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FAO Schwarz celebrates 150 years

WAYNE, N.J. — When Tom Hanks danced across FAO Schwarz's giant piano in the movie "Big," it established the store's iconic status. Now celebrating its 150th anniversary, FAO Schwarz honor its legacy with in-store events, commemorative product offerings, a showcase of brand archives and an enhanced website that together will present the brand’s storied history.

“For 15 decades, FAO Schwarz has created a magical, one-of-a-kind retail environment, bringing joy to millions of kids and kids-at-heart,” said Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO, Toys“R”Us Inc., which exclusively operates the FAO Schwarz brand.  “As we celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2012, we are excited to evoke nostalgic memories by highlighting the brand’s past, while continuing to elevate the FAO Schwarz experience through redesigned store features and unique new product offerings.”

The year-long celebration began this week when company founder Frederick August Otto Schwarz was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame at the Toy of the Year Awards in New York City. At the store, the real-life "toy" soldiers are sporting a new look to honor the sesquicentennial. Inside the store, special displays call out the anniversary including a gallery filled with classic toys and brand artifacts including the original Crayola 64 Box, first edition G.I. Joe action figures and a vintage Barbie Doll. In addition, the company will offer limited-edition items from Mattel, Hasbro, Playmobil and more.

The celebration extends online with a revamped FAO.com website that will highlight a dedicated feature shop of 150th anniversary products that have been created especially to mark the occasion. 

In the social space, the company’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/FAO, will undergo a similar transformation, featuring images of the famed flagship location, as well as trivia and facts culled from 150 years of FAO Schwarz history and more.