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Since 1862, FAO Schwarz has been synonymous with quality and innovation, offering one-of-a-kind playthings and creating cherished memories for generations of kids. One hundred and fifty years after founder Frederick August Otto Schwarz and his brothers opened their first shop in Baltimore – “Toy Bazaar” – FAO Schwarz has evolved from a simple toy store into a must-see destination, enchanting customers through its flagship location in New York City, catalog and website. FAO Schwarz is the oldest toy store in the United States and one of the oldest retail establishments of any kind. An essential part of any visit to New York,the magic of this legendary store continues to draw children and adults from around the world.
Throughout 2012, the company will honor its rich heritage with in-store events, commemorative product offerings and a showcase of brand archives that together will present the brand’s storied history. Now through April 10, FAO Schwarz invites visitors to its New York City flagship store to step back in time at its one-of-a-kind in-store gallery filled with classic toys and brand artifacts. More than 25 of the most iconic playthings that have brought joy to children worldwide for more than a century are showcased, including an original Crayola® 64 box, first edition G.I. JOE action figures and a vintage Barbie® doll. In addition to toys, unique items from the FAO Schwarz archives are featured, such as an FAO Schwarz sales ledger from 1909 and a selection of FAO Schwarz catalogs dating back to 1928.
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.