Christmas time shopping takes me back to memories of a magical toy store in New York City where adults and kids could escape into their imaginations. FAO Schwarz unfortunately closed back in July 2015, but we offer this photo essay to honor a once great toy store. Thank you for all the great years and for enhancing our imaginations!
The brand is still the property of the descendants of the founder, but is operated by Toy’s “R” Us. The original location in the General Motors Building at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street in Manhattan. FAO Schwarz was founded in 1862 and was once the oldest toy store in the United States. The first toy store opened in Baltimore, with the flagship Fifth Avenue location opening their doors back in 1931.
A mainstay feature of the entrance to the store were the employees dressed as toy soldiers.
Toys were displayed high and far with multiple levels to find adventure.
Stuffed animals as far as the eye could see, with all kinds and sizes.
Variety was a key to FAO Schwarz as you would always find unique gift ideas.
There was everything from collector’s items to everyday toys.
The displays were as ornate and beautiful as some of the toys.
Both large and small items were available in all the sections of the store.
Featured in the 1988 hit movie “Big” with Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia, the Big Piano was always a fun time.
There were many more movies that featured parts of the store including Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Mighty Aphrodite, Baby Boom, Big Business, and more recently in The Smurfs.
The flagship store has definitely closed, but it is not forgotten in my heart, nor in those who had the chance to enjoy what FAO Schwarz created so many years ago.
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