FAO Schwarz’s Toy Store Opens at the Rockefeller Plaza with Ultra-special Gifts Touched by Magical Swarovski Crystals
FAO Schwarz is back and better than ever! After a three year hiatus, the original experiential toy store returns to New York City, complete with giant Swarovski crystallized toy soldiers, the famous oversized piano and other surprises. Located at 30 Rockefeller Center, the new flagship location will once again inspire adventures and ignite imaginations in both children and grown-ups alike.
When iconic toy emporium FAO Schwarz shuttered its doors on Fifth Avenue in 2015, the US lost a national treasure. Established in 1862 by Frederick August Otto Schwarz, the store made countless children’s dreams come true for the next 150 years. Interestingly, the store was the first example of interactive displays, as it was FAO who set a trend by introducing a real live Santa in 1875. Always synonymous with quality and innovation, and brimming with extraordinary, one-of-a-kind toys the brand opened its huge flagship store on Fifth Avenue in 1986.
Unfortunately, the company fell victim to rising rents and heightened competition from online retailers and it shuttered its doors in 2015.
Thankfully, the store’s closure did not mean that the fairy tale was over. On November 16th, 2018 the store re-opened on the ground and mezzanine floors of the Art Deco Rockefeller Plaza. Alongside the famous giant keyboard on which Tom Hanks danced in Big (1988), there will be a floor space dedicated to learning about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) conceived in partnership with Discovery Channel, live magic shows, a Melissa and Doug supermarket and much more.
FAO Schwarz has also teamed up with Swarovski to create fabulous collectible pieces that pay tribute to the companies’ shared reputation for artistry, quality and rich heritage. The Drummer Nutcracker sparkles with Swarovski crystals and retails at $300, while a Limited Edition fully crystallized companion Drummer Nutcracker is available at $4,500. Likewise, an FAO Schwarz embellished Glass Ornament retailing at $150 is also available as a Limited Edition piece ($1,000). For budding rock gods, there’s a blue-tooth microphone glittering with Jet crystals. And if that’s not enough, wait until you see the crystal-encrusted, mini-size Mercedes Benz: With 44,000 Swarovski crystals hand-applied over 126 hours by artist Kellie DeFries (aka the Crystal Ninja), it’s a once-in-a-lifetime piece with a $25,000 price tag to match. Store décor has been given a touch of crystal magic, too: flanking the store’s cashier area are two 12-foot tall Toy Soldiers and a sparkling crystal curtain.
A sparkling “Return to Wonder” sign shines behind the cashwrap reminding shoppers that the magic of FAO Schwarz has returned.