Here's the scoop on Target's Museum of Ice Cream collaboration

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Museum of Ice Cream
Museum of Ice Cream Credit: Museum of Ice Cream

A line snaked around the block for the opening of the Museum of Ice Cream pop-up in New York City on Wednesday as people, apparently with time on their hands, waited to take photos in three giant, hollowed-out "pints" of—you guessed it—ice cream.

Yes, it's back, with a new Manhattan outpost open for the summer, two years after the original "museum" (more retro grocery than exhibit) opened here. This iteration, The Pint Shop, has new flavors and photo opps, and is sponsored by Target.

One bright yellow pint is decorated with plastic bananas on what looks like vines. A sky-blue pint features a swing made of an inner tube, which is suspended above a floor made of pressed sprinkles. The main attraction, a vibrant red-and-pink pint, is filled with plastic cherries that many chose to toss into the air, to the dismay of the employee tasked to keep the cherries from rolling across the floor. Each scene has studio-style lighting that seems to ecnourage Instagrammers to test all angles (perhaps the main reason the line was so ridiculously long).

Each guest is promised one free sample. Supermarket-style aisles are organized by ice cream flavor, each with a distinct color palate straight out of a Wes Anderson movie. Shelves are stocked with a random assortment of items like plush toys, patches, and water bottles.

What sets the Pint Shop apart from its previous iterations in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami is its tasting session. For $28 and an advance reservation, guests can don a lab coat and be guided through an in-depth lesson on the unique flavors that make up the ice cream.

Museum of Ice cream
Museum of Ice cream Credit: Megan Mowery

The Target sponsorship is one of its subtler aspects. There's a somewhat inconspicuous Target logo near the taste-test cart, with its traditional red color swapped out for yellow. And Target's Art Class collection of kid's clothes and accessories are barely distinguishable from the rest of the merchandise on the shelves.

The sponsorship is part of a broader collaboration between Target and the pop-up. Pints of the Museum of Ice Cream's creations will be sold in Target stores starting in July, along with the childrens' clothes featured in the Pint Shop. Partnerships like these may be one of the reasons why the retailer has seen its strongest performance in more than 10 years. During the first quarter of 2018, store traffic grew 3.7 percent, along with a 3.5 percent rise in revenue to $16.6 billion over the year prior.

This isn't the Museum of Ice Cream's first partnership: It's previously been sponsored by the likes of Tinder, Dove Chocolate, and American Express. But the Target collaboration is the first to take the Museum of Ice Cream out of the pop-up and into the brand's space.

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