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FAO Schwarz New York. Welcome to our world of Toys

December 4, 2014

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Today, FAO Schwarz is not only the oldest toy store in the United States, but one of the oldest retail establishments of any kind. It has evolved from a toy store to a must-see tourist destination, and continues to be well-known for high-quality merchandise and timeless treasures. Throughout its more than 150 years, FAO Schwarz has carried on the tradition of serving as a stage to introduce new and exciting products to consumers.

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More than 150 years ago, a young German immigrant, Frederick August Otto Schwarz, had a vision to establish a magical toy emporium that featured extraordinary, one-of-a-kind toys from all over the world, while creating a theatrical experience to showcase merchandise in a way that would bring it to life.

In 1856, Frederick, the youngest of three Schwarz brothers, emigrated to the U.S. from Germany, joining his brothers in Baltimore, Maryland. Six years later, the brothers opened ”Toy Bazaar,” their first toy retailing business. Following the success of ”Toy Bazaar,” Frederick moved to New York City in 1870 where he opened ”Schwarz Brothers – Importers,” while his brothers operated separate toy stores in Baltimore and Boston. Driven by a love of toys and his vision to provide children with the most amazing products, Frederick stocked his store with exquisitely crafted playthings from Europe. Under his leadership, the business grew rapidly and became the destination for unique, high-quality toys.

Frederick opened a second New York City location in 1876 to meet increased demand and also issued his inaugural catalog for loyal clientele, creating one of the first mail order businesses in the country. Over the next 30 years, the store moved to larger, more prominent locations throughout New York City several times. By 1900, Frederick had renamed the store ”FAO Schwarz,” and many considered him to be the largest toy dealer in the world. 

After captivating children and adults alike for 50 years, Frederick August Otto Schwarz passed away in 1911, but his legacy lives on in his beloved brand and in the indelible mark he made on the toy industry.


A pop culture icon for generations, Frederick’s namesake store draws thousands of visitors each year who come to witness the magic and wonder of FAO Schwarz. Through the ages, it has been the subject of classic depictions of kids and kids-at-heart, including a 1930′s cartoon in The New Yorker and starring roles in countless major motion pictures – perhaps none more renowned than ”BIG” in 1988, in which actors Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia dance on the store’s giant foot piano. Most recently, in 2011, the store was prominently featured in the first live action, 3D film dedicated to The Smurfs.Since 1862, FAO Schwarz has been synonymous with quality and innovation, offering an unparalleled selection of extraordinary toys that have enchanted generations of children.

FAO Schwarz Flagship Store

The FAO Schwarz flagship store in New York City is a must-see destination in the Big Apple, bringing the 150-year legacy of the beloved brand to life for visitors of all ages. Filled with toys beyond kids’ wildest dreams – from a huge lion and other stuffed animals of every kind to a larger-than-life piano – amazing opportunities for fun can be found around every corner. The store offers first-class customer service via dedicated personal shoppers to help customers find the perfect presents, in addition to an awe-inspiring, world-renowned retail presentation and a vast array of incredible playthings.


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Celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Miranda Kerr , Victoria Beckham , Katie Holmes and others 
have been seen with their children in the famous toy store


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FAO Schwarz 4

FAO Schwarz also offers exclusive and special topics such as :

FAO Schwarz Bonzini Babyfoot Barbie Foosball Table


A collaboration between the design teams at Mattel and foosball company Bonzini, the ultra-feminine Barbie foosball table is hot pink and features the long-legged dolls facing off against one another. Only eight tables will be manufactured in total, making this $24,999 item quite the collectible.

Etch A Sketch 


FAO Schwarz is carrying this luxury jeweled edition of the classic Etch-A-Sketch from Ohio Art. The classic toy has been turned into a display piece with 10,000 handset sapphire Swarovski crystals. Only six of the jeweled Etch-A-Sketch toys were made. They cost $1,499.99.

Barbie Dolls Collection

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Barbie-Grace Kelly-

Vera wang barbie 700

Surely this is one of the dream of all girls. The Barbie doll collection has a great variety of dolls, including Barbie Grace Kelly and Vera Wang wedding dress.


On February 11, 2012, Frederick August Otto Schwarz, founder and namesake of the famed toy retailer, was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame by the Toy Industry Association (TIA). The Toy Industry Hall of Fame was established in 1984 and has inducted 57 toy industry influencers, to date. Since its founding in 1862, FAO Schwarz has been guided by the principles imparted by Mr. Schwarz during his nearly 50-year career. His vision to establish a magical toy emporium has made his namesake store beloved in the toy industry, creating memories for generations of kids worldwide. Beyond offering unique, high-quality playthings, he changed the way people shopped for, and thought about toys


“I have made toys my life study. It is a splendid issue, and aside from the commercial question, there is more solid satisfaction in dealing with childhood playthings, and in knowing the joy one is sending out into the hearts of the little ones, than in selling any other commodity in the world.”


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