Play things

The Globe and Mail (BC Edition) - - PURSUITS - – CAITLIN AGNEW

Hud­son’s Bay is bring­ing a leg­endary toy em­po­rium to Canada for the hol­i­days

For the young as well as the young at heart, there’s no greater joy than play­ing with a new toy. And for those who are se­ri­ous about their play­things, noth­ing tops the thrill of a visit to FAO Sch­warz. The brand’s for­mer Fifth Av­enue flag­ship in New York was known around the world for its over-the-top toys, games and stuffed an­i­mals, made fa­mous in films in­clud­ing Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and Big, in which star Tom Hanks per­forms on the store’s over­sized pi­ano.

This hol­i­day sea­son, a scaled-down ver­sion of that black-and-white in­stru­ment is avail­able in Canada at Hud­son’s Bay. The 348-year-old busi­ness has opened FAO Sch­warz pop-up spa­ces in each of its 89 lo­ca­tions across the coun­try, rang­ing in size from 300 to 1,200 square feet. Each pop-up will fea­ture a se­lec­tion of FAO Sch­warz’s sig­na­ture items, in­clud­ing over­sized plush an­i­mals and train sets.

Although toys are not new to Hud­son’s Bay, the unique of­fer­ings of FAO Sch­warz are a ma­jor nov­elty. “The brand res­onates, is au­then­tic and has his­tory, which is very much in keep­ing with Hud­son’s Bay. At the same time, it brings some­thing into the Cana­dian mar­ket that our cus­tomers haven’t seen be­fore,” says Ali­son Coville, pres­i­dent of Hud­son’s Bay. “There are other places to get toys, there are other ways to get toys, but if you want that nos­tal­gic fun, then you come to Hud­son’s Bay. [FAO Sch­warz is] one of those brands that is re­ally for all ages.”

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit the­bay.com.

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