The world famous retailer FAO Schwartz celebrated its 145th birthday in 2008. The store was founded in 1862 by its namesake Frederick August Otto Schwartz and his three brothers from Germany making it the oldest toy store in the United States. The first shop known as the Schwartz Toy Bazaar was opened in Baltimore, Maryland with additional locations following in Philadelphia, Boston and New York. Their premiere catalog was issued in 1876 to their loyal clientele and later the New York store was moved to a more prominent shopping district among other fine retailers and relocated to six different locations in Manhattan over the next hundred years. In 1896 the New York store was proclaimed as the “Original Santa Claus Headquarters”.
The current flagship store which is known for its huge bear display outside the entrance was opened in the General Motors Building at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street in Manhattan in 1986. This store was featured in the move “Big” where the characters danced on the store’s large floor piano to the tune of “Chopsticks” and “Heart and Soul”. FAO Schwartz continued to expand their national presence in 1997 with the opening of an additional store in Las Vegas in the renowned Forum shops at Caesars Palace which features a dramatic, two-story, animated Trojan Horse straddling the front entrance. The retailer will always be known for its large selection of unique one-of-a-kind, quality brand items with the most popular being dolls, action figures, preschool, and plush toys which is sure to please all age groups starting from infants up to the “young kid at heart”. FAO Schwartz has continued to gain national as well as international exposure through its beautiful catalogs and an exciting website which includes the option of purchasing gift cards which makes shopping convenient for people all over the world from the comfort of their home.
A trip to New York City would not be complete without a visit to the world famous FAO Schwartz flagship store where more than 4 million people have visited each year. Whether tourists are planning to stop as part of a sightseeing tour to view its displays within the store which are an attraction in itself such as the three-story singing clock which greets you as you walk in or to shop to their heart’s delight which is guaranteed to take a good deal of time to browse through its large selection especially the magnificent menagerie of plush animals it is sure to be a treat for all visitors. The toy emporium is conveniently located in the heart of Manhattan shopping district among other main attractions. For accommodations located close to the store there are several hotels that are within walking distance.
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