The San Antonio Zoo wants Toys R Us to accord its mascot, Geoffrey, so the zoo can use him as a attribute for giraffe conservation. In this 2010 photo, Geoffrey greets barter at Toys R Us Express on Southeast Military at I-37.
With Toys R Us’s Geoffrey the giraffe adverse accessible afterlife in the deathwatch of the retailer’s closure, the San Antonio Zoo stepped up with a band-aid to save the broke retailer’s mascot.
The zoo aftermost ages launched an online attack in hopes of “adopting” Geoffrey from Toys R Us Inc. to use as the face for giraffe conservation. Only 100,000 giraffes abide in the wild, the zoo said.
The zoo started a GoFundMe folio to accession $100,000 for the Giraffe Absorption Foundation and “to actuate the owners at Toys R Us to accompany the accomplishment to save giraffes by altruistic the use of their best apparent bookish property.”
Alas, the zoo’s efforts to acreage Geoffrey the giraffe ability be a stretch.
Given it’s mired in bankruptcy, Toy R Us isn’t in a position appropriate now to artlessly accord abroad the rights to Geoffrey for nothing. Defalcation attorneys say the banker has a assignment to aerate the bulk of money it can balance from affairs assets so it can pay creditors. Those assets accommodate its U.S. bookish property, such as its name, its catchy, best TV chime — “I don’t wanna abound up, I’m a Toys R Us kid” — the Babies “R” Us brand, and Geoffrey.
Nobody with a banking pale in the defalcation — the debtor, a abeyant client or a lender with a affirmation on the bookish acreage — is activity to be decidedly absorbed in extenuative giraffes, said Ray Battaglia, a San Antonio defalcation advocate who is not complex in the case.
“This is all about money,” Battaglia said. “The (bankruptcy) cloister couldn’t affliction beneath about a zoo in San Antonio, Texas. My assumption is there’s somebody who’s activity to buy it and they’re not activity to anatomize it out.
“I achievement they bag their giraffe, but I don’t anticipate they will,” he said of the zoo.
Toys R Us, which filed for defalcation in September in Virginia and bankrupt its actual U.S. food aftermost month, is in the action of accepting bids for its bookish property. It had set a July 2 borderline for what’s accepted as “stalking-horse bidders” — admitting in this case it should conceivably be stalking-giraffe bidders — about the aboriginal parties to accomplish an action at bargain so added bidders would accept to abide college offers.
Whether anyone submitted an antecedent bid accurately for Geoffrey, or for best or all of the bookish acreage rights, hasn’t been appear in cloister filings.
“I can’t animadversion on annihilation accompanying to that appropriate now,” Joshua Altman, a Chicago defalcation advocate apery Toys R Us, said aftermost week.
Bidding for the bookish acreage continues through July 30. An auction, if needed, will be captivated Aug. 6. The acceptable bidders for the bookish acreage will be appear a brace of canicule later.
Besides the bookish property, Toys R Us is auctioning added than 400 internet area names, from toysrus.com to sextoysrus.com to toysrussucks.com
The zoo’s absorption in accepting Geoffrey has garnered cogent media coverage, with letters by NPR, CNN.com and CBSNews.com, amid a host of added outlets.
“Our aggregation is amorous about accepting a approaching for wildlife and would like to defended a approaching for Geoffrey so that he can be the attribute for giraffe conservation,” Tim Morrow, the San Antonio Zoological Society’s CEO and controlling director, said in a account announcement the zoo’s accomplishment to “save a admired children’s character.”
Wild populations of giraffes accept alone by 40 percent over the aftermost three decades due to abode loss, poaching and animal extinction, the zoo said in the statement.
“Still no chat aback from the association at Toys R Us,” said Chuck Cureau, the zoo’s administrator of accessible relations, back contacted aftermost week.
Asked what the zoo has done to get the rights to Geoffrey, Cureau mentioned a “video plea” acquaint to its Facebook folio and on YouTube, the GoFundMe folio and the civic media absorption generated from its columnist release.
“We ability accept to acquisition a Step 2 plan,” he said.
The GoFundMe folio was not set up to buy the rights to Geoffrey, Cureau emphasized. It’s carefully for the Giraffe Absorption Foundation. The zoo appropriately far has aloft about $2,060 of the $100,000 goal, as of apex Friday.
“There’s been some abashing about that. Bodies think, oh, you’re aggravating to buy Geoffrey the giraffe, and that’s not the case,” he said. “We would adulation to accept him donated to us so that he can affectionate of alive on and not go extinct. He’s so beloved.
“We aloof anticipate he’d be a abundant mascot, and we would adulation to advance that bookish property,” Cureau added.
Just how abundant Geoffrey would amount to access is difficult to predict, Dallas defalcation advocate John Penn said.
“Things that bodies anticipate would accept abundant amount sometimes never acquisition homes,” he said. “And sometimes the craziest things are bought. There’s absolutely a bazaar for retailers that accept bankrupt their operations.” Penn is not complex in the retailer’s bankruptcy.
Pets.com’s acclaimed black-and-white spotted dog beat boob amulet ability serve as somewhat of a guide. Back the aggregation went beneath during the dot-com balloon of the aboriginal 2000s, California-based Hakan Enterprises Inc. bought the rights to the internet figure for $125,000, the Associated Columnist appear in 2002, and the beat boob went on to become a “spokespuppet” for an auto accommodation company.
The zoo’s best achievement for accepting the rights to Geoffrey ability be if no one bids during the defalcation auction, Penn said.
“If there are no buyers for Geoffrey, again (Toys R Us) can ask the defalcation cloister for permission to accord those rights to a aces cause, which could accommodate the zoo,” Penn said. But “they at atomic charge to try to get some affectionate of amount for it first.”
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