Welcome to your house of nightmares, where it constantly smells like carpet cleaner and you're always three tickets short of that really awesome combination flashlight/spy pen. But now, there's a little less fuel for your nightmares. Chuck E. Cheese is getting rid of its robot band, and no one really knows quite how to feel about it.
Earlier this week, Chuck E. Cheese CEO Tom Leverton told CBS News that the company was revamping the chain, starting with a few locations in San Antonio, Texas and Kansas City, Missouri. One of the casualties? The animatronic Chuck E. Cheese band, which is featured on both the restaurant stage and in at least two of my third-grade nightmares. A nationwide revamp is dependent on how those locations do but looks pretty likely, according to Buzzfeed.
The revamp is intended to appeal to kids who've grown up with more complex and sophisticated media and entertainment, Leverton said. He told CBS that kids today, who are used to high end video games and animation, more or less ignore the robot band. "The kids stopped looking at the animatronics years and years ago, and they would wait for the live Chuck E. to come out,” he said.
Shoddily maintained robots from the 1990s aren't going to impress a kid who's already seen all the Michael Bay Transformers movies.
But for us 90's kids, who grew up with the creepy things? Well, we don't know what to think.
On the one hand, it's another piece of our childhoods that's biting the dust, along with classic Nickelodeon, Lunchables, and Dunkaroos. It's weird to think that future children will never run around a Chuck E. Cheese with a robot band jerkily performing just out of the corner of their eye while they try to win those last three tickets at skee-ball.
On the other?
Don't tell me that thing isn't going to steal my soul through its eyes. Its dead, lifeless, animatronic eyes.
On Twitter, plenty of other people are having Feelings too.
Maybe it's a lesson.
Nostalgia doesn't keep forever, and we can't always keep the things from our childhood.
It's sad — the things we love we can't cherish forever, and even if we can it will never be as wonderful as it was when we were kids, experiencing it all for the first time. Perhaps the truth about growing up is that we have to acknowledge that we can't have it all, and maturely decide what to keep and what has to be gracefully let go.
But if the thing we choose to get rid of is a giant, creepy, robot rat?
Yeah. Yeah, actually, I'm pretty OK with that.