WILMINGTON, Del (Reuters) - Next month, Toys ‘R’ Us is putting its famous mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe, on the auction block. Also up for sale: sex-toys-r-us.com.
The adult-oriented domain name is one of hundreds of website addresses that the bankrupt toy-store chain is looking to find a buyer for as it winds down its business and shutters 735 U.S. stores, according to court records.
Also up for sale: ihatetoysrus.com, toysrussucks.com, kinkytoysrus.com and adult-toys-r-us.com.
The company is selling its intellectual property, which includes its name, Geoffrey the Giraffe logo, and the Babies ‘R’ Us brand, to raise money to repay its creditors. Brand specialists said it could be one of the most valuable brands ever sold by a company going out of business.
A spokeswoman for Toys ‘R’ Us did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Companies like Toys ‘R’ Us often register related domain names to guard against someone hijacking their brand for their own business, said Bob Phibbs, a brand specialist and chief executive of the Retail Doctor consulting firm.
“They just went crazy,” said Phibbs. “I’m sure they were laughing and drinking Red Bull and then just came up with every iteration they could.”
Phibbs said the long list of domain names owned by the company reveals the allure of the Toys ‘R’ Us brand. The company registered dozens of domain names: lodges-r-us.com, bistros-r-us.com, recipes-r-us.com, burgers-r-us.com and even cigars-r-us.com.
“It shows the power of the brand,” said Phibbs. “The ‘R’ Us is the key to the brand, not the Toys.”
None of the domain names are currently active.
Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware, Editing by Rosalba