Over the last few years, there’s been a big push to digitize, archive, and save various bits and pieces of video game media. Beyond saving games, there are guides, art, and images used in a variety of mediums — advertisements, commercials stuck in limbo on VHS tapes, among others. This “old media” is also perfect for social media and doling out nostalgia one hashtag at a time. 

This week, we were all treated to a rare find. Originally listed on eBay, Twitter user @pori64 ended up buying a photo album containing photos of two Toys”R”Us locations taken around 1999/2000. They’ve scanned and shared all the pictures and shared them on Twitter and Archive.org.

 

 
It’s also thanks to the video game fandom that more information was shared about where and when these photos were taken, as well as noting that the captures are of Toys”R”Us’ revamped version of the store (and RZone, the video game section) that was rolling out in 1999. Photos that have the “6 29 ‘00” date stamp show the Paramus, New Jersey location. The undated photos that have a cooler-tone are of the Hanover, NJ store. As for why these photos exist, and explains why most of them were taken during TRU-Paramus’ remodel, @pori64 shared the following:

 

 
As someone who fondly remembers Toys”R”Us and browsed the store quite often during this time period, these photos do a fantastic job of showing what 1999/2000 was like. All that’s missing, in my opinion, are pictures of the Pokémon toy aisle and Pokémon TCG League meetups that showcase the “Pokémania” that was taking over North America at the time.

 

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Written by Jennifer Burch

Illustrator, designer, writer and big Nintendo geek, you can find Jennifer with an N3DS within reach 24/7. As the oldest of three, she has survived many Mario Party, Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart sessions intact in addition to getting her brothers hooked on some really weird games. (Cubivore anyone?)

Jennifer Burch

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