About FAO Schwarz

Since 1862, FAO Schwarz® has been synonymous with quality and innovation, offering an unparalleled selection of extraordinary toys that have enchanted generations of children.

In 1862, Frederick August Otto Schwarz and his two brothers from Westphalia, Germany founded FAO Schwarz, opening their first toy retailing business, “Toy Bazaar,” in Baltimore, MD. Following its success, 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. The FAO Schwarz New York location was destined to dominate the family business. Over the next hundred years, FAO Schwarz expanded and grew its international reputation through beautiful catalogs and an online presence at FAO.com.

Today, FAO Schwarz is not only the oldest toy store in the United States, but one of the oldest retail establishments of any kind, as it has evolved from a toy store to a must-see tourist destination. FAO Schwarz has carried on the tradition of introducing new and exciting products to consumers and in 2012, celebrated its 150th anniversary as one of the most cherished brands in the world.

The FAO Schwarz brand has been a pop culture icon for generations and was the subject of classic depictions of kids and kids-at-heart, including a 1930s 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 FAO Schwarz’s giant foot piano. In 2011, it 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.