To mark the return of the iconic FAO Schwarz toy emporium to NYC in the form of a new 2.5-story, 20,000-square-foot-plus flagship at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the store hosted a celebrity-studded VIP preview Thursday night ahead of Friday’s opening. Guests included Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, Whoopi Goldberg, Bethenny Frankel, Morena Baccarin, Carrie Berk, and Disney’s Mia Sinclair Jenness. Doors opened today at 10:30 a.m., kicked off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. With a nod to the brand’s magical history as part of New York City lore, the new store uses the Art Deco architecture of its new home to amplify memories of FAO experiences from years past; a look toward the future begins with FAO Schwarz toy soldiers flanking the store’s 49th street entrance sporting new uniforms designed by supermodel Gigi Hadid.
In the words of David Conn, CEO of ThreeSixty Brands, owners of the FAO Schwarz brand, “FAO Schwarz was built on in-store experiences, which has made it a global destination over the years. We are bringing back the wonderment of toys and a deep nostalgia for the larger than life experience that FAO Schwarz has offered to parents and children alike for over 150 years.”
FAO Schwarz’s newest icon, a 27-foot-tall rocket ship sponsored by Build-A-Bear Workshop, awaits to transport guests at the Rockefeller Plaza HQ to a world surrounded by classic plush creations. From the 49th Street entrance, guests are greeted by an iconic three-story, three-dimensional clock tower. Inside, a journey of discovery begins with over 200 FAO Schwarz-branded toys as well as products from over 15 well-loved toy brands and unique experiences including the famous FAO Schwarz dance-on piano.
Candy, too, is in the house, courtesy of specialty candy retailer IT’SUGAR and a new FAO Schweetz-branded product line includes giant gummy bears and unicorns, make-your-own gummy worm kits, and mega chocolate bars. The new store boasts over 140 employees, and personal shoppers are on hand to fill any guest’s quest for wonderment.