In the Spirit of the Season, Legendary Toy Store Helps Give Back Kids In Need Through Partnership With Marine Toys for Tots Foundation

WAYNE, NJ (November 8, 2011) – With families everywhere already starting their Christmas shopping, FAO Schwarz® has unwrapped its plans to provide a magical holiday season to its customers. Beyond trimming the windows of its world-famous Fifth Avenue store with lighted versions of its iconic toy soldier, FAO Schwarz is now stocking its shelves with wonderful, new and classic playthings. The ultimate assortment of items featured in the store and online at FAO.com is showcased in The 2011 Ultimate Holiday Collection, a 40-page display of wondrous toys. The collection includes product presentations from iconic brands, the world of fashion, baby products, specialty toys and more. Additionally, to help New Yorkers, and visitors to FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue, get into the Christmas spirit by helping children in need, the store is now accepting cash contributions to benefit the Marine Toys For Tots Foundation through Christmas Eve.

“For New Yorkers and tourists alike, a special part of any holiday season is a visit to see the amazing toys at FAO Schwarz,” said Richard Barry, Vice President, General Merchandising Manager, Toys“R”Us, Inc. “To offer a preview of the wondrous playthings featured in our world-famous store, The 2011 Ultimate Holiday Collection catalog takes customers on a magical journey of the unique items available this year, from classic playthings to limited edition items.”

The 2011 Ultimate Holiday Catalog – In Mailboxes Now and Available Digitally!

Now landing in mailboxes nationwide, The 2011 Ultimate Holiday Collection from FAO Schwarz features toys beyond kids’ wildest imaginations, along with items that will catch the eye of discerning collectors. Presented in thematic pages,the 40-page book presents statements dedicated to FAO Schwarz collectibles, over-the-top toys, playthings from Paul Frank, Lionel Trains, life-sized plush animals, baby items and more. Customers can view the entire catalog online at FAO.com/2011Holiday.

Those who cannot visit the store in-person can experience all of the items in The 2011 Ultimate Holiday Collection catalog online at FAO.com. This fully interactive version of the catalog, with flippable pages, allows customers to begin browsing the assortment of classic toys, incredible games and extraordinary items beginning Friday, November 11. Items featured in The 2011 Ultimate Holiday Collection catalog can also be ordered via phone by calling 800-426-8697.

Additionally, fans of the store’s official Facebook Fan page at Facebook.com/FAO can tune in every Monday to find additional information about products displayed in the catalog.

FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue Helps Children in Need

This holiday season, the legendary toy store is once again serving as a donation headquarters for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. Now through Christmas Eve, customers visiting FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue can donate to Toys for Tots, in any amount starting at $1. With more than 16 million kids living in poverty in the United States, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, funds donated at FAO Schwarz will help purchase toys for children who might otherwise go without a gift on Christmas morning.

To help celebrate the partnership with Toys for Tots, on Thursday, December 1 and Friday, December 2, FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue will host a kickoff for the program from 9 am – 4 pm. During this time, Marine representatives will report for duty at the iconic toy store to greet customers as they enter the store and encourage them to donate cash and toys. This will be the only time that FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue will collect toys for Toys for Toys, which will be distributed within the local community. To help visitors get into the holiday spirit, carolers will provide musical accompaniment in the donation area while offering complimentary candy canes, while supplies last.

Unique Toys, Classic Playthings and Limited Edition Items

A sampling of exquisite playthings and baby items available at FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue, in The 2011 Ultimate Holiday Catalog and online at FAO.com, includes:

2011 Collectible Bear from FAO Schwarz®

The 14th addition to the FAO Schwarz signature series of annual collectible and lovable teddy bears will enchant both kids and adults. Adorably outfitted in a faux leather jacket, this soft oatmeal-colored bear is ready for snuggling or to be displayed among a collection. His left foot is embroidered with the FAO Schwarz logo and “2011,” while the company’s whimsical mascot Wit is featured on his right.

The Big Piano from FAO Schwarz®

One of the highlights of the legendary FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue store is the bigger-than-life piano that everyone can dance on. Now, kids can take the experience home and tickle the ivories with their feet on this replica Big Piano. Ideal for budding musicians to practice their talents, the soft dance mat has 24 keys and allows kids to play classic tunes, record and playback unique masterpieces, and more.

Busytown Big Town Playset from The Bridge Direct

The beloved books of Richard Scarry come to life in a collection of wood vehicles and figures. With curiosities to discover everywhere, the set encourages social interaction between kids as they explore and play in their own version of Busytown, in which vehicles can travel on a double oval roadway layout. Bringing the full story to life, this playset comes with the Town Hall, Hilda’s Pencil Car, Banana’s Banana Car, Huckle’s classic Blue Car, Lolwy’s Apple Car, Mr. Frumble’s Pickle Car, Mr. Fixit’s Van, the Town Home with Garden and the Town Gas Station. For added fun, kids will also find signs and figures, along with 12 roadway pieces that connect with most wooden train track systems.

Calico Critters® Cloverleaf Manor from International Playthings™

This super-deluxe dream house features enough space to play home to an entire community of Cloverleaf Critters in this house that opens and closes for lots of pretend play, as well as fun and easy storage. Featuring nine large rooms on three floors, spacious is the keyword for this elaborate mansion. Beyond spending time indoors, the residents can lounge outside on the spacious balcony or the railed rooftop patio. Those looking for illumination will also find a chandelier that can be placed in any room. The manor measures 36 ½” x 20” x 9 ¼” when opened and 18 ½” x 20” x 14.5” when closed.

Dancing with the Stars Prototype dolls from Mattel®

FAO Schwarz is giving lucky Dancing with the Stars fans the chance to own one of the original prototype Barbie dolls, inspired by real costumes from the show! Barbie is ready to dance in each of three dolls, sold separately, including an elegant Waltz featuring a gown with a strapless pink bodice that is trimmed with diamonds; the Paso Doble doll, dressed in a bodice and red satin and black lace skirt that has hoops that link the skirt to Barbie’s hand for a dramatic, sweeping effect; and Samba featuring an orange two-piece costume with a short, open skirt that is accented with yellow feathers and pink and orange organza. With the purchase of each prototype doll, customers will also receive two coveted tickets to see a taping of Dancing with the Stars in Los Angeles! Airfare is not included.

Digital 1:24 Scale Custom Rods Racing Set from Carrera

Slot car enthusiasts can get their motors running with this racing set that comes with two classic automobiles with this FAO Schwarz exclusive item. Racers can speed through straights, curves, change lanes and pass opponents while racing either of the included ‘34 and ‘41 Hotrods. To add to the excitement, the set can accommodate additional cars, allowing four separate drivers to race. With digital enhancements, this set allows users to add a Ghost Car, as well as alter the speed, braking and fuel level (when used in conjunction with Pit Stop Lane) of each car.

Donkey from Bugaboo

This convertible stroller is designed to grow with any family. Whether walking about the neighborhood with one child or two, this stroller fits any family configuration. With just three simple clicks, the Bugaboo Donkey converts from a full-size mono to a full-size duo stroller and back again. Plus, flexible luggage options make it spacious enough to fit travel gear for a family on the go.

Ellowyne Wilde: Woeful Romance from Robert Tonner Doll Company

Inspired by goth and anime influences, this FAO Schwarz exclusive doll has dark brown hair and inset blue eyes with applied lashes and is the perfect doll to add to any collection. Outfitted in a designer bodysuit with faux pearl buttons, embroidered skirt, matching decorative cape with organza ribbon, belt, knit tights and designer shoes, Elloywne stands 16-inches tall and has 12 points of articulation.

Hello Kitty® Signature Diamond Jewlery from Placeholder Request

Hello Kitty fans can show off their favorite cat with this collection of diamond encrusted jewelry. Sure to dazzle on any occasion, fans can find Hello Kitty’s adorable, diamond encrusted face adorning a charm bracelet or acting as a pendant. Each sold separately.

I’m The Boss Dino Ball Pit from K’s Kids

Toddlers will dive right into this friendly, stuffed dinosaur whose back opens to reveal a play space filled with 60 soft plastic balls. Vibrant colors, fun textures and patterns on the outside make this dinosaur a valued friend for children, while the inside hosts a world of crawl-through fun.

Jeweled Classic Etch-A-Sketch from Ohio Arts

The world’s favorite drawing toy has become the ultimate display piece, with over 10,000 dazzling handset sapphire Swarovski crystals in this FAO Schwarz exclusive. With only six available in the world of this sparkling blue plaything, this Limited Edition bejeweled Etch-A-Sketch combines can’t stop playing value with over-the-top luxe, making it the perfect gift with super glam!

The Muppet Whatnot Workshop Kit from Disney®

Kids and Muppet aficionados looking for hands-on, crafting fun can create their very own quirky Whatnots – the extras of the Muppet world, exclusively at FAO Schwarz. After choosing from three different body styles creators can customize their Muppet with 14 sets of eyes, 16 noses and 23 hairstyles. Fifteen unique fashions are also available to choose from to outfit a Whatnot for any occasion.

The Polar Express O-Gauge Ready To Run Train from Lionel

All aboard! Now kids can take home the Polar Express train featured in both the best-selling book and the hit movie. Designed to be true to the page and film, this set features a die-cast metal Berkshire steam locomotive with a larger pilot, a headlight lens cap, and a unique whistle. Following the locomotive’s lead are two lighted coach cars and an observation car that features a rounded observation platform. The four main characters also make an appearance as articulated figures with turning heads, movable arms, bendable waists, and jointed knees. Ready to run out of the box, this set comes complete with a generous loop of Lionel's patented FasTrack track system and a powerful CW-80 Transformer.

Soft Character Dolls from Madame Alexander Doll Company

Children can recreate scenes from their favorite books with these 14-inch soft-bodied versions of classic storybook characters. Fancy Nancy comes from her stylish book and is ready to play dress-up, while Angelina Ballerina is ready to pirouette into her next adventure. And, Pinkalicious steps out of her newest story, Goldilicious, in asparkly ensemble, complete with her magic wand and princess cone hat.

24-inch Uglydoll® from Pretty Ugly™, LLC

From the creative minds of two love-struck artists, David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim, what started as a drawing of a quirky, playful orange character known as Wage has turned into a whole new world of fun. After Sun-Min sewed Wage into a plush toy as a surprise gift for her then boyfriend, the couple soon pulled more characters from the Uglyverse to create the now iconic world of Uglydoll. Featuring unique shapes and silly expressions, these 24-inch soft characters have special personalities.

Yottoy 30-inch Knit Julius the Monkey from Paul Frank

Even though he’s world-famous, this curious monkey is ready to come home with kids everywhere. Designed with a soft-knit fabric to evoke a nostalgic look and feel, this monkey is the coolest cuddle companion on the block and is always ready for an imaginary adventure!

For high-resolution images of items featured in The 2011 Ultimate Holiday Collection from FAO Schwarz, please click on the following link: https://toysrus.sharefile.com/d/s192c7b5948b4f01b.

For high-resolution images of sample pages from The 2011 Ultimate Holiday Collection from FAO Schwarz, please click on the following link: https://toysrus.sharefile.com/d/s192c7b5948b4f01b.

About FAO Schwarz

For nearly 150 years, FAO Schwarz has been a brand synonymous with quality and innovation, offering an unparalleled selection of extraordinary toys that have enchanted generations and cultivated a loyal clientele. The famous FAO Schwarz flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, which attracts millions of visitors annually, is the only one of its kind anywhere in the world. The complete assortment of the company’s products, including a line of toys marketed under the FAO Schwarz brand name, can be found in-store and online at FAO.com. The iconic FAO Schwarz brand is exclusively operated by Toys“R”Us, Inc., the world’s leading dedicated toy and juvenile products retailer.

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Media Contact:
Toys"R"Us, Inc.
Bob Friedland