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[Source: Wall Street Journal]
by Ralph Gardner
Here’s how I would celebrate FAO Schwarz’s 150th anniversary if it were up to me: I’d move the store back across the street, to the southeast corner of 58th Street and Fifth Avenue—as everyone knows, it’s now in the GM Building—and renovate it so it looked just like it did in 1963, give or take a year, when I was in my toy heyday.
During my childhood, after poring through the catalog at home, picking out the toys I wanted and plotting (usually unsuccessfully) how I was going to persuade my parents to buy them for me, I’d get to visit the store a couple of times a year. It was like seeing your favorite celebrities in person. All the toys I fantasized about the other 363 days were there, large as life: the $125 Fort Apache with firing slits; the Corgi Toy version of James Bond’s Aston Martin with hidden machine guns and rear bulletproof screen; the rideable, battery-powered Stutz Bearcat; the Lionel train village; the Skil-Craft career chemistry set that your parents would never buy you because you could blow yourself up.