Toys ‘R’ Us Sells FAO Schwarz Brand For Undisclosed Sum

Image courtesy of Luiz Yassuda

Last summer, Toys ‘R’ Us closed the last physical store in the FAO Schwarz brand. That cut the legacy of a venerable retail brand down to only a section on the Toys ‘R’ Us website, with its former retail space becoming a flagship store for sporting goods brand Under Armour. Now, the same firm that makes toys and gadgets for Sharper Image, Animal Planet, Smithsonian, and Discovery Kids has purchased the brand.

At the time the original store closed, Toys ‘R’ Us told us that it still planned to keep the brand alive and was looking for another retail space in Manhattan.

“The company is committed to the FAO Schwarz brand and growing its legacy,” a spokeswoman for the company told Consumerist at the time in an e-mailed statement. “In fact, it is actively searching for another location in midtown Manhattan where FAO Schwarz can welcome shoppers from around the world.”

Maybe that was before they checked the prices for premium real estate in Manhattan. Instead, the chain went ahead and closed the main brand’s flagship store in Times Square too, deciding to pack up its Ferris wheel and take off when the lease ended.

The company does plan to open a three-story flagship-type store in the New York metropolitan area at the forthcoming American Dream mall at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. Yes, that is the mall’s actual name.

The new owner, ThreeSixty Group, which is not Tom Haverford and Johnralphio’s company from Parks and Recreation, licenses or buys well-known brands and creates products for them, and plans to make FAO Schwarz toys. The company doesn’t have plans yet for a physical store, but the company’s founder told Fortune magazine that it wouldn’t rule it out in the future.

In the meantime, Toys ‘R’ Us will keep selling its line of boutique giant stuffed animals, and the FAO Schwarz domain name will redirect shoppers there. ThreeSixty will have its first collections under the brand available for the toy show season in early 2017.

Exclusive: Toys ‘R’ Us Is Selling Off Iconic FAO Schwarz Brand [Fortune]