Zany Brainy was a United States retail store chain owned by FAO Schwarz that sold educational toys and multi-media products aimed at children ages 4–12. Its merchandise included games and puzzles; infant development toys; books, audiocassettes, CDs, videos; arts and crafts; building toys and trains; computer software; electronic learning aids and musical instruments; science toys; plush toys and dolls; and sports-themed toys. The stores offered daily events such as workshops, concerts, and author appearances.
David Schlessinger, who had earlier started the now-defunct Encore Books chain of bookstores, founded Zany Brainy in 1991. The company's CEO was Thomas Vellios. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 15, 2001, having faced financial difficulties since acquiring rival company Noodle Kidoodle in 2000. Later in 2001, Zany Brainy's assets were sold to Right Start. At the time of the sale, Zany Brainy had 187 retail locations nationwide.
David Schlessinger and Tom Vellios have founded another successful retail chain, Five Below.
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