Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man Cereal!

Because deep down, you’ve always wanted to eat a bowl of The Lizard for breakfast…

Spider-Man fruit snacks. Spider-Man Rice Krispy Treats. For crying out loud, there’s even Spider-Man Pop-Tarts. So does it really come as a surprise to anybody that there’s an “Amazing Spider-Man” breakfast cereal out there, too?

There have been a number of Spider-cereals released over the years, and this newfangled offering from Kellogg - like the tie-in breakfast items before it - probably isn’t going to be a mainstay at your local grocery store. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that this limited edition cereal will be whisked away to no-man’s land by the time Labor Day rolls around, so if you’re itching to give this stuff a try…well, the clock is certainly working against you.

A couple of things jump out at me upon first looking at the box. Well, two things in particular, actually, the first being that the cereal is labeled as “Spidey-Berry” flavored. Now, I’m no horticulturist, but I’m pretty sure that outside of the R&D labs at Wonka Corp., “spidey-berries” are most certainly not a naturally occurring substance. Then again, the idea of mutant hybrid food does sort of tie into the Spider-Man mythos quite nicely, so if you want to call “artificial strawberry” flavoring whatever you feel like, I say go right ahead.

The other thing that really catches my attention about the packaging is that it includes, direct quote from the box here, folks, “Lizard villain marshmallows.” The marshmallows themselves, of course, more closely resemble the visage of Kermit the Frog than Curt Connors monstrous alter-ego, but really, who can complain about that?

The rest of the packaging is pretty standard, if not somewhat boring. Like most cereals, there’s a whole bunch of junior activities to fiddle around with on the back, including some really, really effortless word puzzles. According to the box, the official name of the movie’s primary villain is “The Green Lizard,” which if you ask me, sounds more like a third-rate Mexican restaurant than a rogues gallery regular.

I guess the most impressive thing about the packaging is that it contains an absolutely massive maze puzzle on it. Puzzles of the like are quite commonplace in the world of cereal, but you really have to give the guys at Kellogg some props for including something so grandiose on its packaging. And if your spatial skills are lacking?

No worries, because they have the solution set mapped out on the interior portions of the box. And yeah, you would probably need a cheat sheet to solve that behemoth, too.

Alas, nobody really cares about the packaging, because it’s the sweet stuff on the inside that we’re really concerned about. And upon ripping open a bag of “Amazing Spider-Man” cereal, I don’t think anybody  out there will be disappointed.

Ah, such a festive color scheme: red, green, and just a little bit of yellow. If nothing else, this stuff would make excellent snack tray lining come Christmas time.

As you can see, the cereal is shaped like spider webs, presumably because rice puffing technologies haven’t gotten advanced enough to give us bite-sized Andrew Garfield heads yet. The aroma of the cereal is especially striking, since as soon as you rip open the bag, a super-powerful strawberry scent just erupts out of the packaging. I really can’t adequately express just how strong the strawberry scent is here, so if you have an aversion to the odor, you might want to avoid this stuff at all costs.

All in all, I’m not really sure if I am disappointed by these Lizard “Villain” marshmallows or not. Granted, it’s not like marshmallows have ever been a template for great art, but I guess I was expecting something just a little bit more, um, defined, than just a green circle with smaller yellow circles inside it. That said, the contrast with the red webs is pretty nice, and it’s pretty difficult to feel glum about anything when you have a spoonful of puffy iguana faces staring at you. As an aesthetic experience, I’ll give Kellogg two out of my six thumbs up.

But who cares about all of that stuff, right? The important thing is whether or not the stuff is actually tasty, so for dramatic effect, I decided to record my very first taste-test of the cereal (and thankfully, I didn’t grow sticky bristles out of my fingers afterwards.)

I guess there’s not much to add to that, I suppose. As previously addressed, the stuff tastes just like Frankenberry, which as we all know, is one of the greatest cereals ever in history. As a gustatory experience, I have to say that “The Amazing Spider-Man” cereal is a pretty enjoyable one, albeit nothing you probably already haven’t experienced with some other strawberry-flavored item. I guess my biggest complaint is that the Lizard marshmallows are just too marshamallowy, with no real distinct flavor to them. And if this cereal had lime-flavored chunks to accompany the strawberry puffs, it probably would have been the greatest thing ever.

So, all things considered, I don’t think it’s a bad pick-up for either cereal aficionados or Spidey-fans. In fact, it’s a really good, above-average tasting cereal, so not only does it have some pop culture appeal, it actually has the added incentive of being a decent foodstuff.

That, and I can’t wait to see what permutations come out as the new Spider-franchise ensues. I can just imagine the cavalcade of “villain marshmallows” rolling out now. Lemon Electros, Blueberry Rhinos, Raspberry Hypno-Hustlers…the possibilities are literally without end.


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