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FAO Schwarz Opens the Ultimate Magic Venue, Operated by Fantasma Magic

February 15, 2003

Fantasma to Kick Off With Weekend of Magical Fun for the Whole Family!

FAO Schwarz Fantasma Venue 2003
New York, NY – This weekend at its New York City flagship store FAO Schwarz unveils the ultimate magic venue, operated by its exclusive magic products supplier Fantasma Magic, a division of Fantasma Toys, Inc.

The only toy company endorsed by the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the world's largest professional magicians' association, Fantasma kicks off its spectacular magic venue with a weekend full of live magic events. On-the-hour activities will include magic shows featuring professional magicians, amazing illusions, live animals, audience participation, and a magic hat full of surprises!

Scheduled performers are award-winning entertainers who have appeared on television and on stage in Las Vegas and Atlantic City:

•Jon Stetson, unique comedic magician
•David Oliver, dove illusionist extraordinaire
•Silly Billy, the comedian for kids
•Bob Friedhoffer, educational scientific magician
•Simon Lovell, sleight-of-hand expert
•Roger Dreyer, CEO of Fantasma Toys

In addition to this weekend's kick-off events, Fantasma Magic will be providing all FAO Schwarz retail locations with a one-of-a-kind line of magic tricks and accessories; daily in-store magic shows; a bi-monthly magic school for kids; guest appearances by well-known magicians; and an exhibit of original Harry Houdini props and memorabilia.

Fantasma Toys' product lines include collections of the world's greatest magic effects and card tricks; create-your-own-magic-party equipment; a new category of "visionary" toys; and Professor Wow's Bizarre Science tricks and experiments.

Fantasma Toys was founded in 2001 by magic-toy gurus Roger Dreyer and Mark Setteducati — both magicians with over 25 years of industry experience. Mr. Setteducati has created award-winning toys for companies such as Mattel, Hasbro, Pressman Toys, and the Ideal Toy Company, and he was named "Toy Inventor of the Year" by his peers at the 2002 London Toy Fair. Inspired by the legendary illusionist Harry Houdini (Mr. Dreyer has one of the world's largest collections of Houdini memorabilia), Fantasma Toys brings a fresh new approach to the design and development of magic products and the category's role at retail. Not only has Fantasma Toys raised the bar on the quality of magic products offered at retail, but the company is also giving consumers the opportunity to obtain magic props and instruction once available only to professionals.

Founded in 1862, FAO Schwarz has long been recognized as the ultimate toy store. The company consistently delivers exclusive, unusual and trend-setting merchandise from around the globe. FAO Schwarz has designed its stores, catalogues and on-line shopping site in a uniquely interactive manner that involves customers with merchandise and creates a playful experience. FAO also produces The Ultimate Toy Catalogue, a direct mail catalogue distributed to more than eight million consumers annually, and offers its world-famous toys and specialty goods on-line at FAO Schwarz is a division of FAO, Inc. (Nasdaq: FAOO), which operates stores under the trade names of FAO Schwarz, The Right Start, and Zany Brainy.

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