Monday, February 22, 2016

Batman (Cereal) v. Superman (Cereal): Dawn of Breakfast

The World's Finest Cereals, or just more pieces of shameless cash grab merchandise (that can also give you diabetes?)

By: Jimbo X

There are two things we know for sure about Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. One, it's going to make a bajillion dollars at the box office, and two, the associated merchandise tie-ins are going to generate a shit ton of moolah for Warner Bros. Whether it beats the infantile, hyper-consumerist Star Wars juggernaut remains to be seen - in ticket sales or memorabilia revenue - but BvS certainly has a swinger's chance of outdoing Kylo Ren and them when it comes to domestic gross this March.

As far as the film itself, it's probably going to suck. In fact, considering the director's track record, the poor acting choices, the astounding clusterfuck of a script, the way-too-serious overtones and the simple truth that the film will make money hand over fist regardless of its quality, I think it's a safe bet to assume the film is going to be one of the biggest cinematic train wrecks in quite some time. Alas, since it is Batman fighting Superman - with cameos from Wonder Woman, Doomsday, Aquaman, Cyborg and probably Darkseid, the cash will flow no matter what

As expected with tent pole movies of the like, BvS is being complemented by a veritable tsunami of branded consumer goods, running the gamut from action figures to special edition Dr. Pepper cans to goddamn Justice League-flavored Pop-Tarts. And - as the case with Frozen, Minions and The Avengers, one of those limited-time-only products just so happens to be special-edition Bat-and-Supes cereal.

Before we delve into the products themselves, I believe it is worthwhile to state these cereals are NOT being marketed towards the elementary school set. You know how most kid-centric cereals have a whole bunch of really simple activities on the back of the packaging, like word jumbles and shit? Well, the backs of these Superman-branded cereals contain honest to goodness trivia questions that only relatively-well-read fanboys would be able to answer, like in which issue of what comic did Superman and Batman first team up and when was Batman first depicted on the silver screen. Conversely, the Batman cereals have a sort of tale of the tape, describing why Superman could kick Batman's ass and vice versa. Clearly, this stuff is aiming a little bit higher than the Dora the Explorer demographic. 

Let's start with the he Super cereal, which technically, doesn't have an official name listed on the box. Of course, the facsimile of the Man of Steel's chiseled physique leaves no room for doubts as to who the cereal is in tribute to, and if that wasn't enough? The box itself is textured, so you can actually FEEL Superman's well-toned abdomen, if that strikes your fancy. 

The cereal itself is "caramel crunch" flavored, meaning it kind of tastes like vanilla but if you think hard enough about it, you'll start to detect a faint caramel sensation. The cereal bits I believe are supposed to be replicas of Superman's iconic chest emblem, but in my box, they came out all skewed and misshapen. On the plus side, though, I now know what it is like to eat a bowl of South Carolina for breakfast. 

The Batman cereal has the same hook as the Super-cereal - no official product name, just Batman's ripped physique and a strangely silky embossed bat insignia you can't help but rub like you had OCD or something. 

Obviously, the cereal chunks are supposed to be bat-shaped, but to me, they came out looking more like bow ties and moose heads. Considering this is a product from General Mills - the very same people who manufacture Count fuckin' Chocula - you'd think these people would be able to get down bat-shaped cereal, but noooooo. As for the flavor, it is really fucked up: chocolate is good on its own and strawberry is good on its own, but synthetic choco-berry just tastes unnaturally weird. You might as well be pouring a jug of skim milk over a can of cherry-flavored Skoal if you elect to put this stuff in your stomach. 

Combined, however, I think you somehow wind up with a better collective than either cereals as a standalone offering. Yeah, it makes no sense to me either; vanilla-caramel by itself is bland and chocolate-strawberry by itself is gross, but vanilla-caramel-strawberry-chocolate somehow becomes both unique and actually palatable. Of course, the HUGE oversight here is the utter and complete lack of marshmallows. You mean to tell me you motherfuckers couldn't have given us some puffed up, grape-flavored pieces shaped like Jesse Eisenberg's goofy-ass head? For shame, General Mills, for shame. 

All right, so what's my final verdict on these D.C. cereals? Well, the Superman one is about a 5, and the Batman one is about a 3, but if you put them in the same bowl, you'll probably wind up with like, a 6, or maybe even a 6.5. Seeing as how Dawn of Justice is designed to be the beginning of a massive cinematic universe, it is reasonable to assume these super-hero-breakfast goods are just the tip of the metaphorical iceberg. Maybe it's just me, but I can't wait to get my hands on some lime-flavored Lobo Puffs, or some hazelnut-hued Guy Gardener Flakes. Shit, if the movie makes enough money, we might even get ourselves a cinematic Hemo-Goblin some day. Which, naturally, begs the question - what flavor cereal do you give an AIDS-infected vampire engineered by white supremacists?

Don't ask me why, but I just keep thinking "raspberry." 


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