Flanked by a giant FAO bear in the front entrance, FAO Schwarz (“Toy Bazaar”) had been located on 767 Fifth Avenue and 58th Street. It is not just any toy store, it’s “the” toy store. Originally started as a regular toy store in 1870 by Frederick August Otto Schwarz in Baltimore, and after experiencing numerous failures and ownerships by different people, it has now prospered to a successful toy empire on Fifth Avenue!
From 3-story clock tower singing “Welcome to Our World of Toys” to life-size famous stuffed animals, the robot elevator named GO-2-FLOOR-2 will take you on an unforgettable journey throughout the store.
Other entertainments include endangered species stuffed animals sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History, a fun Puppet Park, a gigantic board games area, cool displays of Star Wars merchandise including a limited edition life-sized Darth Vader, Barbie and dolls department, children’s favorite pictures books, Legos and more!
FAO Schwarz’s On-Screen Popularity
FAO Schwarz was featured in the final scene of Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite, where main characters Lenny Weinrib (Woody Allen) and Linda (Mira Sorvino) have a chance encounter, and in Big Business, where Bette Midler’s character runs into her sister’s husband and son unexpectedly. Shop where Diane Keaton goes on her shopping spree to buy toys for her new daughter in Baby Boom.
Other related references to this classic toy chain store include Home Alone 2, where Macaulay Culkin’s character visits a fictional toy store called Duncan’s Toy Chest, based on FAO Schwarz. The store is also featured in a Nickelodeon series where The Fairly Odd Parents‘ Timmy is seen reading a DOA Shmirz catalog, a word play on FAO Schwarz. In Arrested Development, Tony Hale’s character is given a job at an Iraqi-owned toy store in Orange County called F.A.O. al-Jubaaly Muhammed a-Abat!
And of course, a visit to this iconic toy store would not be complete without hitting the keys of the store’s signature 22-foot piano where Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia played “Heart & Soul” and “Chopsticks” in the 1988 famous film Big!
Other than this piano recognition from Big, FAO Schwarz has also become the top choice for kids and family fun. Many celebrities, including Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Cindy Crawford and Angelina Jolie, bring their kids here to enjoy a fun family time with lots of entertainments for everyone. One of the more recent films to shoot here before the store closed was The Smurfs starring Neil Patrick Harris. Take our NYC TV & Movie Tour or Central Park TV & Movie Sites Tour to see other locations from The Smurfs.
* In an effort to stay current, we are constantly updating our tours with new locations and cannot guarantee the presence of locations mentioned on our site. If you have a particular interest in locations from a specific TV show or movie, please let your tour guide know and we will do our best to accommodate your request.