It’s now been 27 years since Liverpool parents queued for hours to get their hands on a must-have toy for Christmas.
Back in 1989, Clayton Square first opened and with it brought a host of new stores to the city. In the coming years, we saw huge brands such as Tammy Girl, Virgin Megastore and Oasis open – as well as Disney.
Selling everything from Disney’s character toys to clothes, collectibles and more, it became a go to destination for families. It was also loved for its giant cuddly toy mountain – although looking back, it probably wasn’t all that big.
But one particular stand out moment for the Clayton Square store was Christmas Eve 1996, when hundreds of shoppers queued to buy new Buzz Lightyear toy. At the time, the ECHO reported how mums and dads had waited “for infinity and beyond” to get their hands on a coveted Buzz Lightyear toy and how some did not go home empty-handed.
Queues formed at the Disney store in Clayton Square just after 5am when news came that the store was the only one in the North West to get hold of the toy before Christmas. Parents had originally been told to come back on December 28 for the £24.99 toys but later manager Carl Bartlett was told that a consignment of 1,000 would be arriving ready for business.
Over the years, Liverpool’s Disney shops, first Clayton Square and then later Liverpool ONE, brought a lot of joy and happy memories to customers across Merseyside and beyond. But in 2021, it was reported that all Disney stores in the UK were set to close by September that year, except two flagship stores in London’s Oxford Street and Dublin.
As another Christmas Eve arrives, we’ve decided to take another look back at December 24, 1996 when Liverpool parents queued for the must have Buzz Lightyear toy at Clayton Square’s lost Disney store. You may recognise some familiar faces in these brilliant photos, courtesy of our archives, Mirrorpix.
Do these awaken any memories for you? Let us know in the comments section below.
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