The Mother of All Bubble Businesses

Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Posted in category Boom-Bubble Phenomenon

I reported on a foolish new bubble-driven, infantile fad yesterday – the yogurt taps for adults. Today I have seen the worst case, ever, of a bubble-driven, adolescent, mindless fixation as reported this past weekend in the New York Times (hat tip goes to Lew Rockwell for this one). This particular new business, in Times Square nonetheless, is so beyond belief, and so surreal, I wondered if I had overdosed on inhalation sedation at the dentist last week.

Folks, welcome to Pop Tarts World in Times Square. At Pop Tarts World – a 3,200 square foot shop, if you can believe that – you can have your pick from over 30 snacks and desserts. From the story:

The menu includes the Fluffer Butter, marshmallow spread sandwiched between two Pop-Tarts frosted fudge pastries; the Sticky Cinna Munchies, cinnamon rolls topped with cream-cheese icing and chunks of Pop-Tarts cinnamon-roll variety; and Ants on a Log?, which is celery, peanut butter and chunks of the Wild Grape version.

Or you can get the grown-up treat, Pop Tarts Sushi, which is three varieties of Pop Tars minced and wrapped in a fruit roll-up. Also, you can build “your own Pop-Tarts, starting with a basic pastry and asking servers to add frosting, toppings (coconut, sprinkles) and drizzle (caramel, raspberry).” Or you can skip over to the Pop Tarts vending machine with a lollipop in your mouth and choose from among many different items and assemble your own variety pack. Now here comes the real grown-up stuff:

The store will put on a brief light show every hour. First, visitors will “get frosted,” Mr. Schoessel said, with a red light and a white light. That will be followed by brief pulses of light, “all different colors to mimic the sprinkles,” he said, “then another really bright light” to evoke wrapping the tarts in foil.

A light show for adults, making them “feel” like a Pop-Tart being sprinkled and wrapped? And anyone over 12, with a brain, desires to experience this puerile event and, as such, will have something valuable to gain from it?

By now, you’ve checked my link to the story and you know I am not making this up, right? If you are still not convinced this is real, pop on over to where you can play Pop Tarts video games and design your own Pop-Tart t-shirt. Lastly, the 50-foot storefront is being wrapped in Pop-Tart branding (foil wrapper?) and there will be a 6-story billboard above the store.

This would be hilarious if it weren’t so crazed, perverted, and tragic. The future of the human race is fucked.

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12 Responses to The Mother of All Bubble Businesses

  1. dean says:

    August 10th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    From Idiocracy -

  2. Todd S. says:

    August 10th, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    I read a marketing article yesterday that pop tarts weren’t doing so well as a brand – or a category. Maybe this is an effort to get people more interested in them.

  3. Robin says:

    August 10th, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    The only thing missing from that photo is a horribly obese Uncle Sam being kneecapped by his Asian creditors.

  4. Wandering Cynic says:

    August 10th, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    This takes me back to the days of the Krispy Cream craze. I remember in 2005 that both local grocers and somewhat distant oil fields were losing CDL holders to Krispy Cream.

    Don’t act shocked that stuff like this even exists. Americans have been taught that consumption = happiness and are always on the lookout for the next quirky ‘one of a kind’ product that promises nirvana. The more noise and glitz it makes, the better.

    I live in Nevada and spent about 5 minutes inside a casino. I now know what the world looks like to those that have lost their sanity.

    I wouldn’t say that stuff like this dooms the human race, but it does keep proving that P.T. Barnum was right.

  5. Michael says:

    August 11th, 2010 at 8:56 am

    “Sweet Frog” eat your heart out. Literally.

  6. Iluvatar says:

    August 11th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    OK, I am convinced!

    I am going to drop everything to go see this marvel of human ingenuity and contribution to our society!!!!!!!


    And, btw, I think I had given up on members of the amerikan society, awhile back, this is just another 30 feet down that slippery slope.

    I think it was the dude programming his Tivo from his cell phone for his favorite HBO show.

    So the latest way to separate you from your hard earned money is to saturation bomb you with techno-toys & “Food toys”?

    This presents a strong case for malinvestment – that’s for sure.

    I’d be much happier seeing an investment in a high-tech robotically controlled steel plant (for all the iron China is consuming).

    I am not holding my breath…

  7. liberranter says:

    August 11th, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Does anyone else wonder how long it will be before “Uncle Adolf” Bloomberg and his health brigade Nazis shut this place down? After all, its product is chock full of salt, saturated fat, and all the other new demons that have been the target of the Big Apple’s nanny state busybodies.

  8. Dan says:

    August 11th, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    If this was a franchise “opportunity” that folks were investing in nationwide, I’d agree about the assessment of the future. But — one “store” in downtown NYC? Meh. Not my thing, either, but “crazed, perverted, and tragic”? Generally love your writings, but the reaction to Pop Tarts World seems a wee bit overwrought. And you overlook the bonus — it’s another slap in the face to the municipal-government food nazis!

  9. Nicholaus says:

    August 11th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    When speaking of boom period businesses, we can’t forget the entire pet industry.  Everything from pet spas, handmade gourmet dog treats, dog boutiques, to “profesional” dog waste removal businesses, I see most of them disappearing soon.  In some larger cities, dog walkers are making six figure salaries.

  10. Alex says:

    August 12th, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    While I agree with Karen that it’s insanity for people to stay on the housing treadmill if they can’t afford it, and that in many cases it is rational (economically and morally) to “walk away,” I can’t help but think how many more bubble businesses will arise due to the fiat dollars of foolish consumers loosed by bankruptcy to this phenomenon

    Dan, I think a meat-heavy paleo restaurant with a big sign that read “BITE ME, PETA” would be more of a slap in the face to municipal food nazis than Pop Tart Wonderland. A consumer of copious amounts of Pop Tarts is no threat to big health care, as they will be an obese and diabetic slave to Obamacare and Big Pharma.

    Bubble consumers and McMansion purchasers all remind me of a classic musical number

  11. Julie-Ann says:

    August 13th, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Karen, another coming bubble…being a “formerly.”

  12. M. Terry says:

    August 15th, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    At least our government masters have taxed the hell out of tobacco products because they’re so harmful. And seized billions from tobacco companies because of heath care costs. (Of course, they spent those funds for anything and everything other than treating smoking related illness. Just ask the government to treat your lung cancer with those funds. They’ll laugh themselves silly.

    Just ask any morbidly obese person how bad tobacco is for ya. Let them eat cake…

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