A billionaire toy exec started a GoFundMe to bring Toys R Us back from the brink of death — and he’s pledging $259 million

Toys R Us is liquidating, but one toy company CEO is making a play to save it. Business Insider/Jessica Tyler
  • Toys R Us announced it would be closing or selling all of its stores in the US.
  • On Wednesday, a toy company exec and several investors set up a GoFundMe page and pledged $US200 million ($AU259 million) towards rescuing the company.
  • Toys R Us fans have also donated nearly $US4,000 and counting towards the cause.

Toys R Us announced it would be closing or selling all 735 of its US stores this month after filing to liquidate.

But some people aren’t ready to give up hope.

On Wednesday, toy company executive Isaac Larian, along with other investors, set up a GoFundMe page to raise $US1 billion towards saving the toy retailer. Larian and the investors kicked off the proceedings by donating $US200 million towards the cause.

The money collected through the campaign will be used to acquire some of Toys R Us’ stores.

Larian is CEO of California-based MGA Entertainment, which makes the Bratz doll. Nearly one in five of the sales made by the company is done at a Toys R Us store, according to the Associated Press, so his personal donation isn’t entirely selfless.

Those who donate won’t be entitled to any equity in the company, but Larian is offering some rewards to sweeten the deal: bumper stickers, magnets, and T-shirts, depending on how generous your donation is. These gifts are only redeemable if the acquisition is successful.

So far, nearly $US4,000 has been donated by Toys R Us fans. Some have donated as much as $US100 each.

If the bid is unsuccessful, funds will be returned to those who donated.

“Hoping my child can continue to share in the experience of growing up as a Toys ‘R’Us kid,” one commenter wrote on the GoFundMe page.

Others are furious.

“Just let it die,” one person wrote.

Another wrote: “Wow, we can try to save a toy store but can’t raise money to protect our schools better. Imagine what $US200+ M would do for our schools.”