Before I fell in love with Toys R Us and Kaybee Toys in the 80's, my favorite toy store in the 1970's was Child World. The Child World I used to go to was located on Chase Avenue in Waterbury. I was driving up Chase Ave the other day and had a serious flashback of the tiny Fotomat hut in the shopping plaza, and how wonderful it was to shop at Child World after we had dropped off our film.

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Child World made their stores resemble castles, and the Massachusetts-based company was the second largest retailer of children's toys around 1975. Child World had long aisles filled with toys, and it was my favorite place in the world because it's where I bought most of my Star Wars toys.

One of my fondest memories of my childhood, seriously, was finding an AT-AT at that Child World on Chase Ave. The Empire Strikes Back was my everything, and finding this toy after searching for months was such a joy. I found a vintage video of my treasure -

While I'm sharing my memories, I also found a vintage Child World commercial from 1980 -

What happened to Child World? Simple answer, money mismanagement. Around 1990, the company that bought Child World started to stiff their vendors, who then refused to ship new products to Child World, and along came Toys R Us and KayBee. Child World eventually filed for bankruptcy in 1992. On August 2 of 1992, the company liquidated 71 locations and they were done.

Chase Avenue and the shopping plaza where Child World Waterbury once stood looks like a new world now. Here's a recent photo from Google:

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Stop & Shop has a tiny little toy aisle, Toys R Us and Kaybee are long gone also, but I have such fond memories of shopping at Child World.

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