American Girl's All-American Success

Pleasant Co.'s doll line is a hit, and its two fantasyland retail outlets are drawing plenty of notice, all without advertising

The FAO Schwarz flagship store on New York City's famed Fifth Avenue used to represent the ultimate fantasy shopping experience for kids. Its giant floor keyboard, which Tom Hanks famously tap-danced on in the movie Big, once seemed the pinnacle of fun. The dusty old keyboard is still there, along with every other toy under the sun, but now it seems more nostalgic than enjoyable. (Editor's note: On Dec. 2, FAO Inc., parent of FAO Schwarz, Zany Brainy, and Right Start, said would it soon file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.)

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