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Final logo until its 2009 closure
|Kay-Bee Toy & Hobby|
(as Kay Bee Toys)|
Pittsfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Founders||Harry and Joseph Kaufman|
|Defunct||February 9, 2009|
Number of locations
|431 (prior to closing)|
|Products||Children toys and games|
Number of employees
|4,300 (prior to closing)|
K·B Toys (previously known as Kay Bee Toys[when?]) was a chain of mall-based retail toy stores in the United States. Founded in 1922, it operated, at its height, 1300 stores across all 50 states, and went out of business in 2009. International retailer Toys "R" Us acquired the remains of K·B Toys, consisting mainly of its website, trademarks, and intellectual property rights.
Founded in 1922 by the Kaufman brothers, K·B operated 605 stores in 44 U.S. states, Puerto Rico as well as Guam. It was privately held in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. K·B Toys was owned by Melville Corporation (which was responsible for its KFC chain), but that company sold it to Consolidated Stores in 1996. It was also the second-oldest operating toy retailer in North America (behind FAO Schwarz) before its demise.
At the time of its liquidation, K·B Toys operated three distinct store formats: K·B Toys, K·B Toy Works (the result of a merger between KB Toys and The Toy Works), and K·B Toys Outlet (aka Toy Liquidators). K·B Toys stores were mostly found in the company's traditional base of shopping malls, where many of its stores were located for years. K·B Toy Works stores were typically found in outdoor strip malls. K·B Toys Outlet and Toy Liquidators stores, as the name implies, were usually found in outlet centers/malls.
The company used the slogans "America's Toy Store", "Hot We Got, at KB", and "The Toy Store in the Mall".
K·B Toys closed 156 stores on November 8, 2007 to leave the chain with 1,144 stores.
Following the company's second bankruptcy in five years, the chain began going-out-of-business sales in December 2008. The store-closing sales (as well as the termination of the company's website) were concluded on February 9, 2009.
The K·B Toys brand and related intangible assets were sold by Streambank LLC to Toys "R" Us on September 4, 2009, for a reported $2.1 million. Because K·B Toys's 460 stores had been closed and liquidated, the sale applied mainly to the company's logo, website, trademarks, and other intellectual properties. Toys "R" Us was initially unsure of how to integrate the K·B name into its business plan. Toys "R" Us has used the K·B Toys name on self-manufactured toys under the name "KB Classics" with the K·B Toys logo.
- Smith, Jenn (15 October 2005). "Former KB Toys owner dies". The Berkshire Eagle. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
- Pereira, Joseph; John Kell (September 4, 2009). "Toys 'R' Us Buys KB Toys' Brand". Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved 2016-01-09.
- "Sears to Open Test Sites With KB Toys". latimes. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
- "KB Toys in Sears for holidays". DeseretNews.com. 8 October 2003. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
- Brickley, Peg (December 11, 2008). "K·B Toys Faces Liquidation". Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
- Official website
- "K·B Toys – Company History", FundingUniverse.com, dense overview of business history as of 2006 (~15kb)
- Exhibit A Delaware Bankruptcy Court Chapter 11 Document
- "KB Toys emerges from bankruptcy, names Toys 'R' Us exec as CEO", BizJournals.com
- "KB Toys files for Chapter 11 after cutthroat holiday season", usatoday.com