Eleven of the 182 stores set to shut down are in Southern California, with three in San Diego County -- Mira Mesa (8181 Mira Mesa Blvd.), Mission Bay (1240 W. Morena Blvd.) and Vista (1990 University Dr.).
According to CNN, over nearly seven decades in business, Toys "R" Us has built up 1,600 stores around the world; about 880 of them are in the U.S.
The filing Tuesday by the company's lawyers said the decision to shut so many stores was prompted by increased competition and a shift by customers toward online shopping, CNN reported.
The planned closures, which need court approval, are expected to begin early next month and be mostly completed by the end of April, Toys "R" Us CEO Dave Brandon said in a message to customers posted on the company's website.
"The actions we are taking are necessary to give us the best chance to emerge from our bankruptcy proceedings as a more viable and competitive company," he said.
Several other stores will be converted into co-branded Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us outlets, Brandon added.
Toys "R" Us stores outside the U.S. are unaffected.
Toys "R" Us has suffered from fierce competition from fellow retailer Walmart and online giant Amazon that left it reeling under $5 billion in debt.
The company's same-store sales fell 4.4% in the quarter ended October, with its U.S. stores experiencing a sharper drop of 7%. The toy industry at large is also facing headwinds, with key manufacturers like Lego and Mattel struggling with declining sales.