Applied Linguistics graduate and freelance writer. Visit my twitter: @heyclairemarie
Published July 30th 2012
Take a trip to M&M's World for fun and colour
If you wander down to the corner of Leicester Square, London, you will come across a riot of colour, fun and masses of people. Yes, you have entered M&M's World.
M&M's World is three floors jam-packed with anything to do with M&M's. There are soft toys, sweets and memorabilia, as well as games and activities. It is the sort of place that reminds you of what it's like to be a child - you can't help but step inside and become swept up into the playfulness and joy of your surroundings. Even though the shop is evidently aimed at children, it is full of the sort of wonder that adults can appreciate. If it's your first trip, you'll love its novelty.
M&M's World in Leicester Square, London, was officially opened to the public on Monday 13th June 2011. There are also branches in Las Vegas, New York City and Orlando. It is currently the largest M&M's store in the world, boasting 35,000 square feet and spread out across three and a half stories. The selection of products for purchase is vast - you can buy shot glasses, chopsticks and sushi dishes amongst other items. And of course, this is a chocolate shop, so you can enjoy all that luscious chocolate, right? Well yeah, but it's only in one corner. The rest of the store is dedicated to the merchandise.
However, the shop's shine can wear off after a little while and begin to look like a massive publicity exercise for M&M's. And let's face it, that's exactly what it is. It is very doubtful after all, that you have spent your entire life desiring an M&M t-shirt to complete your wardrobe. Or how about some M&M linens? But what more can you expect than a huge advertisement for the brand?
On our trip, we visited at 10pm. This was not a problem, as the store closes at Midnight (pity the poor staff). It was still crowded and busy - proving that their visitors are not just children, as it would be past their bedtime. The shop is free to enter, even if you don't buy anything. You can even get photographs with the characters (if that's what you want - I'm not sure a picture of you with a giant M&M will mean much to many people).
The staff seemed genuinely happy to be there and appeared to enjoy their job, which creates a good atmosphere. It is also a very fun and colourful shop. If you put aside the fact that pretty much everything costs a small fortune, visit at least to the enjoy the insane M&M-themed art (Henry VIII as an M&M, people) or take snaps of Beatles M&Ms.
Some folks won't like it - I have come across comments online from people complaining about everything from the screaming of the staff to the apparent lack of peanut butter flavoured M&M's. Seeing as I didn't know about this shop before and didn't expect to visit, when we came across it, it was a pleasant surprise. My advice - enjoy it for its spectacle, but don't expect too much substance.