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Showing posts with label FAO Schwarz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FAO Schwarz. Show all posts

Monday 20 July 2015

The Big Piano

The Big Piano.

Location: Manhattan, New York, USA
Address: 767 5th Avenue
Date: Nov 2014
Website:  www.bigpiano.com

  One of the things that the FAO Schwarz toy store in Manhattan is most famous for is that it was used as a filming location for the movie Big.  Almost everyone remembers Tom Hanks dancing on a giant piano along with the owner of MacMillan Toys (Robert Loggia).  First they play a rendition of Hoagy Carmichael's Heart & Soul and then finish off with Chopsticks. Both songs were executed beautifully due to some fancy footwork.
  When we last visited FAO Schwarz the Big Pianos were located upstairs on the second floor.  There were lots of children taking a turn walking or jumping along the keys of the piano that was on display.   We didn't hear anything that even resembled a familiar tune.  The notes were all there, but the order and timing was all off.

Less Forte Please, More Pianissimo.

  The Big Piano was created by Remo Saraceni in 1982 and is designed to be played with your feet by walking up and down the keys. Many people visit the FAO Schwarz store in Manhattan for a chance to play on the piano just like they did in the movie Big.  You can play on a similar piano and even purchase one to continue the fun at home, but the real piano used in the movie has been donated to Philadelphia's Please Touch Museum.
  Sadly, the FAO Schwarz store in New York has now closed its 5th Avenue location.  If you wish to visit the exact spot where Tom Hanks played piano with his feet then you will have to find a way into the building once the new tenants arrive.  The actual spot is not up on the second floor at all. In the movie you see Tom Hanks come down the escalator that is always surrounded by stuffed animals and has a distinctive striped pattern to the glass wall behind it.

Sing it Boys. Heart and Soul. I Fell in Love with You, Heart and Soul!

  He turns right and then walks until he realizes he has stepped onto the piano.  He walks up and down the keys and does a body slide before remembering his piano lessons. He is only 12 years old after all. Once they finish playing he walks away with a very impressed Mr. MacMillan and they go right past the clock tower.  Some of you should recall the FAO Schwarz clock face which sang "Welcome to our World of Toys".

Welcome to Our World ....Hey was that Tom Hanks?

  Basically enter from the 5th Avenue doors and walk straight up the middle of the store until you are in line with the bottom of the escalators.  This is the spot.  This is where a classic movie moment happened in one of the greatest toy stores in the world and makes us all feel like kids again.

Map of Our World
The Big Piano

Post # 64

Wednesday 15 July 2015

FAO Schwarz (New York)

Excited FAO Soldier Greeters.

Location: Manhattan, New York, USA
Address: 767 5th Avenue
Date: Nov 2014
Website:  www.fao.com

  Since 1986 FAO Schwarz has been a must visit destination on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, New York.  Sadly, it will be closing it's doors today (July 15, 2015) and will start to look for a new Manhattan location to call home.  The FAO Schwarz toy company was founded in 1862.  The FAO stands for Frederick August Otto who started the business with his brothers Schwarz.  Toy lovers from all over have flocked to this store where a visit is often just as much fun as the toys you take home.

FAO Schwarz on 5th Avenue.

  We have visited the toy store on numerous New York City vacations.  The store is known for it's high end toys such as near life sized stuffed animals.  Animals like the nine-hundred dollar, 95 inch tall giraffe below.

You can only bring one toy and please don't choose your Giant Giraffe again..
  For simpler tastes, or for those with ceiling and wallet restrictions, you may prefer to choose from one of the more reasonably sized dogs sitting next to the escalator.

How much is that doggie in the window?

The displays in the main entrance area just beside the escalators are always changing with different themes.  Everything from Hello Kitty to Star Wars or Anastasia to Tamagotchi.  It is also in this front area where Tom Hanks played on a giant walking piano in the movie Big.  If you wish to buy one of those, just head up stairs to the second floor.  

FAO Schwarz Main Entrance.
Star Wars inside FAO Schwarz.
Anastasia Escalators.
Robot Elevator and Temple.

  There used to be a clock face that would greet visitors and every so often it would start to sing "Welcome to our World of Toys".  This would bring a smile to the faces of children both young and old.  It was all part of the FAO Schwarz magic.

Welcome to Our World of Toys.
FAO Magic.

  The store is filled with all types of toys.  It has everything from dolls and board games to model cars and video games.  There is a candy section downstairs called FAO Schweetz.  The store also caters to the collector with special edition dolls like the Wizard of Oz dolls below.

Wicked Witch. Dorothy Patience.

Fifth Avenue Apple Store.

   In front of FAO Schwarz you will see the glass walls of the Apple Store where patrons descend into the depths of the earth to get all of their iWants and iNeeds.  Just past that was always an excited soldier greeter, more than happy to pose for numerous photos.  With the store closing on 5th Avenue, let's hope they can find another location soon.  It would be a shame if after over 150 years in business one of the world's greatest toy stores became nothing more than a website.

What Now?  I hope they let us keep the hats.

Map of Our World
FAO Schwarz

Post # 63