Amid circulating rumors that toy giant Toys “R” Us might close all of its U.S. stores, long-time mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe lit himself on fire in a parking lot outside the store’s Trenton, NJ location in protest.
“I don’t wanna go broke, I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us kid,” the 46-year-old ungulate was heard singing before he doused himself in faux gasoline from a Tonka truck. “May my death be not in vain.”
Geoffrey has been a long-time activist in fringe communities where children still enjoy things like “play” and “happiness.” His act of self-immolation comes after a decades-long battle with online toy sellers and the big video game industry for control of children’s imaginations.
The possibility of shutting down the last remaining large toy retailer in the country has also alarmed toy manufacturers. Toy block maker LEGO is already seeking to diversify, and has entered talks with U.S. Customs and Border Protection for a contract to construct a wall along the Mexican border.
“I’ve seen what they do. I use their stuff all the time myself, and it’s very solid,” said President Donald Trump. “Really the best. I can never figure out how the wheels fit on there, but there’s no wheels in a wall, I think.”
Following the event, stocks in foreign toy conglomerate S. Claus Corp. (HOHO) rose 14%.