Which Toy Store Was Featured In The Movie Big?

Revisiting Big-1988

Who doesn’t remember Tom Hanks’ incredibly heartwarming movie ‘Big’ from the late 1980s? Big is a loving, family movie that surprises everyone with its humor and feel-good moments.  Fantasy comedies do not really enjoy the kind of love that Big received back in the day. The story revolves around 13-year-old Josh Baskin, who has this passionate urge to grow up into an adult so that he gets to talk to his crush and hang out with her in the carnival. He somehow comes to know of a Zoltar machine and asks it to make him ‘Big’ instantly. 

The wish is granted, and the next day itself, Josh wakes up as an adult man who still has the mannerisms of a 13-year-old boy. How Josh learns to behave like an adult, finds a job and a girlfriend, and how his lust for adulthood dies eventually such that he wishes to be turned back into a child again is interestingly portrayed in the movie. However, many people are still curious to know which toy store was featured in the movie Big? Read along to know the answer. 

That Toy Store in New York

When George turns into an adult, he goes on to find a job in the MacMillen Toy Company, a huge toy store in New York City. In reality, it was the FAO Schwarz store where the movie was shot. For those who don’t know, FAO Schwarz is the oldest toy store in the United States of America. The company was started in 1862 in Baltimore, Maryland after which it shifted to New York. It completed 159 years in 2021. If you’re still unable to recollect what the store looked like, try remembering the iconic dance-on piano scene from the movie Big. The grand toy store where this special piano toy was kept was the FAO Schwarz store in New York. 

FAO Schwarz In Movies

The design of the entire store was based on a grand cinematic theme. The interiors of the FAO Schwarz were so iconic that it became an inspiration for designing sets for toy store scenes in many other popular movies. For instance, the Duncans Toy Chest, seen in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York 1992 was also inspired by the FAO Schwarz. While Big was the most prominent movie in which the toy store featured, many other popular movies have also been shot here. For instance, in 1995, the climax scene of Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite was shot at the New York branch itself. Other notable movies featuring include Big Business in 1988 and Baby Boom in 1987, respectively. 

Even until the last decade, the charm of the FAO Schwarz toy store did not die at all. Its references and interior designs were again used in popular animated movies like Toy Story and Smurfs. In fact, Smurfs was shot for a total of  5 days inside the original store back in 2011. Passing shots and several other small appearances of the FAO Schwarz have frequently been part of movies. One can say that the store, too, is a part of the rich cinematic history of America. 

Shutdown In 2015

In 2015, the New York store was shut due to bankruptcy. Many had become wistful when it was declared that the iconic Fifth Avenue store was about to get closed. At that time, the ownership remained under Toys R Us, but the reopening of the store remained out of the question as the company had already suffered huge losses. It was three years later that the ownership of the FAO Schwarz changed, and people finally became hopeful of revisiting their favorite toy store. 

The Good Days Are Back

In 2018, the store was opened again, this time with new features to attract modern-day kids. A unique experiential space was created, with great influence on the cinematic world. In all, people were happy that the store had reopened and thronged the gates of the FAO Schwarz to relive what they were missing from the past three years. 


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