- FAO Schwarz, the iconic toy retailer that closed its Fifth Avenue flagship store in 2015, reopened its doors at 30 Rockefeller Plaza last week.
- The store is known for its upscale toy selection and has been around for over 150 years.
- In addition to the giant toy selection, FAO Schwarz has a Build-A-Bear Workshop, candy store, and its famous walk-on piano. Here’s what it’s like to visit.
FAO Schwarz, the world’s most iconic toy store, is back in New York.
Founded in 1862, FAO Schwarz was known in New York City for its upscale and expensive toys. The Fifth Avenue flagship store first opened in 1986 as a tourist attraction, complete with a theme song, musical clock tower, and doormen dressed as palace guards.
In 2009, FAO Schwarz was purchased by the now-defunct Toys R Us, which sold the entire FAO Schwarz brand to Threesixty Group, a product developer and distributor, in 2016. But in 2015, the iconic store announced that it would shut down due to rising rental costs.
The new store, which opened on November 16, was developed by Threesixty Group. The three-floor, 20,000-square-foot space at 30 Rockefeller Plaza is complete with larger-than-life stuffed animals and the walk-on piano keyboard seen in the 1988 movie “Big” with Tom Hanks. Threesixty did not disclose the terms of the new store’s lease, but it was previously reported to be long-term.
In addition to its huge selection of Barbie dolls, plush toys, puzzles, and countless other toys, the space also offers shoppers in-store experiences like a Build-A-Bear Workshop station, a mini nail salon, and a Discovery science station. The first floor is also home to a massive candy shop.
We visited the store in its opening week. Here’s what it was like.
FAO Schwarz re-opened on Friday at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, about five blocks south of its previous location.
When I visited the store on Monday, the line to get in stretched more than halfway down the block.
I had to wait almost 40 minutes to get into the store.
When I walked in, the store was packed with shoppers.
The front of the store is lined with stuffed animals.
But they aren’t cheap — even the smallest plush toys cost around $25.
Some of the stuffed animals in the store are massive.