Thursday, December 10, 2015

Target Wonderland, A Magical Place for Kids From 2 to 92 That Will Hit Lots of Soft Spots

The Merry-o-Matic at Target Wonderland is much ado to accomplish a simple task. Delightful! Photos courtesy of BFA.

HEADS UP: We know, it seems like only six months ago that ‘twas the season to be jolly. How is it that every year you have no idea what in the world to get those on your list?! Never fear, the elves at VEVLYN’S PEN are, of course, on the case. Up until 24 Dec., we will introduce at least one or a series of products, items and brands that we believe is worthy of consideration as a holiday gift(s). Also look for at least one article dedicated to stocking stuffers and at least one highlighting themed gifts. Could be theater. Or food&drink. Fashion, maybe? You’ll just have to stay tuned and read all about it. Happy, responsible shopping!

NO doubt, Rube Goldberg would be proud, for Merry-o-Matic, is exquisitely, deliciously complicated. Elsewhere, at six and a half feet wide by five feet tall, the big-screen, Etch A Sketch, is certain to draw a crowd in more ways than one.

What is Yours Truly going on about? Target Wonderland!, conceived to imagine everything (or almost) magical. Named for the famous discounter, the 16,000 square foot space is billed as a part-retail, part-playground. A space where kids and the kid in all of us can play to our heart’s content. And buy a few things, too, if the (holiday) spirit hits us.

Indeed, Target Wonderland cleverly mashes up the physical and digital retail experience to reimagine holiday shopping for guests.

Target Wonderland will be open daily through 22 Dec.

It is open daily (Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) until 22 Dec. in New York City’s Meatpacking District at 70 10th Avenue and West 15th Street,

Upon entering Target Wonderland, guests aka potential shoppers receive a custom lanyard and digital Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) key, which is the very technology used in Target stores.

If a doll version of a Disney princess is the object of a shopper’s desire, for instance, the key can be used to scan a mini bullseye tag, adding the doll to a custom digital shopping list to be be purchased when s/he is ready to leave Target Wonderland.

In the spirit of customer service, Target Wonderland also has a lounge in the reception area to where one can repair if s/he or anyone in her/his party is harried upon entry or anytime during the Target Wonderland visit. Light refreshments are provided.

Disney princess dolls are one of around 15 products for sell at Target Wonderland.

Meanwhile, on the Merry-o-Matic, a ball (or whatever object will be used), in true RG fashion, will have to traverse quite an obstacle course to make its rendezvous with a meter at the end. On the way it must travel round and round on a Christmas-tree shaped structure and make contact with several frying pans among other pit stops.

How will the ball rate on the Merry Meter at the end of the Merry-o-Matic? Alas, at the grand opening part of Target Wonderland, the meter was not operating. Still, the famed inventor, Mr. Goldberg, is probably smiling in heaven at the level of sheer difficulty dreamed up to perform a most simple task.

Other “spectacles” at Target Wonderland aside from the Merry-o-Matic and Etch A Sketch are a life-sized version of the ice palace from the 3D computer-animated musical film, “Frozen,” and a Christmas tree made out of 32 green "Incredible Hulk Hands" 3D wall nightlights and topped with a "Captain America" shield.

The giant Etch A Sketch draws photos on demand.

Yet another spectacle, at least the grand opening party of Target Wonderland, is DJ Fulano. Someone, and names won’t be revealed to protect the sight-impaired, thought the night's musical director was a 20-something girl. Instead, the disc jockey is a 12-year-old boy. He has been spinning records professionally for seven years. You do the math.

Other celebrity types at the Target Wonderland grand opening party were Bullseye, Target's bull terrier mascot and Neil Patrick Harris, the voice of Target's animated promotion, The Holiday Odyssey.

Finally, the mind cannot construct and conceive a holiday wonderland without Santa. Target hit the mark here, too – with a virtual Santa Claus station. Anyone who wants to chat with Mr. Saint Nick, pushes a button, takes a seat, then himself appears on a monitor.

The Hulk Hands Christmas Tree is an incredible sight.

Ask Santa for anything you wish, from the latest "Star Wars" gadgetry to investors for your small business to a brownstone!

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