- Title: USA: CROWDS "FLASH MOB" TOYS R US TOYSTORE IN TIMES SQUARE
- Date: 7th August 2003
- Summary: (W1) NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 7, 2003) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. WIDE OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE TOYS R US STORE IN TIMES SQUARE 0.06 2. SMV FLASH MOBSTERS ENTERING STORE 0.12 3. WIDE OF MOBSTERS GOING UP ESCALATOR 0.16 4. WIDE /PAN OF DINOSAUR AND CROWDS AROUND IT 0.23 5. WIDE OF MODEL DINOSAUR ROARING 0.28 6. WIDE OF CROWD STARING TRANSFIXED AT DINOSAUR 0.33 7. SCU WOMAN STARING 0.36 8. WIDE IF CROWD ALL KNEELING DOWN AT SAME TIME, RAISING HANDS IN THE AIR AND SCREAMING 0.53 9. SMV CROWDS SCREAMING 1.00 10. VARIOUS OF DINOSAUR AND PEOPLE WAVING HANDS IN THE AIR AND BOWING TO DINOSAUR (3 SHOTS) 1.16 11. SMV TOYS R US ASSISTANT TALKING ON PHONE LOOKING WORRIED 1.19 12. CLOSE OF DINOSAUR 1.22 13. VARIOUS OF MOBSTERS SCREAMING (2 SHOTS) 1.32 14. VARIOUS OF MOBSTERS GETTING UP AND LEAVING 1.43 15. SCU (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARIA PETERS SAYING: "They just picked me up off the street and gave me directions and then I just went into and it and it was all the stuff, it was fun though and everyone was like what's going and people I didn't know, and it was just like a big mind game." 1.58 16. SCU (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRISTOPHER WOOD SAYING: "It's just really fun, the whole process of getting up here and trying to find out what's happening, and trying to get here on time." 2.07 17. PAN DOWN OF EXTERIOR OF TOYS R US STORE AND PEOPLE LEAVING 2.12 18. SCU (SOUNDBITE) (English) ARTHUR WOOD SAYING: "it just seemed like an interesting like phenomenon but now it still just seems like an interesting phenomenon and not much more than that." 2.19 19. SCU (SOUNDBITE) (English) "GREGORY ALLEN" SAYING: "Unfortunately all the media coverage its going to just destroy the cache sooner or later, you can imagine that the next one or two...people are not going think its cool, it's not really a happening, it's a media event." 2.33 20. WIDE OF CROWDS OUTSIDE TOYS R US 2.40 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 22nd August 2003 13:00
- Location: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Reuters ID: LVA53FWH8QZ3AX5J9JLT5IB8ML0Q
- Story Text: New Yorkers have once again gone 'mob crazy' - this
time invading a toy store, as part of a growing global
The flash mob craze, which started in the Big Apple
on Thursday (August 7) saw New Yorkers once again getting
Flash mobs are organised by e-mail - recipients are
invited to be a certain place, at a certain time, where
they receive instructions for that particular mobbing
event. Then, around 15 minutes or so later the large group
descend on the location, perform some kind of bizarre,
Monty-Pythonesque routine and as quickly as they came they
leave, without any explanation to puzzled onlookers.
Thursday evening's Big Apple mob was at the flagship
Times Square store of Toys R Us, where on the second floor
a giant dinosaur roars menacingly at customers in the
Jurassic Park section.
At 7.18pm the mob of around 300 or so people all gazed
at the dinosaur, as if transfixed. One minute later, they
all fell to the floor screaming, waving their hands in the
air. Bemused Toys R Us staff hurried to the phones to call
security, but by the time they arrived the mob were already
beginning to disperse.
Maria Peters, a tourist from Texas was bemused and
amused to have become part of the flash mob. She said,
"They just picked me up off the street and gave me
directions and then I just went into and it" adding "it was
fun though and everyone was like 'what's going on 'and
people I didn't know, and it was just like a big mind game."
A Toys R Us official said the company had "no comment"
about the flash mob - but she did angrily complain that
having so many people trying to use one escalator was
The phenomenon of flash mobs began around one month
ago, and since then they have spread to the west coast of
the United States and to many cities in Europe.
Among other New York sites that have been mobbed are a
Hyatt Hotel, where members spontaneously began clapping.
In Macy's, they pretended to shop for a "love rug" for
their joint home. And at a high-end shoe store in Soho,
they acted like tourists from Maryland.
Arthur Wood, who took part in the Toys R Us dinosaur
mob scene decided to join in after hearing about other
flash mob events. He wanted to see what the fuss was all
about, but admitted that after cowing and screaming at the
giant dinosaur he is still none the wiser.
Wood said, "it just seemed like an interesting
phenomenon but now it still just seems like an interesting
phenomenon and not much more than that." Organisers
ike to remain anonymous, but say the fun of
the flash mob is its inexplicable nature. But the flash
mob, could just be a flash in the pan - with increased
media interest, some fear the mob scene will loose steam.
A man who seemed suspiciously like one of the
organisers and who gave the obviously false name of
'Gregory Allen' commented after the event, "Unfortunately
all the media coverage its going to just destroy the cache
sooner or later, you can imagine that the next one or
two...people are not going think its cool, it's not really
a happening, it's a media event."
Fifteen minutes after the flash mob left Times Square,
the streets went back to normal - still mobbed with crowds,
but these ones not organised.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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