CEO of toy firm leads effort to aid Toys R Us

NEW YORK (AP) — Toy company executive Isaac Larian and other investors have pledged a total of $200 million and hope to raise four times that amount in crowdfunding in a bid to save potentially more than half of the 735 Toys R Us stores that will go dark in bankruptcy proceedings.

The unsolicited bid faces a number of hurdles such as finding other investors, as well as getting a bankruptcy judge to approve such an unusual plan. It is the first known plan to keep the Toys R Us brand alive.

The long-shot bid would be a huge benefit to Larian. Nearly 1 in every 5 sales made by Bratz doll-maker MGA Entertainment, where Larian is CEO, is rung up at a Toys R Us store.

Larian said he and the other investors, whom he declined to name, believe saving part of Toys R Us will be good for the toy industry, customers and workers.

The announcement last week that Toys R Us would be lost generated an enormous outpouring of nostalgia.

#SaveToysRUs became a trend on social media.

The website directs consumers to a GoFundMe campaign to do that.