FAO Schwarz

For 150 years, FAO Schwarz NYC has delighted children with toys beyond their wildest dreams, and its NYC flagship store is no exception. Its signature oversized stuffed animals and famous interactive piano are must-sees.

About FAO Schwarz NYC: More than 150 years ago, a young German immigrant, Frederick August Otto Schwarz, had a vision to establish a magical toy emporium that featured extraordinary, one-of-a-kind toys from all over the world, while creating a theatrical experience to showcase merchandise in a way that would bring it to life. In 1856, Frederick, the youngest of three Schwarz brothers, emigrated to the U.S. from Germany, joining his brothers in Baltimore, Maryland. Six years later, the brothers opened ”Toy Bazaar,” their first toy retailing business. Following the success of ”Toy Bazaar,” Frederick moved to New York City in 1870 where he opened ”Schwarz Brothers – Importers,” while his brothers operated separate toy stores in Baltimore and Boston. Driven by a love of toys and his vision to provide children with the most amazing products, Frederick stocked his store with exquisitely crafted playthings from Europe. Under his leadership, the business grew rapidly and became the destination for unique, high-quality toys. Frederick opened a second New York City location in 1876 to meet increased demand and also issued his inaugural catalog for loyal clientele, creating one of the first mail order businesses in the country. Over the next 30 years, the store moved to larger, more prominent locations throughout New York City several times. By 1900, Frederick had renamed the store ”FAO Schwarz,” and many considered him to be the largest toy dealer in the world. After captivating children and adults alike for 50 years, Frederick August Otto Schwarz passed away in 1911, but his legacy lives on in his beloved brand and in the indelible mark he made on the toy industry. Today, FAO Schwarz is not only the oldest toy store in the United States, but one of the oldest retail establishments of any kind. It has evolved from a toy store to a must-see tourist destination, and continues to be well-known for high-quality merchandise and timeless treasures. Throughout its more than 150 years, FAO Schwarz has carried on the tradition of serving as a stage to introduce new and exciting products to consumers. A pop culture icon for generations, Frederick’s namesake store draws thousands of visitors each year who come to witness the magic and wonder of FAO Schwarz. Through the ages, it has been the subject of classic depictions of kids and kids-at-heart, including a 1930’s cartoon in The New Yorker and starring roles in countless major motion pictures – perhaps none more renowned than ”BIG” in 1988, in which actors Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia dance on the store’s giant foot piano. Most recently, in 2011, the store was prominently featured in the first live action, 3D film dedicated to The Smurfs. In 2009, FAO Schwarz was acquired by Toys”R”Us, Inc. the world’s leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer. Together, Toys”R”Us and FAO Schwarz have been delighting kids for over 200 years and the combination of these two marquee brands represents an unparalleled expertise in toy retailing. Since 1862, FAO Schwarz has been synonymous with quality and innovation, offering an unparalleled selection of extraordinary toys that have enchanted generations of children.

Distance from the Row NYC hotel: 13 Blocks


  • 767 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10153