Tuesday, 6 December 2011

M and M's world

Bright colours, flashing lights, loud music, you can't miss it!
Famous the world over for highly coveted film premieres, Leicester Square is used to bright, flashing lights and overbearing presences. But even here, the newest attraction should probably come with some sort of warning label;  "May cause epileptic fits, regression to childhood and extreme bankruptcy"
M&Ms World has only been open a couple of months, and is already extremely popular with tourists and Londoners alike. Even if you haven't seen the shop, you have probably seen people clutching the bright yellow carrier bags that state "I'm a mug, who spent a mug's amount of money on a mug". Well, they actually say M&Ms World, but once you get there, you realise it's a synonym.

Making your way through Leicester Square towards M&Ms World, it seems like the safe haven at the end of the proverbial tunnel, an escape from the bustle of central London. Well, until you get inside, and the madness hits you.  Bright, flashing lights, cheesy pop music and a London double decker bus parked in the entrance, not to mention the poor cleaner clearing the vomit off of the rug at the door after some child had one M&M too many.

The staircase up to the top floor houses the first hints that this is trying to be more than just a shop. An entire portrait gallery consisting of M&M characters posing as quintessentially British figures lines the walls. This was taken so seriously that a sign placed upon a podium asked visitors not to touch the portraits. SORRY, forgot this was akin to the Louvre.
Portraits of Robin Hood, Guy Fawkes and Boudicea

This attempt at, ahem, class continued on the top floor, with collectible ornaments, ranging from £130-£700 in price. To an untrained eye, they seemed to be made of little more than resin, although of course they were kept under lock and key as if they were the crown jewels.  It's unlikely that Lawrence Lleweyn Bowen or David Dickinson will be snapping one up anytime soon.
A drop in the ocean at £700 odd. At the most it was 40cm in height.

<<In case you were so overcome with the joy of it all at this stage, that you felt like celebrating (because of course, who wouldn't?)

Just when you're thinking you've seen everything that could possibly be branded, you'll arrive in the kitchenware section. A set of M&M measuring spoons. And even worse, M&Ms spatulas. One in every M&M colour, naturally.

Who wakes up and thinks "Today, I'm going to buy and M&Ms spatula. Because, y'know, no other ordinary spatula will do the job"? You'd have to either really love M&Ms, in which case hey presto, you're in the right place, or really love spatulas. In which case, I don't think there's a right place for you on this earth, my friend.

I know what you're thinking. They've missed a trick here. No M&Ms chopsticks. They could have made a killing on them. Wrong. M&Ms are one step ahead of you>>>

Shower curtains? Check. Soap dish? Yep. Duvet cover? Duh! It's highly likely that every item you use on a day to day basis exists somewhere in this store.

M&M golf ball? Of course.

<<What is this I see? M&Ms golf balls. But only in green. Is this the equivalent to racism in M&Ms world? As if yellow, or blue, or red are simply not good enough colours to constitute being whacked with a metal pole by a man in a crazy jumper? On second thoughts, they probably had a lucky escape.

Below: Dog travel water bottle. I never knew such things even existed, let alone M&M branded ones. It was certainly an eye opening trip.

No need for Fido or Moggy to feel let out.

And there another horror caught my eye. Wedged between the satchels and the umbrellas in the yellow section (because, of course, the shop is arranged by the colours of the characters). M&M underpants. Not even subtle ones.
Mmmmm Schexy
If anyone I know ever wore these, I'd certainly have a new use for the umbrella.

Despite the many nods to the Britishness of it all (the portraits, the plentiful union jacks), M&Ms World has quite clearly held onto its Stateside roots. The whole place oozes an American atmosphere and it wouldn't have been out of place for one of the 'associates' to say "Have a nice day" with that honey sickly grin that Americans wear so well. It's hardly surprising considering the other 3 M&Ms Worlds all hail from the USA.

One ingenious piece of equipment they had were the wet umbrella pockets at the door. Similar to one of those flower bags you get at the supermarket, they were for shoppers to put their umbrellas in as they wombled round, avoiding the annoyance of second hand rain dripping all over the floor. If more places had things like that, everyone would be happy!

If you are a particular fan of M&Ms, or overpriced tacky merchandise in general, this is definitely
worth a visit and you could probably spend a good couple of hours here. If not, it's not really worth a visit unless you're in the area anyway. Some people rave about it whilst others have never heard of it. My mother still thinks I went to a shrine for a rap star.

I apologise for the quality of the images throughout this post. At first I wasn't sure if photos were permitted, so felt like I was running some sort of clandestine operation, trying to subtly snap away whilst pretending to be SO SO interested in all the products. Then I realised everyone was as it, so got snap happy.

Pssst...Another review I wrote of M&Ms world is available here. Y'know, in case you haven't had enough of me yet.

For more Scribbling Lau London happenings, click here.


  1. That made me laugh! I can't believe how much crud they can get out of chocolate covered in sugar.

    Glad I clicked onto your blog via the cosmo forums, and am looking forward to exploring more.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it, keep coming back for more madness!