Friday, August 19, 2011

2011 Summer Roundup and Archives!

Welcome to the 2011 Summer Roundup. This article is the last official piece of the Summer season, marking the final time that we will be able to talk about Kool-Aid and Super Soakers before making the big switchover to Fall where everything is black, orange, and awesome. But we are not quite there just yet, we have a few final items to take a look at. These are some of the oddball things that were released during the Summer months that all totally deserve a second look but couldn't quite make full fledged articles on there own. Not everything can be as epic as The Return of Mountain Dew Pitch Black or as unique as Retro 7Up Bottles! So enjoy these last few weeks of summer for already the days are starting to get just a little shorter, the wind is blowing a little harder, and if you listen closely you can hear the return of The Great Pumpkin off in the distance! Summer 2011 was better than expected and here is my final tribute to everything that was good about it!

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Tulip Cakes are brand new item for 2011. I know because I checked the official Little Debbie website. There they are, listed under the "Seasonal Snacks" section right along side Easter Egg Brownies and the holy grail of seasonal snack cakes Christmas Tree Cakes! I've briefly mentioned Christmas Tree Cakes in a prior article and fully plan on giving them a proper introduction when the time is right. It pleases me to announce that Tulip Cakes are the exact same thing as Christmas Tree Cakes! The only thing they are missing is the sprinkles on the very top. One could theoretically sprinkle there own cakes. But even I, someone who writes about such oddball things in his free time, has to draw the limit at something. For me that something is adding sprinkles to pre-packaged Little Debbie snack cakes.

So how do Tulip Cakes match up against there Christmas counterparts? Like I mentioned prior, they taste almost exactly like the ones you buy in December. The only real difference is aesthetically, they are pink lumps of cake vaguely shaped  like flowers. It's tough to make an honest comparison between pink flowers and Christmas Trees and have the pink flowers end up on top. They are not. But it is a nice effort by Little Debbie to give us something during these hot summer months that vaguely resembles Christmas. If you like Christmas Tree Cakes by all means go out and purchase some Tulip Cakes as they are more or less the same thing.

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Captain America: The First Avenger Fruit Snacks are another new item for 2011 and the first real tie in product that I've seen for the up and coming Captain America film. I have a love hate relationship with fruit snacks in general. I love them because of the cool themes, the colorful designs, and the interesting characters often involved. But most of the time they taste like shit. I do not like the rubbery, vaguely fruit flavored things living inside this box. But its Captain America and I'm an easy sell. So I purchased a box.

Upon closer inspection there is a total of six different fruit shapes per package. Including Captain America's blue severed head, his shield, a star, Thor's orange severed head, Mjolnir, and a lightning bolt. Seems to me that Kellogs was planning a line of Thor fruit snacks that got cancelled but ended up resurfacing in this Captain America set. I am not opposed to the inclusion of Thor in  Captain America package, but it really feels like they should have just called the things "Avengers Fruit Snacks" thus saving me the trouble of typing the insanely long title "Captain America: The First Avenger Fruit Snacks" every single time I want to write about them. Overall it's not a bad product it's just that these fruit snacks come and go all the time. Characters that are here today will in all likelihood be gone six months from now. It's tough to get too excited about something so disposable. But we thank you anyway, Captain America for temporarily bringing us all your fruity goodness!

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Doritos: Taco Flavor almost got a full fledged article. We were insanely close to me spewing out a couple thousand words and about twenty different photos of these things until I realized that they are just Doritos that vaguely taste like something that may or may not be interpreted as "taco". Truth be told, I really do not like Doritos as I find them to be a disgusting chip that is impossible to eat in public form without the aid of roughly seventeen trillion napkins. Do not get me wrong there are far worse options available within the chip community than Doritos and if push comes to shove, I can settle for a few. But I would rather not eat a chip that requires one to take a full fledged bath just to cleanse yourself from its weird orange powdered contents that seem to love sticking to everything other than the chip.

It was upon this realization that I decided I cannot in good faith write an entire article about Taco Doritos. But I sure as heck can make a mention of them here in this 2011 Summer Roundup article! For you see the reason why I love them, the reason why you love them, and the reason why Doritos is a marketing genius is because of the package. It's brilliant. I would even go so far as to call it a work of art. Clearly something that must be saved for all of eternity, that way future generations can marvel in all its glory.

Technically Taco Doritos are a throwback flavor set in a throwback package as they originally launched all the way back in 1967. For some strange reason the flavor was discontinued at some point in the mid 1970s even though it had become quite popular. As the years went on different variations of Doritos popped up and while some came close none ever retained the original Taco flavor. Until now. Taco Doritos have returned and while there package has been deemed a "limited edition" the flavor itself is now apart of the permanent Doritos lineup.

It's such a shame that this beautifully designed package is destined to end up in landfills across America and one day will simply vanish from existence. I will always own one. And now that I have wrote about Taco Doritos this article should theoretically exist on the internet forever. So in a way, this entire website is a time capsule of sorts for things from my childhood (the 1990s) and whatever current items I deem interesting. Pretty awesome, isn't it?

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Baseball Themed Oreo Cookies are pretty much an excuse for me to purchase a package of Oreo cookies and claim it to be "for work". In reality I love Oreo cookies and will take any and every reason to buy them. Themed Baseball Cookies? Sure why not... who cares what the theme is. It's Oreo cookies! And they just so happen to be some sort of limited edition thing with different baseball designs on them. The package states there are six different designs total. Not that I would know as I didn't take the time to actually look at them. I mostly just ate every single Baseball Themed Oreo Cookie I could. Until there were no more. And there are no more. But that is alright because now I have an excuse to go out and purchase more Oreo cookies again!

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Oops! All Berries Cereal is a relic from my childhood that has inexplicably returned in a limited edition format. For those of you who do not know I have a collection of old cereal boxes and consider myself one of the few people on the planet who is completely versed in the knowledge of such things. The original run of Oops! All Berries was in 1997 and let me tell you something it was a big deal for Captain Crunch. This stuff was marked all over the place from TV advertisements to newspaper and magazines and of course huge displays in grocery stores. Unfortunately 1997 was right around that time when for some reason cereal companies started to get targeted as the reason why kids in America were suddenly getting so fat.

This new campaign went so far as to make it illegal for companies to advertise cereal on television who use "colorful cartoon characters" and any sort of breakfast cereal aimed at kids 2-17 must be "low in fats, sugars and sodium and contain specified healthy ingredients." ... in other words all the really cool commercials and characters had to go. So to did a lot of the more unusual brands of cereal. Oops! All Berries being one of them. It would be pulled from store shelves in late 1998 and chances are many forgot about. That is until out of the blue Oops! All Berries made a surprise return in 2008 under a limited edition label. This would continue again in 2009 and 2010. Here is the 2011 edition of the cereal, still only released for a few months of the year it now no longer sports the ever illusive limited edition label, but it is still just as collective as the year editions were!

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The Smurfs Cereal is another great breakfast cereal that truly is the very definition of limited edition. Just like the Spider-Man Breakfast Cereal I wrote about earlier Smurfs Cereal is a promotional movie tie-in product. Meaning that it is going to have a very short run on store shelves and once it is gone it will be gone forever. With the exception of these two boxes, who will live on with the rest of my collection for all of eternity. Alright that last sentence may be a little over dramatic, but you get the point.

Whatever your views are on the recent Smurfs movie are you do have to admit that these boxes of cereal are pretty darn cool. I especially like the throwback box with the old school hand drawn Smurfs characters on it. The new CGI box? Not so much, I think they look more creepy and less child friendly than ever before. Especially the female Smurf there in the background, something about giving her realistic looking human hair is just... not right. The old school box though, that one is just correct. Everything from the colors, to the font, all the way down to the background scenery. This box could have easily been released back in the 1980's

This concludes the "Summer Roundup" portion of this post and I figured that I would create a "Mini Archive" of all the articles that I wrote for the Summer 2011 season! Enjoy these articles while you can because here very shortly the entire website is going to shift over to its fall theme and we are going to dive deep into Halloween and Christmas!

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