There’s no river of chocolate, three-course bubble gum meal or the cheerful, yet terrifying host himself, but we’ll have to content ourselves with a Willy Wonka store in Times Square.
The first-ever Willy Wonka store just opened in the area’s Toys R’ Us this week, and apparently you can get a cavity just looking at it. “This is the only place on the planet that you can find everything Wonka makes,” spokeswoman Tricia Bowles told Slashfood at the store’s grand opening. Shoppers are treated to 12 kinds of candy, including Nerds, Sweetarts, Spree and Everlasting Gobstoppers.
Of course, re-creating every child’s most elaborate fantasy isn’t easy, but the designer will try. Giant-sized candy bars dangle from the rafters and the smell of chocolate is piped into the store. There’s also a 21-foot tree made of pixy stix and kazoozles, according to Racked. But, alas, no oompa loompas.
The Willy Wonka Candy Company may be the best example of cross-promotional marketing gone right. Willy Wonka from children’s book character to real-life candy mogul in 1971, a marketing move designed to coincide with the release of the first movie.
Now the company is a subsidiary of Nestle, and has a long-standing partnership with Toys R’ Us. The Golden Ticket promotion is also still alive and well, but the grand prize is, lamely, a plane ticket to anywhere.