And yes, it was awesome. As far as proof, here is my little racing jump suit I had to wear, as well as some verification.

Also, here is a youtube video containing the commercial they put me in for the next years promotion. starts at 3:50

Today is my real life cake day, so figured this would be a fun, nostalgic way to spend my morning. Let's do this

edit For those who don't remember, the rules of the contest were: 5 minutes in Toys'r'Us, fill up your cart(s) with as much stuff as you can. That was basically it.

Comments: 522 • Responses: 32  • Date: 

omgwtfbbqpanda281 karma

My roommate just heard me watching the video and exclaimed "I always wanted to win the super toy run!" Upon telling him that you had won in 1995 he said "Fuck that guy."

Good on you sir! Looks like you had fun!

ImHereToCivilize230 karma

Haha no worries. I've had people say nearly the same thing to my face upon hearing the story if it ever comes up. And my friends LOVE to bring it up, especially if we're drunk and around people we just met. Not always terrible to hear one of my buddies lead me up with a cute girl at the bar (at least if she's our age or very close) with "did you used to watch Nickelodeon when you were a kid?" It's just the gift that keeps on giving.

Tell him no hard feelings.

SrirachaSauceMan176 karma

Just wanted to wish you a happy birthday. Happy birthday, man.

ImHereToCivilize72 karma

Thank you sir.

ENTerTheDrag147 karma

When did you start masturbating?

ImHereToCivilize233 karma


maros128132 karma

I always dreamed of being in the Super Toy Run and spending way too much time in the Video Games section. Where did you run to first? Did you grab multiple of anything? And do you still have any of the loot?

ImHereToCivilize187 karma

The first was the bike section, of which multiples were definitely nabbed. When it came to big ticket items which were obviously not able to be put into a cart, they used big price tags made of poster board to represent the item, so I would just have to grab that. Multiples bikes, power wheels, for some reason like 7 street hockey sticks (I played a lot when I was a kid), remote control cars, tons of video games and systems. So yes, lots of multiples. We ended up giving plenty of things away to my extended family as my sisters and I outgrew everything, but I can't say I have any thing left personally.

edit: spelling

maros12857 karma

Pretty awesome! Sounds kind of like what I would have done. How did you get everything home? Did you get to travel home with it? Or did you have to wait for it to be shipped to your home?

ImHereToCivilize581 karma

After the entire circus was over, my parents drove me home, and I promptly passed out and napped for like 3 hours. My mom walked into my room and woke me up by playing with my hair, and told me there was a truck outside for me. What happened next was the most epic UPS delivery in the history of children.

LuKsC101 karma

What was the best and worst part of the experience?

ImHereToCivilize288 karma

I would be flat out lying if I said anything but the loot being the best part. As far as worst, I would say that suddenly being the target for all my classmates to attempt to get something out of me. I had a good group of friends at that age, but all at once, I became the center of attention within my grade at my school. All my classmates wanted me to get them something specific, it was like the scene in the movie The Beach where everyone comes up to leo and gives them their list of what they want when he goes to the mainland. I remember saying ok a lot, but fully thinking to myself "none of this is happening." I took care of my buddies with a few choice items, of course.

I imagine it was akin to what winning the lottery as an adult must feel like, except much more muted. I became acutely aware of who my real friends were, and who just had their hand out. It was a shitty thing to realize as a kid, but that wisdom has carried with me since then.

iwantagoodusername69 karma

What was your single favourite prize?

ImHereToCivilize87 karma

I can't single any one thing out. Very much a sum being greater than the whole of its parts level of enjoyment brought on by all of it.

Frajer93 karma

Did you have a strategy?

ImHereToCivilize218 karma

Yes. My family and I were shocked to discover how much they slant the whole event to give the kid the advantage. As many surely know, Toys'R'Us is a pretty large store. What they ended up doing, was literally rearranging the shelves/sections so that I could go down the isles containing the things I wanted while covering as little ground as possible. This meant completely transforming the barbie isle into the action figure/transformer isle and the like. The final set up was a row of isles that I could basically rush through, make a u turn a the end, and head right down the next one. To make this happen, I was able to scout out the layout of the store with the emcee of the event (Mike O'Malley, host of "Guts"), who ended up giving me lots of tips and tricks of how take the most advantage of the situation.

ThanksForFlying148 karma

what were the tips and tricks?

you know in case I win super toy run.

ImHereToCivilize155 karma

The main one: anything that falls on the floor is just as good as being in the cart. I couldn't believe it, but it ended up being true. I couldn't focus on taking advantage of that in the early part, but as I moved through I started being more of a tazmanian devil and started pulling shit off the the shelves and knocking things down.

maros12894 karma

So essentially.. you could knock over the shelves in domino fashion and make out with everything?

ImHereToCivilize155 karma

I sadly did not come to that conclusion in time. Also, I would have had to figure out the physics of how a 9 year old boy could knock over department store shelves in less than 5 minutes.

EagleEyeValor88 karma

So Mike was cool? I always kinda thought he'd be like that creepy uncle or something. Also, what did the $1,000 go towards?

ImHereToCivilize196 karma

Oh yea he was awesome. "Alright kid, I've been doing this for a few years now, here's what you gotta do..." Giving me advice on which stuff I probably wanted but was too overwhelmed to notice at first glance, encouraging me to be as diabolically greedy as possible, and plenty of other things that I can't fully recall.

Towards some trivial bullshit later in my teenage years, like a car stereo that was stolen within a year I believe.

Aregular8983 karma

Dude do you think you could grab me a talkboy?

ImHereToCivilize85 karma

The actual one or the pen?

2th80 karma

How much did you make off with?

ImHereToCivilize159 karma

10,600 something. We had the copy of the receipt (several pages long), but it got separated from the rest of the box of memorabilia years ago. Plus 1000 cash

jrainone73 karma

How did you react when you found out you were the winner?

ImHereToCivilize165 karma

Just got home from school on a regular day, watching a riveting episode of Power Rangers on tv. The phone rings in the kitchen, which I am oblivious to. My mom answers the phone, and calls after me "Andrew, you have a very important phone call!" I am very puzzled, as to who could be calling me other than one of my buddies. As soon as I get on the line, a sweet lady begins to ask me if I remembered entering a contest a few months ago, to which I said something like I think so, but as soon as she said she was from Nickelodeon, it rushed back to me. My mom says my eyes got super wide, and I quickly pacing in circles around the kitchen with a huge smile on my face. After she spoke to my mother and told her some of the details, what was going to happen next, etc., I quickly called my best friend, who didn't believe a word I said, until the next day at school...

ominouschaos64 karma

Please tell me you put a bunch of Hot Wheels track systems inside your cart... Also, do you remember almost exactly how many video games you walked away with? I would think that they must have had some sort of limit, but I could be wrong.

ImHereToCivilize115 karma

Hell yes I did. I wish I had taken pictures of the epic set ups I made at my house.

No, don't remember the total. If I could find the receipt I would know. And no, there were absolutely, positively, no limits.

irrelephant3155 karma

How many Legos did you get???

ImHereToCivilize169 karma

A metric fuckton of them. Despite all of my good luck, I can say with confidence that this contest was the direct cause of stepping on hundreds of legos. But I don't need your pity.

sweetsamanth__45 karma

I'm totally going to be that girl. Damnnn, you're cute! winkwink Can I getchyo number? Can I? Can I have it? Can I have yo' number?

Also, was it distracting having cameras in your face? Little girls screaming for you around every corner? Did anything like that throw you off your game, or were you pretty much totally in the zone? (everyone already asked the good questions. this is all i got.) And were you afraid you might trip and just fall flat on your face? Because I trip when I'm walking around normally, never mind running full speed down toy store aisles.

Also also, happy birthday!

iseeadarkness166 karma

She only wants your toys dude. Stay away.

ImHereToCivilize125 karma

That's probably a direct quote from my best friend in the months after the news broke.

gedalyah577244 karma

Looking back, is there one thing you didn't grab after prepping for days to make sure you got it?

ImHereToCivilize129 karma

I can be sure that I SEVERELY underestimated the # of remote controlled cars that I would need.

senorsandman42 karma

All in all, what were the best toys you managed to get into your cart?

ImHereToCivilize89 karma

Video games. So many video games.

peruvianlurker34 karma

Do you remember what videogames?

ImHereToCivilize82 karma

If it was something that a little boy might be even half interested in, I got at least 2 of them.

itsgonnagetweird40 karma

If you could do something like this again in a store of your choosing what would it be?

LegsAndBalls169 karma

This would be the best contest to win.

ImHereToCivilize98 karma

This actually might have been my answer. This. Yes, this.

ImHereToCivilize62 karma

Barret-Jackson Car Auction? I guess that's not a store, so that doesn't count.

Fry's Electronics would work too I suppose

pmains36 karma

How did you enter to win the contest? I always remember wanting to win, but never how to actually enter.

ImHereToCivilize81 karma

I was running around like an irritated hornet while my mom was in line buying clothes for my baby sister at Kids'r'us, when a colorful display board caught my eye. After recognizing the ad from a commercial I saw on Nickelodeon, I furiously filled out 7 entry forms (name, address, phone #) all in the time in took my mom to pay. To date it was one of the best examples of remaining deadly focused under time constraints. And yes 7 has remained my lucky number. I was told there was something like 300,000 entries nationally, so yea, that's my lucky number. Haters gonna hate

Wontaanmon35 karma

Do you have anything left? If so what do you have, If not where did it all go?

ImHereToCivilize181 karma

Nope, my extended family has a few small things here and there, but my cousins have all outgrown them too, so actually who knows, maybe not.

2 parts to that answer.

The first: garage sales. I was rolling in cash every year when my family had one.

Second: after talking to my grandparents about the new development, my mom ended up taking me to the Shriners Childrens Hospital (after looking it up now, it looks like it is now the UCSF Benioff Childrens Hospital, but I'm not sure) which was a child hospital for burn victims. She had called ahead to see if we could get a tour, and one of the administrators took us around the building and I met some of the kids. As a kid who could not have asked for more or a better upbringing, and also with my parents help in framing my situation in that way for me (and it was true), the experience made a very strong impression on me. Little kids who through no fault of their own with all of that pain and the difficulties their lives now were filled when my parents suggested that I get some things for them to donate to the hospital, I was all about it. So I got things like board games, action figures, just little stuff that kids could play with in bed, and a bunch of SNES's and Sega's plus games and controllers. There was a picture of me out on my lawn with the whole haul as a van came to pick it up to drive it to San Francisco, but my mom lost a lot of the pics somewhere and as I'm writing this I'm actually getting really bummed out about that. I don't know how much it was, but if I did, I don't think I'd say anyway

elmcityslim32 karma

Did they give you a layout of the store?

Did you get to keep your winnings or were the taxes too much for your parent?

How we're you able to be on this contest?

I always figured I would go for the videogames instead of big things like hot wheels so I wouldn't have to grab another cart. Did you formulate a stragity prior?

ImHereToCivilize56 karma

Not really, had to scout it out on foot.

Yes. And yes, my parents had to pay taxes on the total amount. It wasn't a strain on my family, but my parents have jokingly ribbed at me over the years that they could have made me sell some things to cover the taxes but didn't. Looking back, that was pretty great of them.

Filling out entry slips (7 of them. Yes, I was super adhd) at a Kids'r'Us, while my mom was in line at the register to pay for clothes for my baby sister.

I'll answer that last one in a separate comment.

[deleted]28 karma


ImHereToCivilize84 karma

If you remember Toys'r'us' video game section, it was a wall of tickets that you took up to the register and paid for, then went to the cage and picked up the game. Well Mike O'Malley and I, during our scouting expedition, picked out the tickets then day before so the actual boxes could be laid out for me the next day. I amassed the equivalent of a phone book sized stack of slips. I remember the women walking around shopping for their kids at the store that night scowling at me like I was just the most spoiled little shit in the world. They couldn't imagine what happened the day after.

thombudsman26 karma

If you had to do it again, what would you do differently?

ImHereToCivilize111 karma

I would have said fuck it and rammed the living shit out of the camera man who was back peddling directly in front of me as I was trying to push the cart. I don't know why I didn't, it would have made great footage.

lizzylizzay22 karma

Do you have any siblings? Did you share with them? =) (It's ok if you didn't but it'd be cool to hear of the one kid who made out like a bandit and actually gave some stuff away.)

ImHereToCivilize73 karma

I have 2 little sisters. I got them a Barbie Lamborghini PowerWheel, some girly plastic play house for them, an assortment of dolls and barbies that they picked out, and numerous other little things that were just enjoyed by all throughout the years, outdoor toys, swing set and the like.

Shanksterr22 karma

What was the weirdest/worst toy that you ended up with?

ImHereToCivilize44 karma

I didn't waste my time going out on limbs for things I wasn't sure about

migzors17 karma

After winning the contest, and completing the toy run, how were you treated in school after the fact? You had to be a pretty big deal! Grabbed a bunch of toys, were on TV, everyone loved Nickelodeon as a kid! When did the excitement and your celebrity wear off?

ImHereToCivilize42 karma

Nobody in my 3rd grade class believed me, until the principle got on the PA system and announced that Nickelodeon was going to send Mr. Wizard to my school and do a big show in the auditorium thanks to my having one the sweepstakes. Then, yeah, the sudden hollow popularity exploded for awhile. Don't remember when things got back to normal, but a lot of time passed between the day when I found out I won till when I actually did it, something like 6-7 months. So Nickelodeon brought out my class to cheer me on, they got the day off of school for it, and as you can see from the video they were pretty hype about it. It was a strange, surreal year.

John-Mc9 karma

Do you ever wish you saved up your luck for something bigger and for your adult life?... i won an ipod from a bank once, i used up years and years worth of luck; not worth it at all.

ImHereToCivilize16 karma

I would easily trade this for a powerball win

nicoleisrad7 karma

Hey, I'm from Sac-town too! Which Toys'R'Us was it filmed at?

ImHereToCivilize19 karma

In Lodi actually. The stores in Sac wanted nothing to do with it.