Thursday, June 14, 2012

Spider-Man Cereal Showdown!

I think it is best to admit when one fails. This year I failed in the grandest way possible with the websites E3 coverage. For starters I neglected to do any prior promotion for it and while I did manage to do a writeup for Microsoft's press conference, ended up missing out on both Sony and Nintendo. Its a bummer that I didn't get a chance to write about them but unfortunately sometimes other things come up and I am not able to dedicate an entire afternoon to writing.

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So let's forget about this years E3 disaster and move on with something more entertaining. Amazing Spider-Man Breakfast Cereal! A little over a year ago I wrote an article entitled "Limited Edition Spider-Man 3 Cereal" about a brand of cereal dedicated to Spider-Man 3. If you guys can remember back to 2007 prior to the films release, Sony Pictures pretty much found a way to get your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man plastered over everything imaginable.

And here in 2012 with a new film just around the corner, its not much different. Spider-Man is starting to take over our grocery stores one isle at a time. And once again his most prominent 'limited edition' item is a box of cereal. Since I figure I have sort of technically wrote about Spider-Man cereal once before, I think something a little different is in order. The only logical thing I think we can do is to have ourself a good old fashion Spider-Man Cereal Showdown! We will take 2007's Spider-Man 3 cereal and compare it to 2012's newly released Amazing Spider-Man Cereal and see which box comes out on top!

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On the right we have the new 'Amazing Spider-Man' breakfast cereal. Over on the left its the 'Spider-Man 3' cereal from 2007. As you can see both boxes are actually fairly close in design. I prefer the darker color scheme of the 2007 box to the lighter brighter look of the new one. You'll also notice that on the 'Spider-Man 3' box our hero is sitting in front of a tall city backdrop while the new one sort of just has Spidey floating in the middle of a big blue void.

The new cereal makes up points by providing a much nicer pose for Spider-Man to be in. On the '07 box he looks hunched over and crowded, the new one fixes this mistake and provides a much cleaner "swinging" effect. They have also fixed the web shooter issue that I had on the original box. It no longer looks like hes shooting web directly into the bowl... Spider-Man is now simply shooting at a block of text. A very important block of text that we will get to here in just a moment.

ROUND ONE: The first round goes to.... Spider-Man 3. It was a close and tough call to make but I generally like the darker look of the original box, even though the new one actually has Spidey in a more natural looking position. +5 points goes to Spider-Man 3!
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Half the reason why I love this website is because it allows me to type things I would normally not be able to. Point in case LIZARD VILLAIN MARSHMALLOWS. Three words that on there own are nothing special but combine together to form the greatest statement known to mankind.

It is debatable as to what the marshmallows really look like. Personally I think it looks more like one of those green skinned lemon things... which google tells me is actually a 'lime'. I would say they look like a lime with cancer spots growing out of its side more-so than an actual lizard head.

Though come to think of it most marshmallows don't really look like the thing they are intended to look like. Its sort of the thought that counts and this specific thought is a villain lizard head. Maybe one day mallow tech will improve and we will get realistic looking villain lizards in our breakfast cereal. Until then this cancer lime will have to do.

The rest of the cereal is basically just red honeycomb pieces but with a little imagination they could be spider webs. Or they probably are supposed to be spider webs and I've just over complicated the description of them. Probably the second half of that statement. LIZARD VILLAIN MARSHMALLOWS!

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Spider-Man 3 is just your run of the mill 'puff ball' cereal. Sure the pieces are colored red and blue but even then this is nothing that we have not seen before. There are no LIZARD VILLAIN MARSHMALLOWS here. We don't even have spider webbed shaped pieces. Just Coco Puffs with a cold. I think we all know who the clear cut winner of this round is...

ROUND TWO: The Amazing Spider-Man with its awesome LIZARD VILLAIN MARSHMALLOWS easily walks away with this one! +5 points for The Amazing Spider-Man. This paragraph has to much text in bold print in it.

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For those keeping score at home (and seriously why would anyone be doing that?) we are currently all tied up, with Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man each having a respective five points. The winner will be decided by who has the better back panel design.

Why the back of the box? Because it is the make or break section of any cereal box. If you can remember back to when you were a kid, getting up early on Saturday mornings and watching whatever cartoons you could find on the TV set. At some point you would drag out your favorite brand of cereal and make a gigantic mess all over the living room floor with it.

During commercial breaks the back of the cereal box is sort of supposed to provide every kid with some cheap form of entertainment. We do not ask for much, maybe a puzzle or a maze. So long as it has some interesting pictures and a couple parts that involve the usage of a pen you pretty much have a winner.

Spider-Man 3 went for a maze with trivia questions on the back of it. I was not that big of a fan of it when I originally wrote about it and looking at it here for a second time... I think I was justified in having that opinion. Any box of cereal with the words 'limited edition' wrote on it means that everything is suddenly held to a higher standard. Trivia Mazes are fine if this was your average box of Captain Crunch but here, I expect to see something that requires a bit more effort.

The Amazing Spider-Man manages to capture much more of the 'feel' of what a good back panel should be. As much shit crammed into one space as possible Upon closer inspection you'll find lots of little activities that can be dinked around with. I like this. Cereal is something that kids will eat every day for at least a week, sometimes multiple times in one day... this box is gonna be pulled out of the kitchen and drug out to other places in the home quite a bit. It is nice to have variety. You can only do the trivia maze one time, then its as useless as nutritional information. The new box provides at least a couple days worth of morning distractions. Let's take a closer look at what The Amazing Spider-Man has to offer:

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"Join the Adventure! Help Spider-Man make his way through the maze of buildings to reach the villain. He must crawl around the windows and over the letters to spell out 'NEW YORK CITY' along the way!" Our first activity comes in the form of a maze, one that spans the entire length of the box and has you zigging and zagging your way over windows and spelling out New York City for some reason.

I think this one is pretty awesome. Not only does it utilize its space pretty darn well, it has a pretty cool looking design. Even if you do not give two shits about doing the maze they cleverly designed it to look like a backdrop of New York City. It has a very 'comic book' feel to it and adds a nice visual aesthetic to the back of the box.

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Here you can see some of the extra games which are spread throughout the back panel. "Can you unscramble the words to reveal 5 different names for Peter Parker's alter ego?" Word Scrambles are a pretty timeless cereal box game, always tending to be so easy that you'd have to be partially retarded not to figure them out.

Right above the word scramble you can see a grossly misplaced game asking you what Spider-Man's secret identity is. I wonder if it could be PETER PARKER... you know the guy they directly named in the game right below it? The one that had you unscramble the word "Spider-Man"

Elsewhere it asks the name of the enemy from the film (LIZARD VILLAIN MARSHMALLOWS!) and some question whose answer turns out to be Uncle Ben (spoiler alert). None of these games or trivia questions are really groundbreaking but as is often times the case with cereal boxes, it does not really matter. As long as its something.

ROUND THREE: I think the winner of the final round is pretty obvious, The Amazing Spider-Man Cereal takes home another +5 points... giving it a final score of +10 to Spider-Man 3's meager +5

I really do not know how to end this post. Closing paragraphs suck.


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