George Samayoa is keeping the spirit of Toys R Us alive this holiday season.
The Pomona collectibles shop owner spent thousands of dollars on items from the toy store's West Covina location after the company announced it was going out of business earlier this year. The highlight is the familiar Toys R Us sign with its backwards R, which now sits on top of En-Force Collectibles -- a glowing reminder of childhood visits to the beloved toy store.
"We just lit it up and it turned out to be phenomenal for us," Samayoa said.
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Samayoa raised the 4-foot tall letters Friday. He actually purchased the sign from a brother, who bought it from a friend.
"I wasn't really thinking about it because I thought it would be expensive," he told the Daily Bulletin. "It was. Not so much the sign, but you have to rent a crane and you have to get an electrician to pluck them out."
To avoid any confusion, Samayoa put up a sign that indicates his shop is not a Toys R Us store. He said he's just paying tribute to the "greatest toy store in history."
He scooped up other memeorabilia from the West Covina store, including shopping bags, racks, display items and a coin-operated Geoffrey the Giraffe mascot ride. That item was so popular, one of Samayoa's customers already purchased it from him.
More than 30,000 people lost jobs when the company closed about 800 stories. The company faced $5 billion in debut before liquidating its U.S. assets.