Store Review: M&M's World, Times Square, Manhattan
Walk into the front entrance of M&M World in Times Square and you will be confronted by something you've never seen before: a giant blue, almond M&M spokescandy boogeying to music in a white disco suit. Right away, you know that you're going to have a fun time in this store. The iconic chocolate candy combined merchandising and a splash of theme park showmanship to create a retail experience that is fun but expensive.
If you love M&M candies, this place is for you. Anything you would ever think to brand as an M&M candy exists here. T-shirts, pajamas, hats, mugs, candy dispenser, and anything else you can think of seem to exist here and available for sale. But not only is it a fun example of merchandising, the store also has a gallery of M&M works of art and an interactive machine that helps determine what your favorite M&M color says about you.
All Photos Photographed and Copyrighted By Flightkeeper
The M&M Color Mood Machine
I'm talking about the M&M Color Mood Machine. This retail review would not be complete without a description of the Mood Machine. You stand in it and it analyzes your mood and proclaims your color mood in M&Ms for you. Now when I stepped in the contraption, I was just thinking it was a joke, but after some blinking lights and buzzing sounds, it spit out that my color mood was purple...how did it know that my favorite color was purple?! And apparently if I have the purple mood, I like to try new things and encourage others as well. Amazing, that's true too!!! I hung around to see if the machine did a repeat, but apparently there are other color moods as well. After the machine has determined your color mood, you can express it by buying the corresponding M&M color. And there are so many colors. I couldn't decided between light purple and dark purple and decided to get a little of both...for $13 a pound!
After buying my appropriate M&M I wandered around the 25,000 square feet store. It has three levels. The first floor is full of children's clothing and Ms. Liberty M&M candy dispensers and other touristy items. The second floor has the Mood Machine and The World's Biggest Wall of Chocolate. The Wall of Chocolate is a whole wall of M&M dispensers filled with M&M in all the colors of the rainbow. In addition there are more branded items whether it be pens, pads, pencils, other stationery items, pillows, T-shirts, mugs, glasses, candy tins and boxes and even more types of candy dispensers.
The third floor is devoted to M&M branded kitchen items such as dishtowels, aprons, utensils, pot holders to apparel such as jeans, rugby shirts, baseball caps, ties, and even jewelry such as earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. But nothing beats the gallery of M&M works of art, there was even a rhinestone encrusted leather jacket with pictures of the M&M characters in 50s garb.
You can spend hours in the store and just have a great time looking at all the stuff that's here and marvel how the humble M&M candy became a retail extravaganza.
1941: M&Ms were introduced in five original colors: red, yellow, brown, green, and violet
1950: Black Ms were imprinted
1954: Black Ms were changed to White M imprints
1955: Peanut M&Ms introduced
1976: Red M&M withdrawn from sale because of health concerns over the dye and replaced with orange M&Ms
1992: Almond M&Ms became part of the standard product line
1990: Peanut Butter M&Ms were introduced (Remember the scene in ET between ET & a young actress, Drew Barrymore? Those were Reese's pieces, not peanut butter M&Ms)
1995: Blue M&Ms replaced tan M&Ms. The animated spokescandies appeared to introduce the new color
1996: M&M minis were introduced
1998: Crispy M&Ms were released
2005: Dark chocolate M&Ms introduced. Later Mega M&Ms were also released.
2008: M&M Premiums introduced
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