It’s hard to say what is more iconic, the FAO Schwarz’s floor piano, which was made famous in the 1988 Tom Hanks film “Big,” or the toy soldiers that greet customers at the door. For the anniversary, rows of illuminated toy soldiers will line the store’s Grand Hall as customers enter the popular tourist destination.
Over its history, the flagship FAO Schwarz store has been located in several buildings in New York. It moved to its current location near Central Park in 1986.
The retailer went through a period of rapid expansion in the 1990s, and by 2000 operated 42 stores throughout the country. However, the company’s fortunes declined several years later and resulted in two back-to-back bankruptcy filings in 2003. The company survived, but the New York store is currently the only FAO Schwarz store operating today. The brand is now owned by Toys ‘R Us.