FAO Schwarz

On 5th Avenue by the southeast corner of Central Park lies the legendary toy store, FAO Schwarz.

Remember when Tom Hanks played on the massive piano in Big? That was there. (And the piano is still accessible, swarming with excitable children.)

There are so many different sections to the shop. And so many giant versions of things. Larger than life Lego statues! Oversized toy soldiers! Monstrous princesses guarding the sweets!

I discovered that Sylvanian Families are called Calico Critters in the States but are equally overpriced.

There were Barbies of everything (which didn’t surprise me too much having visited Barbie Shanghai in 2011) including Elizabeth Taylor and Twilight’s Bella and Edward.

I can’t even imagine the excitement you would feel visiting this place as a child. I used to display endless enthusiasm for going to London’s Toy Shop in York, even though it was metres from my house and I could – and often did – go on a daily basis day to look at things I mostly couldn’t afford with my pocket money (though they did have a nice line in polystyrene aeroplanes for 15p).

Anyway, FAO Schwarz was a behemoth of magical toy stores and it made me feel like I was in a Christmas movie even though it was August.

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