This Toys "R" Us Discount Is Of Dubious Value

Dylan writes:

I saw this today at the Toy”R”Us store in Elizabeth, New Jersey and though you folks would be interested. This Lego kit (the Exo Force Sentai Fortress Battle Set) has a sign that indicates its original price was $19.99 and that it is on sale for $69.98. The sign helpfully indicates that this is a savings of negative $49.

We’ve seen fifty-cent adjustments in the wrong direction, but fifty dollars? That’s pushing it.


Edit Your Comment

  1. ElizabethD says:

    I bet the geeks who buy these sets understand the math.

  2. alejo699 says:

    It’s a bargain at twice — errr, 3.5 times the price!

  3. timmus says:

    What’s the difference between sentai and hentai? One letter doesn’t sound like much.

  4. Beerad says:

    @timmus: Ohhhhhhhh. THAT explains why all my relatives were looking at me funny after nephew Bobby unwrapped his Christmas present last year.

  5. Walrii says:


    sentai = power rangers
    hentai = porn
    (More or less)

  6. jchabotte says:

    Can’t fault the store for being honest!

    Just sayin’

  7. IrisMR says:

    Now THAT was funny!

  8. jchabotte says:

    Can’t fault the store for being honest!

  9. warf0x0r says:
  10. urban_ninjya says:

    I guess if you hire mindless workers, a simple computer error gets perpetuated.

    Let’s take off 50% from the price. Someone added $50. Then you get this store clerk who doesn’t care enough to check the tag before putting it up.

  11. urban_ninjya says:

    @urban_ninjya: I really ought to review my comments before posting. I too am a mindless worker who doesn’t get paid enough to bother monitoring things.

    What I meant to say is.. Whoops.. someone accidentally added $50 instead of subtracting 50%

  12. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    Its a mistake, and I’m sure the sign auto calculates the savings based on the original price.

    This set is 109.95 on Amazon.

    $98.86 at Walmart

    Still, I guess it shows the employees printing and posting the signs are mindless drones.

  13. cde says:

    Wait, which one in Elizabeth? The one offa 22 (which is actually the super shitty Union store) or the Toys’R’Us World across from the Ikea. Cause I can go verify >_>

  14. robdew2 says:

    Wait, I don’t get it.

    Oh, I see, it’s a typo in the price sign.

    And this made a blog posting?


  15. HootieMac says:

    Something weird is going on here. I used to work at TRU, and all those signs are auto generated by the computer system- mindless employees not at fault.

  16. Nytmare says:

    @robdew2: If oddities don’t amuse you personally, I’m sure there’s a blog somewhere that discusses only the most serious and deep issues that affect your life. But thanks for caring enough to share your opinion about how little you care.

  17. Crovie says:

    Hey, that’s not a -$49 savings, that’s a -$49.99 savings!

    I guess TRU got suckered by the .99 illusion too?

  18. Owen Good says:

    Limit: Four

  19. Verdigris says:

    @robdew2: I agree. Funny little things to make me chuckle during a long, grueling workday make me a pretentious jerk too.

    How could someone put this up and not go, “Hmm… something doesn’t compute…”

  20. OhneHosen says:

    I’ll bet their computer generates the sign from filled in form fields. They type the item description, old price, new price, and the computer calculates the discount and adds that to the sign. Looks like they may have dropped a “1” from the original price of (I guess) $119.99, the computer took it from there, and THAT’S when the clueless employee came in to put up the sign.

  21. Ghede says:

    @robdew2: Not just a typo. It is a full-blown hilarious mistake. Not only is the price labeled wrong, but the “savings” is accurate! This means it was a fully automated process, except at the price entry stage. Nobody looked at the sign. The guy who hung it up didn’t read it and notice a -$49 savings, despite the fact it says it right on the top.

    Incompetence on SEVERAL stages is always funny.

  22. Kilotonne says:

    If only they had in their re-pricing program lines like these:

    if (SavingsAmount <= 0.0)
    then PrintAReallyBigWarning();

  23. humphrmi says:

    @HootieMac: Section 9 Reject: What about the mindless employee who put it up?

  24. Joedel263 says:

    unofficially there was an issue early in the week causing ‘original prices’ not to be fed properly to the sign system. There is of course a way to manually edit this (which someone has done (else original price would’ve shown as 0.00) and seems to have missed a 1 (as someone above pointed out)) someone forgot to proofread though..

  25. Mo0 says:

    @humphrmi: The “mindless employee” is unfortunately hamstrung by the fact that the sign printing program was written ages ago and refuses to allow us to change those particular varities of sign, the ones that advertise savings.

    If we don’t put the sign up, district manager will tell us to put one up. If we put the wrong kind of sign up, district manager will tell us to print the one prescribed to be put up in the planogram.

    In short, it’s not mindless employees. It’s mindless corporate drones who have nothing better to do than pretend they know how to run a retail store. The employees just value their jobs a bit more than a meaningless, if funny, error on a sign. In corporate’s mind, the actual price is correct, so they can’t claim we lied to them!

  26. dieselmachine says:

    I worked at Toys R Us, for many x-mas seasons, and eventually, as a “permanent part-time” worker, and I’ll tell you, this is how everything works.

    Employees usually don’t print the signs. Usually, a manager prints the signs, not by choosing anything like the price or even the item number. The head office sends, through the intranet, a batch, and this prints automatically.

    If their prices in the system are wrong when this happens, the manager won’t notice. They start the process, and leave to do something else, then come back in 20 minutes to grab the signs and hand them off to employees.

    If the signs are distributed, then each employee has a small amount to deal with, and can probably catch the errors. If, like in the store I worked in, they decide they don’t “need” multiple people working when the price changes go through, they’ll give all the signs to one person and have them try to hammer out the entire store before it opens.

    I used to catch some of the ‘negative discount’ errors, and I would report them, and the instruction would be to simply not put the sign up. After busting my ass at the store and surpassing every last employee on computer system and LRT knowledge, and never being promoted, I stopped caring, and put the signs up as-is, hoping the store would look foolish.

    Maybe that’s what happened here. Toys R Us has a way of treating it’s employees like shit. The strategy seems to be to always ask more of an employee than you think they are capable of, and constantly imply that if the goals aren’t met, someone else will get your hours. In theory, the employees will all work at 100%, so you can see what they are really capable of. In reality, it makes them all bitter, stressed, and angry as fuck. And then they put up signs like this without caring.

  27. idip says:


    I’ll confirm that. At my retail store we will scan the item and tell the system to print a sign for it. We go back and print up a corporate mandated sign for that item and put it up. If the corporate teams got it wrong, well we have it wrong. I don’t know if there’s a way for us to make a “Custom” sign, I don’t think there is, only corporate signs at my store.

  28. mmstk101 says:

    this is probably the best sign i’ve ever seen.

    /runs to toys r us

  29. milk says:

    @AustinTXProgrammer: My dad was a store director at Toys R Us for many years. Yes, their floor employees are mindless drones. And probably stoned.

  30. stinerman says:

    I’m betting it was some sort of error related to the metric system.

    Yes, I’m joking.

  31. MonkeySwitch says:

    You know, I’m not sure that they would really want to advertise this great of a sale. It might induce a mob.

  32. gmss0205 says:

    This looks like it was done in PhotoShop and is not real

  33. noodleman says:


    Done in Photoshop? I don’t see any tell-tale signs. The pixelization looks proper.

  34. Cliff_Donner says:

    I wouldn’t rush to buy these yet — if you wait a few weeks, you’ll probably be able to save as much as negative $20.