Does anyone else remember Child World?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by StephenA, Apr 13, 2002.

  1. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    I don't know if there are still any around, but the one that was here went out of business due to Toys R Us moving in across the street. Child World is still my favorite toy store, and I miss it alot. it was the first one I ever went to, and ever remember going to. I have alot of great memories with that place.
     
  2. Michael Pineo

    Michael Pineo Stunt Coordinator

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    Child World! Wow, I haven't heard that name in a while. I used to love that store growing up. I can remember taking cash I got for birthday or Christmas presents, and just wandering around the store trying to decide what to buy.
    I think I bought most of my He-Man and GI Joe toys there. Man, those were the days [​IMG]
    MikeP
     
  3. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    Yes they were. I had so much fun there. I used to get Legos, He-Man stuff, Ghostbusters stuff, GI-Joe stuff, Thundercats stuff, Voltron stuff, original Star Wars stuff, Matchboxes, and a whole bunch of other stuff there. It's also where I used to get the games for Intellevision and where I got my first Nintendo. Boy do I really miss that place. [​IMG]
     
  4. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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    Bought my original Nintendo and a whole bunch of toys there as a kid. I miss Child World and Lechmere a lot. Best Buy(too small) and Toy 'R Us(too big) don't really compare.
     
  5. Stephen L

    Stephen L Second Unit

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    I too miss Child World.Was Child World just a New England store or national chain? I was in a ToysRus tonight shopping for my daughters 4th birthday and don't like the layout of the store, only the video game area.
     
  6. Stephen L

    Stephen L Second Unit

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    Foud this old story from a google search on Lechmere.....Lechmere: Joining the ghosts of retailers past

    As a kid, I often would stay weekends at my grandparents' home on Medford Street in Somerville. From there, they'd take me to all sort of places in the Boston area: To their summer home in Nahant, to the old Boston Garden whenever the circus was in town, to North Shore restaurants where they introduced me to the glories of fried clams.

    Another place they often took me to was the Lechmere store in Cambridge. It was a big deal. It usually meant my grandmother was buying something very large and very important, like a refrigerator or some other big-ticket item. Lechmere was treated with awe--it was a major event to go there. It was a giant in an era when local stores and restaurants still ruled. No need to worry about national chains muscling into the market. Lechmere was king.

    So, like most New Englanders, it was sad indeed to hear last week that Montgomery Ward & Co., which is in bankruptcy, plans to close its dozens of Lechmere stores across the region, as well as two other chains it operates. Unless a way is found to save Lechmere, nearly 3,200 people will lose their jobs as a result of the closings. All of New England will lose a piece of its retail history.

    Sure, Lechmere (by the way, ever notice how most locals pronounce it "Lechmere's"?) has lost a lot of its allure over the years. Go ahead. Blame management. The mere fact Montgomery Ward & Co. is in bankruptcy speaks volumes about its market savvy.

    Still, it doesn't take a retail expert to tell us what we all know to be true: The era of regional chains dominating regional markets is at a close. The global economy is upon us. The bigger chains are in a better position to get more products to more people in more places at much lower prices. Smaller chains like Lechmere are at a competitive disadvantage. We all know it.

    But that doesn't mean we have to like it.

    For the life of me, I can't stand it when I discover what I think is a really quaint and unique store or restaurant, only to learn it's a pilot concept being rolled out by a venture capital-backed group hoping to bring it national. Can't anything these days be created or kept for local consumption only?

    Part department store and part electronics store, Lechmere isn't quaint, but it's definitely unique.

    Baby Boomers in particular have fond memories of Lechmere. They were taken there by their parents and grandparents. They shopped there as young adults.

    But talk to the parents and grandparents of Baby Boomers--and you get a slightly different version of Lechmere.

    Though started in 1913 by the Cohen family, Lechmere really didn't hit its stride until the 1950s and 1960s. Lechmere was considered to be the first of the great discount stores. Lechmere was the one putting old-line stores out of business. Not that our parents and grandparents didn't like Lechmere. They loved it. Lechmere in Cambridge was the talk of the entire region.

    But they, in turn, remember their own favorites (some competitors of Lechmere, others not): the Jays, the Chandlers, the R.H. Stearns, the Slatterys, the Gilchrists, the Grover Cronins and other retail oldies now gone.

    Caldor and Bradlees? Young upstarts. Marshalls and T.J. Maxx? Young punks.

    In a way, Lechmere became a victim of its own success. Others discovered better ways to provide better products at better prices. The old retail cycle of the big fish eating the little fish caught up to Lechmere.

    Believe it or not, the children of the Generation X crowd may one day mourn the loss of, say, Target stores, which, they say, are about to hit New England by storm. Rather than remembering the good old days of regional chains, they may be remembering the good old days of national chains. It's not as far-fetched as it sounds.

    But that's projecting too much into the future.

    The sentimental issue at hand is Lechmere.

    There's talk of somehow trying to save the venerable chain. I hope they do, but I'm not counting on it. The economics are working against Lechmere and other regional stores.

    Sentimentality didn't save other chains now long gone. Sentimentality won't save Lechmere........I like Bestbuy but I do miss Lechmere.

    .
     
  7. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    I remember the Child World in Portland, Maine (where my parents got me my first Atari 800XL) had a nifty fairy-tale castle facade. I never realized that it was part of a chain, being ten at the time and never having seen another one.
     
  8. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    I miss Lechmere too. It was cool. The Lechmere that used to be here in my town was knocked down and the lot turned into a Target a few years ago. i don't know why they just didn't keep the building for Target. Sometimes they are wasteful with buildings.

    The place where Child World was is now a Christmas Tree Shoppe. Boy do I hate that store. Cheapass shit there that is worth nothing. Stuff that would break with a flea fart. I have no idea if Child World was a regional or national chain because I can't find much information on it. All I know is that it was cool and blows Toys R Us away. I used to love the panda bear and castle front they had. Now all I have is the memories. Too bad my sister was just a baby when the place went out of business. It would be cool if she could remember it.

    Edited out inapropriate comment on my part. My bad.
     
  9. Kevin J Willis

    Kevin J Willis Stunt Coordinator

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    Around here in Cincinnati, Child World was called Childrens Palace. They went out of business here about 10 years ago, I think.
     
  10. Brian Lawrence

    Brian Lawrence Producer

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    "Child World , Child World, A super Toy Store with a Whole Lot More"
    Well that's how I think their jingle went, Can't really remember for sure. If I recall they had a Panda Bear as their Mascot. This was my favorite store when I was a kid. I remember buying some games there for my Atari 2600 & Odyssey2 systems . K.C. Munchkin was 10 times better than the crap that Atari released a few years later as Pac-Man.
     
  11. Brian Lawrence

    Brian Lawrence Producer

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  12. Dan Brodin

    Dan Brodin Stunt Coordinator

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    ahhhhh Child World. We used to have one nearby in Forest Park Illinois. I remember when I first saw it and asked my Dad if we could check it out. It looked so magnificent to a small 8 year old. Its castlelike exterior was just so inviting. I remember wondering the ailes taking in all the goodies. Thunder Cats, Ghostbusters, nintendo games, He-Man. This place was filled to the brim with stuff to make a kid drool. I know I loved it but I bet I Dad probably doesn't miss it as he told me of the "great" times he had checking in everyday around Christmas or my birthday to get me those specific action figures or games I was so entranced by which were always the ones that were the hardest to find. Sadly Child World just shut down one day and I had to resort to finding my goodies at the stupid giraffe store. [​IMG]
    -Dan
     
  13. Evan Case

    Evan Case Screenwriter

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    Don't know Child World but the toy shopping of my youth almost always included a stop at Lionel Kiddie City.
    The mascot was a kangaroo, I believe.
    Their ageless slogan: "Let Lionel Kiddie City turn your frown upside down."
    Loved that place. [​IMG]
    Evan
     
  14. Calvin Watts III

    Calvin Watts III Supporting Actor

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    Whoa..
    I can touch on 3 topics at once [​IMG]
    First,to stay on topic - Child World was awesome!
    We had 3 in my area, & I remember taking the bus to Garden City so I could get the Secret Wars Black Spiderman. You always got help,according to my mom, & it was a fun place to go.
    When they closed,it was a sad day [​IMG]
    But,it also got me into toy collecting when they put out a bunch of Mego Star Trek:TMP figures at closeout.
    Now Lechmere...
    I worked at the Seekonk location for 4 years,back in the late 80's/early 90's when things were going well. They were able to survive the Leiser's & the Highland's by offering some different products & great customer service.
    The trio of Circuit City coming into the market - offering good customer service (back then...now they are the worst and their associates don't know much at all), Wal-Mart opening stores in the N.E. region (look at how many dept. stores closed when that happened...and Montgomery Ward taking over Lechmere & running it into the ground,spelled the end of Lechmere.
    I don't miss that as much because of Best Buy.
    And the Christmas Tree Shop is a godawful store....
    but man...the women LOVE shopping there.
    I'll go with my other half..BUT only if we go somewhere I'd like to go as well. (EB,BB,Suncoast) [​IMG]
    Calvin
     
  15. Stephen L

    Stephen L Second Unit

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  16. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I had forgotten all about Child World until I saw this post - now I can't get that annoying #@$%! jingle out of my head! [​IMG]
    It was a pretty cool store, now sadly gone, but that's life in the Darwinian world of retail.
    Regards,
    Joe
     

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