Times Square NYC is the most famous place on earth. That’s why Kellogg’s decided it would be the perfect place to open Pop Tarts World: a store/cafe dedicated to the famed toaster pastry. The store will be open until at least January 2011 when Kellogg’s decides if it’s worth keeping open for good. Living fairly close to Times Square NYC and being incredibly curious, I decided to visit this Pop Tarts World to see what it’s all about.
First impressions of Pop Tarts World
Pop Tarts World is on 42nd Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue. It doesn’t have a huge sign hanging off the building, but rather a painted facade that says Pop Tarts World. Once you step inside, it is one large warehouse like room with a cafe, design-a-tee shirt stand, tables for dining, a Varietizer machine to customize your own box of Pop Tarts, and scattered merchandise throughout the store. Despite the fact that I visited Pop Tarts World on a Sunday just a few days after the grand opening (August 10, 2010), I had no trouble getting into the store and only stood on line at the cafe for about 10 minutes.
The Pop Tarts World Cafe menu
Customers can choose from over 20 flavors of Pop Tarts and customize them with frosting, icings, sprinkles, and other toppings for an extra 50 cents each. Pop Tarts World has also created several unique snacks made from Pop Tarts: Pop Tart Parfait, Pop Tart Trail Mix, Pop Tart Granola Bars, and yes Pop Tart Sushi (more on that a little later!) Even common bakery items like brownies, cookies, and ice cream treats are tops with Pop Tart pieces in one way or another. Prices ranged from $1.25 to $4.99. Beverages like coffee, water, and milk were in the $2 range.
What merchandise can you buy?
The typical tourist items like t-shirts ($20 and up), key chains ($4-$7), postcards (75 cents) and magnets ($4) were for sale and all with either the traditional Pop Tarts or Pop Tarts World logos. The previously mentioned Varietizer machine allows customers to choose up to 6 of their favorite Pop Tart flavors and box up 6 two packs for $12.
Overall Pop Tarts World experience
I can see the appeal to children, especially when they can customize a regular Pop Tart with as much sugary toppings as mom and dad will pay for. The merchandise is decently priced for NYC but only items with Pop Tarts World logo may be worth buying since those are only available at the NYC store (and if Pop Tarts World decides to close, they may be future collector’s items!) I can’t see buying a regular Pop Tart for $1.50 when you can buy a box of 6 for $3 in every grocery store in America. So you should spend your money a specialty menu item. I chose the Pop Tart Sushi, crumbled Pop Tart pieces wrapped in fruit rolls the size of a half dollar and a 1/2 inch thick. It was very sweet, though I really didn’t taste any Pop Tart. And at $2.49, it’s pricey for such a dainty item. I couldn’t try any ice cream since the store ran out of it.
Overall, it’s a novel experience, and worth a visit if you are in the area. I think it needs some more creative interactive experiences to boost its appeal. How about a small kitchen area where people are given supplies to customize their own Pop Tarts for say $6? Changes like that would increase Pop Tarts World’s chances of hanging around after the new year.