Lonely Planet Writer

The world's most famous toy store will reopen in time for NEXT Christmas

Big and small kids rejoice, FAO Schwarz is making a triumphant New York comeback in 2018, just in time to do some festive holiday shopping next year.

The most famous toy store in the world is coming back. Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The iconic toy store is returning to the Big Apple in fall 2018 at a new location at 30 Rockefeller Plaza for a long-term lease. While it will be about a third of the size of its previous flagship store on Fifth Avenue, the news has already delighted many.

The legendary toy store was a must-see attraction for both local and visiting families, who happily explore 61,000 square feet of incredible displays, dazzling lights and, of course, the walking piano that became famous worldwide after being the star of a sign in the Tom Hanks’ film Big.

FAO Schwarz struggled to compete with discount stores. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

It fell victim, however, to rising rent costs and in 2015, after 30 years in the same location, the oldest toy store in the United States shut its doors. As well as its own its own brand of toys, it also carried more high-end toys for children, adding to the air of glamour and grandeur in the store. The FAO Schwarz brand has not been completely out of the limelight; you can shop online and there have been pop-up shops at JFK Airport and the department store Bergdorf Goodman.

FAO Schwarz’s parent company Toys “R” Us sold it to the ThreeSixty Group in October 2016 and they are the company responsible for this new development. There is no confirmation yet about whether the giant piano will be included in their new store but it’s seems unlikely they’ll miss the chance to bring it back.