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TONYKids blog

    Toys 'R' Us buys FAO Schwarz

    Fri May 29

    For a century and a half, FAO Schwarz has been a playful symbol of American capitalism. Frederick August Otto Schwarz and his three brothers hailed from Germany and opened the NYC store in 1862. Over the years, the stores mushroomed into a worldwide franchise and a brand. However, by 2004, FAO was in financial trouble and was purchased by D. E. Shaw & Company. As of today, only two stores remain: One in NYC, the other in Las Vegas. As the New York Times reported yesterday, FAO's remaining legacy was bought by Toys 'R' Us for an undisclosed price. FAO's new owners will keep the Big Apple store's name and layout, replete with giant plush dogs and wooden creations aplenty. While it feels a little strange—the Toys 'R' U in Times Square has always felt like it wanted to be FAO—the deal is a far better outcome than closure. Cheesy as it is, childhood just isn't complete without a dance on the giant piano and a hug from one of FAO's resident toy soldiers.

    June deals and discounts

    Wed May 27

    We're all trying to spend less these days, but that doesn't mean we want to stop living well. The sweet deals below help you continue to amuse and clothe your family without breaking the bank. Up to 40 % off Splendid & Ella Moss kids' clothes at the Kidini Sale June 1 Kids' clothing sale planner, Kidini , is hosting its third May sale, featuring up to 40% off Splendid & Ella Moss wears. Smyth Hotel, 85 West Broadway at Chambers St, 917-653-3643. Tell the concierge you're going to the Kidini Sale and they will insert the key card in the elevator to take you to the Thompson Suite. $10 off egg baby apparel at The Mini Social through June 3 Too busy to hit a sample sale? No problem. The Mini Social website brings discount shopping to you with its weekly virtual sales. Founded by moms for moms and their kids, the site offers up to 60% off high-end wears, and even donates a portion of its proceeds to charity. It's free to join, and for every friend...

    Downer TV: Jon & Kate Plus 8

    Tue May 26

    The Season 5 premiere of Jon & Kate may have excited TV execs--it was TLC's most-watched show ever, garnering 9.8 million viewers--but it totally put me in a bad mood. My go-to feel-good TV show turned into a heartbreaking hour of depression! I tuned in last night hoping for my usual dose of overwhelming cuteness: kids saying funny things, a bickering husband and wife who need each other desperately, a field-trip gone awry, maybe some potty humor. Instead, I bore witness to a crumbling marriage (oddly, while flipping through bridal magazines, prepping for my own wedding). The episode depicted a once co-dependent Kate planning a birthday party (for her sextuplets) all by herself. Jon apparently "needed a break." And yet, as he reminded us throughout the episode, he's "there for his kids." Like many viewers, I've always found Kate to be a little too bossy and Jon to be incredibly tolerant. But for the first time, I have to say, I loathe Jon. There for his kids? It doesn't look that...

    Meet Rebecca, an American Girl Doll and LES resident

    Tue May 26

    This past weekend, American Girl formally announced the newest addition to its lineup of historical dolls: Rebecca Rubin, a nine-year-old Russian-Jewish immigrant living right here on Manhattan's Lower East Side circa 1914. She's the first Semitic girl in the series, and so far, she's getting good reviews: the hard-to-please director of the Anti-Defamation League even liked her! Like her AG sisters, Rebecca will be introduced via six books, which give kids the chance to peer at life on the LES long before the days of skinny jeans and trendy bars. The adventures, mishaps and lessons learned in these titles take Rebecca from her father's shoe shop on Rivington Street to the carnival rides of Coney Island. As with all the American Girl stories, Rebecca's tales include light story lines, like her desire to become an actress, as well as heavier historical issues, such as religion and the hardships of immigration. The doll, expected to retail for $95, will be unveiled this Sunday, May 31....

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