Defunct retailers you miss the most

Squarehard

Member
Oct 27, 2017
10,573
Which defunct/out-of-business retailers that you used to go to for your gaming needs do you miss the most?

Back in the day, I Circuit City was hands down one of my go-to places for my gaming needs.

As Fry's Electronics are seemingly nearing their end as well, it's certainly got me thinking about the other stores that I used to visit for my gaming needs, and how they're no longer around anymore.

What are some of the places that you wish were still around, which provided you with some great gaming pick ups?
 

vivftp

Member
Oct 29, 2017
3,136


Used to buy toys and games there as a kid. Not video games, mind you but games nontheless! :)
 

ElOdyssey

Member
Oct 30, 2017
591
CompUSA. I remember seeing them displaying Doom back in the early 90s. Huge boxed software and hella pc hardware. Good ol’days.
 

Lakeside

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,816
Locally I'd go with Ultimate Electronics. I didn't buy a LOT of stuff there but it was a great place to check out high end TVs and such.

Nationally.. man Incredible Universe in Dallas was like going to Disney.
 

Gabbo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,730
Electronic Boutique(the Canadian subsidiary at least) when they still had shelves of pc games along side console titles and no funko/shirts/etc. Only Futureshop came close with their pc game aisle, but never had as wide a selection.

The Gamestop-owned version feels terrible to walk into, like all the worst geek cultural stereotypes given form as a retail outlet.
Maybe more like "Hot Topic with video games shoved into one corner"
 

Moltres006

Member
Jan 5, 2019
1,287
Circuit City definitely.
Also while not retailer, but I do miss the "Fun & Games" arcade that was located at Willowbrook mall in Wayne, NJ.
 

KITPUNK

Member
Oct 28, 2017
186
Canada
While not necessarily closed, I miss Electronics Boutique (at least the Canadian version) before they became EB Games. Basically up till the PS2 era. It used to be awesome browsing those stores, back when they had a massive big box PC section, magazine racks, lots of Dreamcast games and lots of kiosks. I remember when they got the OG Xbox kiosk early before launch, had massive lines of people playing demos.

More or less, I miss that version. I haven't been in a EB in a long-ass time until last weekend when I had some time to kill. It was 70% Funkos, over-priced Figma figures and whatever dead remnants of Thinkgeek.

Same can apply to the old R-Zone in Toys R Us when it used to be wall to wall games in those security cases so you could look at them. They are still here, just not as good as it used to be in the 90's.

Edit:

Electronic Boutique(the Canadian subsidiary at least) when they still had shelves of pc games along side console titles and no funko/shirts/etc. Only Futureshop came close with their pc game aisle, but never had as wide a selection.

The Gamestop-owned version feels terrible to walk into, like all the worst geek cultural stereotypes given form as a retail outlet.
Maybe more like "Hot Topic with video games shoved into one corner"
*High five*
 

HaremKing

Member
Dec 20, 2018
843
Software Etc. was one of my favorite places to be as a kid and a huge part of my love of gaming.
 

BevelledEdge

Member
Dec 25, 2018
385
Woolworths and Xtravision, they were the main shops in my area with a large selection of games and movies id go to.
 

Bricktop

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,212
Back in the day CompUSA had 4 whole isles (grocery store length), top to bottom, of just PC games. And the next isle over was just video and sound cards. It was amazing for the PC gaming scene. I miss those days and that store a ton.

The only other retail store I really miss is KB Toys. I started working there as seasonal stock and left as store manager. Far and away the most fun working enviroment in my life.
 

BarcaTheGreat

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
851
Consumers Distribution (Canada)... Everything is in their catalog and you order from there... Loved looking at the Sega Genesis collections over and over again. Price was good too.
 

Rirse

Member
Jun 29, 2019
116
Toys R Us. I worked at the very one that my parents bought the SNES from as a kid in the last three years of the store life. I liked the place as the co-workers were very friendly and due to the price matching and employee discount, I would get the GCU prices from Best Buy at my work with a further 10% off, making them where I got games most of the time. It also revive my action figure habit that long died in the dark days of Marvel Legends.
 

UshiromiyaEva

Member
Aug 22, 2018
414
Hollywood Video was always great, they always stocked older generation titles too, I remember getting Dreamcast games there when everyone else stopped
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,824
Inland Empire
What was Hollywood Video's videogame place. It was game something. Game Crazy?
I loved that place cuz they always had demos and full games you could play. I once stayed there for like 8 hours. Missed my Birthday Party. My mom didn't speak to me for like a month.
 

Damn Silly

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,461
Gamestation. Until it was bought by GAME, there was competition between the two on the high street, which generally led to better prices quicker. Plus I always felt that the staff there were better at the personal chat. I can't blame the actual staff in GAME because it would've been an order from higher up, but it always felt like they were told to hawk various services or whatever, whereas Gamestation folk you could chat to about games and other stuff while being served.
 

Retro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,713
Hills
A Midwest / rust belt chain, sort of like K-mart (but less gross and depressing) or Target (before they tried to be fancy). Was acquired by another company in the 80s, loaded with debt and was bought up by Ames in the 90s. My family used to go there a lot for general shopping (this was before Walmart was a blight upon the world) and they always had a great toy selection (including some stuff that shouldn't have been there, like japanese-only Battle Beasts that didn't see a proper stateside release).

Kay-bee Toys
(A pox on that rebranding to "KB Toys") Even though I rarely bought anything; their prices were high and their merchandise was outdated. But it was in the mall, so we were able to visit it more often. I remember playing the SNES demo machine (which was almost always Contra III) when we were out of quarters for the arcade. Speaking of which, I miss arcades, but... that's a whole other (long) post.

Walden Books
If we didn't get anything from Kay-bee, chances are good we could at least talk my folks into a book or maybe a magazine. I bought a ton of books and gaming magazines at Walden, and it's where I got almost all of my Dungeons and Dragons stuff, etc.

Toys R Us
Though when they changed the layout of their stores from the long aisles, it lost almost all of the charm. We rarely went there as a kid (it was only a couple towns over but my parents were weird about driving), but when we did it meant you were almost assured to get something out of it.

FuncoLand
Bought a ton of NES and SNES games here when I first started working and had money to blow on stuff like that. Got gobbled up by EB Games (who promptly dumped all the retro gaming stuff), which got gobbled up by Gamestop. On that note, I didn't go there a ton because there weren't any close, but I did enjoy Babbages when I was able to visit.
 

Stiler

Avenger
Oct 29, 2017
6,571
Babbages, Software etc, and Electronics Boutique (which was rebranded into EB games in like 2000 or so).

They all had a good large selection of PC games and stuff back in the 90's. At the mall I'd go to they had all of these stores + KB Toy store (which only carried console games at the time, but sometimes they'd have the ones in-stock that sold out at other places).

They were basically all bought out and merged into Gamestop. None of those stores in the mall exist now except for Gamestop which is actually in the same storefront in the mall that EB games was but I don't really go there anymore since I just buy games online.

Kay-bee Toys
(No, it is not "KB Toys") Even though I rarely bought anything; their prices were high and their merchandise was outdated. But it was in the mall, so we were able to visit it more often. I remember playing the SNES demo machine (which was almost always Contra III) when we were out of quarters for the arcade. Speaking of which, I miss arcades, but... that's a whole other (long) post.
They went by both, the store I had in my mall used this as their name and storefront:

 

LAM09

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,820
Woolworths & Gamestation. I miss the days where there was actually retailers that sold games aside from GAME.
 

Retro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,713
They went by both, the store I had in my mall used this as their name and storefront:
Yeah, I edited my post to be more clear that I'm being a nitpicky purist. That was after a re-branding which happened in the early 90s. Before that they all went by "Kay Bee Toy & Hobby" and had a logo / signage that included a toy soldier, like this;



Source: I worked at a KB Toyworks in the late 90s and it was part of orientation.

Woolworths & Gamestation. I miss the days where there was actually retailers that sold games aside from GAME.
Oh man, I forgot Woolworths. I still remember going there looking for Godzilla movies on VHS. Still have a bunch too.
 
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gblues

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,083
Beaverton, OR
This is a bit of a deep cut that only long-time Portlanders would understand, but: Wacky Willy’s.

All sorts of just random stuff that was fun to look through, if only to imagine what the stuff were even for. You could buy kits for neat DIY electronics projects.
 

MrNelson

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,549
Tampa, FL
CompUSA is the big one for me. Also I'm surprised no one has said RadioShack. Online shopping is great and all, but sometimes I don't want to wait days/weeks to get a component. Both of those were great because I could just run out and grab what I needed rather than having to wait. I moved to a place that had a Fry's for awhile, and that definitely filled the hole for me, but now I moved away and all I have is Best Buy, which is ok but doesn't have the selection of any of those other stores in-store.
 

andymcc

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,590
Columbus, OH
Hills
A Midwest / rust belt chain, sort of like K-mart (but less gross and depressing) or Target (before they tried to be fancy). Was acquired by another company in the 80s, loaded with debt and was bought up by Ames in the 90s. My family used to go there a lot for general shopping (this was before Walmart was a blight upon the world) and they always had a great toy selection (including some stuff that shouldn't have been there, like japanese-only Battle Beasts that didn't see a proper stateside release).

Kay-bee Toys
(A pox on that rebranding to "KB Toys") Even though I rarely bought anything; their prices were high and their merchandise was outdated. But it was in the mall, so we were able to visit it more often. I remember playing the SNES demo machine (which was almost always Contra III) when we were out of quarters for the arcade. Speaking of which, I miss arcades, but... that's a whole other (long) post.

Walden Books
If we didn't get anything from Kay-bee, chances are good we could at least talk my folks into a book or maybe a magazine. I bought a ton of books and gaming magazines at Walden, and it's where I got almost all of my Dungeons and Dragons stuff, etc.

Toys R Us
Though when they changed the layout of their stores from the long aisles, it lost almost all of the charm. We rarely went there as a kid (it was only a couple towns over but my parents were weird about driving), but when we did it meant you were almost assured to get something out of it.

FuncoLand
Bought a ton of NES and SNES games here when I first started working and had money to blow on stuff like that. Got gobbled up by EB Games (who promptly dumped all the retro gaming stuff), which got gobbled up by Gamestop. On that note, I didn't go there a ton because there weren't any close, but I did enjoy Babbages when I was able to visit.
Are you me?

These are all of the ones I miss. I'd add Children's Palace too, I remember getting our Turbografx-16 there.
 
OP
OP
Squarehard

Squarehard

Member
Oct 27, 2017
10,573
CompUSA is the big one for me. Also I'm surprised no one has said RadioShack. Online shopping is great and all, but sometimes I don't want to wait days/weeks to get a component. Both of those were great because I could just run out and grab what I needed rather than having to wait. I moved to a place that had a Fry's for awhile, and that definitely filled the hole for me, but now I moved away and all I have is Best Buy, which is ok but doesn't have the selection of any of those other stores in-store.
After Egghead went under, I basically bought most of my PC gaming from CompUSA until they met their demise.

I remember I used to get so many disc spindles from them too, lol.
 

Failburger

Member
Dec 3, 2018
499
EB Games before it got assimilated. It was my dream job to be a store manager of one and be able to go to E3.
 

banter

Member
Jan 12, 2018
3,006
Which defunct/out-of-business retailers that you used to go to for your gaming needs do you miss the most?

Back in the day, I Circuit City was hands down one of my go-to places for my gaming needs.

As Fry's Electronics are seemingly nearing their end as well, it's certainly got me thinking about the other stores that I used to visit for my gaming needs, and how they're no longer around anymore.

What are some of the places that you wish were still around, which provided you with some great gaming pick ups?
Circuit City, I miss going there.
Come in to say Circuit City, glad it was already said.
Circuit City definitely.
Also while not retailer, but I do miss the "Fun & Games" arcade that was located at Willowbrook mall in Wayne, NJ.
I worked there until the end. I always felt we were underrated, except when I’d go to other stores and see how poorly run they were.