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In FAO Schwarz's final hours, the iconic toy store isn't exactly having a going-out-of-business sale—and that's because it's not going out of business. Though the iconic toy store is leaving Fifth Avenue after tomorrow after nearly 30 years here, they're letting shoppers know that it's definitely not the end before they even walk through the door.
"See You Soon From FAO Schwarz," the giant placard begins. "Let us pause to reminisce about the countless, cherished memories created within these walls...but let's not forget that throughout its 153-year history, FAO Schwarz has resided at a number of Manhattan addresses."
"As our toy soldiers prepare to close the doors to our Fifth Avenue residence, we look forward to greeting you to the sound of 'Chopsticks' on the BIG Piano at our new home. We'll announce when and where that will be as soon as we can." (Knowledgable sources point to an address just north of Times Square; so much for the premature mourning).
Perhaps it was this message that deterred the crowds outside from actually making their way in: Once you passed the chat-happy guards gamely posing for photos with tourists, there weren't many people at all inside. And most didn't seem to be shopping, either, instead snapping pictures of giant Patrick stuffed dogs or marveling at how big the boxes of candy are in the FAO Schweetz section.
On the upper level, you'd see signs dotted with reductions—15% off here, 30% off there. An Etch-a-Sketch coated with Swarovski crystals is down from $999 to $699, if you're interested. Some of the shelves were cleared out, though that looked to be like a lack of restocking rather than a run on nostalgia. The biggest crowds, of course, were at the BIG Piano, with tourists looking to get their last notes in.
With sections dismantled and packing boxes already brought out, visitors shouldn't be lamenting the loss of the FAO they knew from childhood or movies, but rather what a fresh start in a new home could bring to an old name. In the meantime, it'll be interesting to see what Apple does with this place's 80s' vibes when it moves in while renovations go on next door.