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NEW YORK -- To mark the opening yesterday in Times Square of M&M's World New York, a 25,000-square-foot retail store "dedicated to the colorful chocolate fun of all things M&M's," city residents put on bathing suits and dunked themselves in the familiar red, blue, green, and yellow candy-coated colors, thereby transforming themselves into human versions of the iconic sweet treat.
"Our M&M's World New York store will surprise and delight visitors with its unique shopping experience," said Mars Retail Group president John Haugh in a statement that could have also applied to that wacky but attention-grabbing publicity stunt.
M&M's World New York carries unique and exclusive M&M's brand and character plush toys, apparel for adults and children, and thousands of other items. Visitors can also create their own M&M's custom-blended color mixes, choosing from 22 milk chocolate and peanut colors.
Other features of the New York store include:
--The world's largest display of M&M's, featuring a selection of over 1 million of the milk chocolate and peanut candy-coated confections.
--The character Blue posed like the John Travolta character in "Saturday Night Fever."
-- A 21-foot Miss Green M&M's version of the Statue of Liberty.
-- An M&M's color mood analyzer, to identify which M&M's color best suits a visitor's mood.
"Throughout our New York store, customers will be immersed in a sound and light experience that reflects the fun and flavor of all things M&M's," noted Haugh.
The New York M&M's World is the third store dedicated to the famous candy. In 1997 the first M&M's World store opened on the Las Vegas Strip, followed by one in Orlando, Fla. in November 2005. Henderson, Nev.-based Mars Retail Group owns and operates the stores.
"We came to New York because it's a tourist Mecca and filled with passionate New Yorkers," explained Haugh.
Hackettstown, N.J.-based Masterfoods USA, the U.S. food, snack, and pet care operations of Mars, Inc., employs more than 8,000 associates in the United States, with 38 manufacturing facilities nationwide. The company brands include M&M's, Snickers, Uncle Ben's, Pedigree, and Whiskas.