February 19, 2013

Childhood Living at FAO Schwartz

When I tagged along with my boss to FAO Schwartz, it looked so different from the outside to what I imagined it would be like. The store was only three floors, with sleek glass windows all around, belying its 150-year history. It had none of the magic and wonder that I expected it would have...until I caught sight of the Big Piano, immortalized in Tom Hanks' 1988 comedy Big.

A create-your-own-Muppet counter on the first floor, which was completely dwarfed by the souvenirs and candy section.

The look like they are screaming out in pain.

The basement floor, which seemed to be made up of various types of stuffed animals. I was mildly annoyed by this one. It seems to be a big stuffed rock with holes in it for dinosaurs to come out of. You can also carry it like a bag. But why? Is this fun?

Clifford, the Big Red Dog. I remember enjoying the picture books as a kid.

The second floor was my favorite floor. While the other two floors seemed no different to being in a Toys R' Us (understandable considering that the company purchased the FAO Schwartz brand several years ago), this floor was full of toys with interesting concepts. 

I had the 96-crayon Crayola set about 20 years ago, so I loved the Crayola section, complete with a vintage-style Crayola tin that allowed customers to pick and choose their own colors.

The Barbie section, which, despite their best efforts, always seems a bit misguided. I take issue with this President Barbie, who seems to be modeled after Elle Woods from Legally Blonde, with her pink suit and chihuahua.

The Lego section, which was manned by large Lego sculptures.

The completely eerie Newborn Nursery, where you can pick and choose the parts you want to create your own dream baby. Would a child want something so lifelike? It's hard to project your feelings and wishes onto a baby that is semi-animate.

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