve been a bigger selection?

I was there for the nostalgia of walking into Toys R Us at all, for the nearly-last (or as it’s turned out, THE last) time. I bought what I bought to “buy SOMEthing,” since I was there, since I had for some reason grabbed a cart.

I could have gone one last time today…but I opted not to.

Wednesday was enough.

Maybe we’ll see a return of the brand someday–look at Hostess. But in terms of “continuity” and such…this is it.

It’s over.

But…I’m still “a Toys R Us kid.”

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