Earlier this year, it looked like the Toys.com domain name was going to come up for sale again due to the Toys R’ Us bankruptcy. In fact, in May of this year, I wrote about the court documents that indicated Toys.com would be up on the auction block, after selling for $5.1 million in 2009.
It looks like the sale of Toys.com is not going to happen though. If you visit Toys.com, you can see a message on the landing page that says:
“Guess Who’s Back? Geoffrey’s back & ready to set play free for children of all ages.”
Clicking the “learn more” link takes visitors to a press release from early October announcing that the assets will be acquired by the creditors rather than sold to another entity:
“The announcement was made following a five month marketing effort by Boston-based Consensus, an investment bank retained to market the assets of Geoffrey, LLC, that resulted in several formal and informal proposals to acquire the intellectual property assets. After considering such proposals, it was determined that the proposal from the existing term lenders was meaningfully higher and better than any other global bid or the sum of the bids received on individual assets. The transition of the business to its new owners is pending approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court and all major creditor constituencies are supportive. Geoffrey, LLC thanks all parties that participated in discussions with the company over the prior months, particularly those that submitted proposals, for their thoughtful and diligent engagement.”
I believe the Toys.com domain name (among several other valuable domain names) was one of these assets that was acquired by the creditors. In my opinion, it would be shortsighted and foolish for the company sell Toys.com to another entity in the toy business because that could give a nice boost to a competitor. Toys.com is a valuable domain name in its own right, and it remains to be seen how Toys.com will be used going forward.
The domains, email/customer lists, positive goodwill, and lack of major player dominating toy category besides AMZN makes this a reasonable business decision by creditors. Replicating the old brick and mortar model makes little sense. Also, don’t know about the real estate component of company, that is important, whether they own any of their storefronts and warehouses, or if everything was on lease.
The digital potential is interesting because all of the pieces appear to be in place except competent, experienced ecommerce management.
This domain is ridiculously valuable. Ergo, I’m sure if it were sold now the price would probably also be ridiculous…ly low.
FYI…There happens to be a story today on CNBC about Geoffery’s Toys becomes part of Kroger that I thought you might be interest in you might want to google…Have a good weekend!!