Ouija Board Toys “R” Us: The Haunting History and Controversies Behind a Popular Toy

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Ouija Board Toys “R” Us: The Haunting History and Controversies Behind a Popular Toy

The Ouija board is an enigmatic toy that has captured the imaginations and haunted the dreams of many. Believed by some to be a window into the spirit world, this fascinating object has a long-standing presence in popular culture and has found its way into the annals of spooky legends and urban myths. One of the surprising stories involving the Ouija board is its connection to the famous toy retailer Toys “R” Us. In this blog post, we will delve into the history, controversies, and lasting impact of the Ouija board Toys “R” Us phenomenon.

A Brief History of the Ouija Board

Before we dive into the unexpected bond between the Ouija board and Toys “R” Us, let’s explore the origins and development of this mystical device. The Ouija board, also known as a spirit or talking board, was introduced to the world in the late 19th century. Its exact origins are shrouded in mystery, with several individuals claiming to have invented or popularized the concept.

One of the most famous stories revolves around Elijah Bond, Charles W. Kennard, and William H.A. Maupin, who filed for the patent of the Ouija board in 1890. However, there are earlier accounts of similar devices used to communicate with spirits, such as the “planchette” in China and the “talking board” in spiritualist communities.

Initially marketed as a parlor game that promised to connect individuals with the deceased, the Ouija board quickly gained popularity. Its mystique attracted people seeking answers from the beyond, making it a staple tool of spiritualists and believers in the supernatural. However, the board also faced staunch opposition from religious groups who viewed it as a tool of the devil and a gateway to evil forces.

The Collaboration Between Toys “R” Us and the Ouija Board

In the late 20th century, the Ouija board found its way into the mainstream consciousness and became a cultural phenomenon. During this time, Toys “R” Us, the iconic toy retailer, was at the height of its popularity. Founded in 1948, the company grew to become a leading destination for parents and children looking for the latest toys and games.

Recognizing the appeal and demand for the Ouija board, Toys “R” Us began including the mystical toy in its inventory. The collaboration between the reputable toy retailer and the controversial Ouija brand raised eyebrows and caused widespread discussions. While some praised the move as a testament to the company’s commitment to offering a diverse array of products, others criticized it for promoting a potentially harmful and supernatural practice to unsuspecting customers.

The decision to sell the Ouija board also sparked debates on the ethical responsibilities of toy retailers. Critics argued that Toys “R” Us should consider the potential psychological and spiritual risks associated with the board, especially when marketed to young children. Advocates countered that the Ouija board, like other toys, was meant to be used responsibly and that the decision to buy it ultimately rested with parents or guardians.

Controversies Surrounding the Ouija Board and Toys “R” Us

The inclusion of the Ouija board in Toys “R” Us stores led to several notable controversies. One of the most prominent incidents occurred in the late 1990s when religious groups protested against the toy retailer. These groups argued that the Ouija board violated their religious beliefs and accused Toys “R” Us of promoting occult practices.

In response to the controversy, Toys “R” Us faced pressure to remove the Ouija board from its shelves. Some stores complied and decided to stop selling the game altogether, while others chose to relocate it to a separate section. The company defended its stance, maintaining that it provided a variety of toys to suit different interests and belief systems.

Despite the controversies, Toys “R” Us continued to sell the Ouija board for many years. The toy became a reliable source of revenue for the company, appealing to those fascinated by the supernatural and spiritual realms. However, as the years went by, the toy retailer faced numerous challenges and ultimately closed its doors in 2018.

The Legacy and Enduring Appeal of Ouija Boards

To this day, the Ouija board remains a source of fascination and intrigue for many. While it is no longer available through Toys “R” Us, the board can be found in various toy and novelty stores, as well as online marketplaces. Its enduring appeal lies in its mysterious nature and the allure of communicating with the unknown.

Whether you believe in the Ouija board’s supernatural powers or dismiss it as a mere parlor game, there’s no denying its impact on popular culture. Countless books, movies, and television shows have featured the Ouija board, often emphasizing its potential for danger and supernatural encounters. The mystique surrounding the board continues to captivate audiences seeking thrill and excitement.


The Ouija board Toys “R” Us connection serves as a memorable chapter in the history of both the toy retailer and the enigmatic board. The collaboration between these two entities sparked controversy, raising questions about the ethical responsibilities of toy retailers and the promotion of potentially supernatural practices. While Toys “R” Us may be a thing of the past, the legacy of the Ouija board lives on, captivating those who are curious about the great beyond.

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Ouija Board Toys “R” Us: The Haunting History and Controversies Behind a Popular Toy