Here’s what happens when brick-and-mortar toy stores from our childhood close down: We read news stories on our phones about their final days (always accompanied by sad photos of nearly empty shelves and desolate parking lots), then we share memories, get nostalgic, curse the Internet, and finally just start buying more stuff on Amazon.
But wait, there’s more: Lately we’ve noticed that after all the goodbye drama, said toy stores seem to be rising from the dead. It turns out that the bankrupt Toys R Us, which loudly shut down all of its remaining stores this summer is going to be reincarnated by investors as Geoffrey’s Toy Box within existing retailers.
Next up in the back-from-the-dead category: Fancy Fifth Avenue toy retailer FAO Schwarz, the over-the-top shop forever immortalized by that Tom Hanks life-size floor piano scene in the 80s flick “Big” is returning with a store at Rockefeller Plaza. Not surprisingly, the store at 30 Rock will be up and running in time for the holiday season, with an opening date slated for November 16. The 20,000-square-foot location (just a few blocks from the flagship location that shuttered three years ago) will be uber-experiential and filled with fun stuff like magic shows, build-your-own-remote-control-car stations, and yes, that famous piano ... in other words, the perfect, free activity to hook on to your visit to the Rockefeller Christmas tree this year.
And FAO Schwarz isn’t stopping there. The retailer will open another full-scale retail location in Beijing, pop-ups in department stores everywhere from Australia to the UK, and even a small outpost at LaGuardia Airport. Because what parents wouldn’t want their kids begging for a new clunky toy just minutes before it’s time to board ...
FAO Schwarz, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, New York