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Industry Toys
Fate Acquired by Toys R Us
Founded November 3, 1997; 20 years ago (1997-11-03)[1]
Defunct 2009
Products Toys
Parent Toys "R" Us
Website was a retail website that sold toys via the Internet. It was established by a startup company of the same name in 1997. After going public in 1999, the company quickly shot up in value, becoming emblematic of the dot-com bubble. The company went bankrupt in 2001 and shut down soon thereafter. The domain went through a number of changes of ownership afterwards, and has been owned by Toys "R" Us since February 2009.


eToys was launched in 1997 as an Idealab company.[2] In 1999, eToys held an IPO. Shares were issued at $20. At the end of the first day of trading, the stocks closed in at $76 a share.[3] eMarketer was once quoted as saying; "Put simply, eToys is the benchmark against which all other toy sites are measured".[4] In 1999, the company was involved in a high-profile dispute with Swiss art site etoy. EToys attempted to seize the domain from etoy on the grounds that it was confusingly similar to its own domain, but it relented after widespread Internet outrage.[5]

Chapter 11 bankruptcy[edit]

Around March 7, 2001, the Wall Street Journal reported that KB Toys acquired the bulk of eToys' remaining assets for $5 million.[6] Bain Capital owns KB Toys. The law firm Traub, Bonacquist & Fox represented the creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Paul Traub, a partner in the firm, had shortly before formed a company called Asset Disposition Advisors, LLC with Barry Gold. This relationship became controversial when Gold was appointed CEO of eToys. Some complained there was a conflict of interest, though a judge later found no fault.[7][8]

Subsequent ownership[edit]

Nearly all the eToys assets were acquired by KB Toys in two separate bankruptcy auctions, then later sold to D. E. Shaw, a New York-based hedge fund. The website was eventually reopened by eToys Direct Inc., a descendant of Internet startup and KB Toys partner, and a subsidiary of Parent Company. It continued to market toys by mail order under the eToys name through both the website and printed catalogs. Parent Company and nine of its subsidiaries including eToys Direct filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on December 22, 2008.[6] was acquired by Toys "R" Us in February 2009.[9]


  1. ^ " WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info - DomainTools". WHOIS. Retrieved 2016-07-26. 
  2. ^ "Idealab: Our Companies: eToys". Idealab. 
  3. ^ Cotriss, David (May 9, 2008). "Where are they now:". The Industry Standard. Archived from the original on March 3, 2009. 
  4. ^ "eToys Named #1 Online Toy Store Website; eMarketer's Top 10 List Rates Outstanding Online General Toy Merchants". Business Wire. November 22, 2000. 
  5. ^ "EToys Relents, Won't Press Suit". December 29, 1999. 
  6. ^ a b Rosenbloom, Stephanie (December 30, 2008). "Parent Company, a Retailer, Files for Bankruptcy". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Potential Conflict Problem for Bankruptcy Law Firm". White Collar Crime Prof Blog. July 26, 2005. 
  8. ^ Pereira, Joseph (July 25, 2005). "EToys Investors Claim Conflict At Law Firm". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on July 25, 2005. 
  9. ^ Anderson, Mae (February 12, 2009). "Toys 'R' Us buys, other sites". The Associated Press. Archived from the original on February 15, 2009. 

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