This past weekend, I entered the cereal aisle at my local supermarket to get my regular supply of Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch, when I saw something I have waited for for over 20 years: A new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cereal. Overjoyed, I grabbed the box of cereal, paid a very reasonable $2.99, and went home to have a bowl, never giving the old Cap’n a second thought. Now, as grateful as I am to have the Heroes in a Halfshell back in the cereal aisle, it’s hard not to compare this cereal to the original breakfast treat that shaped my childhood, so, I’m going to attempt to conduct an objective, completely unbiased review, comparing this new cereal with the original TMNT cereal. Now, to compare the original to the new cereal may not be fair. Whereas one is a Lucky Charms type cereal, the new cereal is more Trix like. Comparing the two is like comparing apples with artificially-flavored, orange-colored corn puffs, but I am going to attempt to do it anyway.
The classic box easily wins out over the new box. The artwork on the new box features just another piece of TMNT artwork which can be found on hundreds of other TMNT merchandise. It’s bright and fun, but not special or specific to the product in any way. On the other hand, the classic box had artwork designed specifically for this product, with Donatello carrying a giant spoon, Leonardo with some milk, as well as Michelangelo and Raphael also in tow. It’s very clear that a lot more care and creativity went into the original box art, which it why it is easily better than the new stuff.
This one surprised me. So, whereas the new cereal boasts that it has no high fructose corn syrup, no colors from artificial sources and no artificial flavors, a serving size is actually more calories than the classic cereal. It’s 120 calories versus the original’s 110. Not only that, but the serving size for the new cereal is only ¾ of a cup while back in the 90’s it was a whole cup! Even with all the crazy stuff that was allowed in cereal back then, like delicious sodium hexametaphosphate, the old cereal is arguably healthier. The only thing the new one does give you is some more vitamins, more Vitamin A, more riboflavin, but it has less Vitamin C, which everyone knows is the best vitamin.
The original cereal’s “ninja nets” weren’t anything special, but I applaud them for at least trying to come up with a theme for the rice cereal. The marshmallows however, were something special. They included baby turtles, various weapons and even marshmallows pizzas were introduced later on. As for the new cereal, there is but one shape, an alien-looking Turtle head, dyed four different colors, one for each Turtle. Oddly enough, the shape of these Turtle faces bears a very close resemblance to pictures I have seen of a 90’s Canadian TMNT cereal. Now, I have never been to Canada, have never tried this cereal, and I am not totally sure it even existed, but it’s important to note that this new design is not without precedent.
For those of you who don’t remember the original cereal, it was a rice-based cereal, kind of like Chex, with Lucky Charms-like marshmallows shaped with cool, TMNT-themed stuff like pizzas, weapons, etc. It’s been over 20 years since I’ve had the pleasure of starting my morning this way, but I feel my memory still retains the delicious flavors from long ago, without it being distorted by time. It’s difficult to describe in mere words, so I put together a simple math equation to explain the taste of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cereal:
The new cereal, however, is strangely light on taste. It kind of tastes like Trix but less potent in flavor. A huge mouthful kind of gives you the effect of stale Froot Loops and almost gives you the fruity effect of those cereals (but not quite). I can discern no difference between the different colors and the fruits they are imitating, so it’s similar to Trix in that way, but it just seems like it’s super light on flavor. My guess is, cutting out all of the good stuff like high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors makes this cereal fall really flat.
Though it was a harrowing task, and I had to keep my biases to myself, I think it’s clear that the classic cereal beats out the new one handily. What can you do with this information? Nothing, lest you have a time machine, then I beg of you to bring a few boxes back to 2016 for me as well.
Friday, November 4, 2016 - 1:26pmDespite Hollywood's best efforts, the TMNT franchise is still standing. And the designer toy world is definitely getting their fill. Kidrobot, The Loyal Subjects, and now Unbox Industry have all put their own twists on the iconic reptiles.
Friday, October 14, 2016 - 2:01pmI don't often venture outside of The Block. But when I do, I make my way to Bandai's booth.
Thursday, October 13, 2016 - 1:46pmWhile Toy Tokyo mostly clogged The Block with lines for the latest cookie cutter Fuko Pop! figure, they did at least bring four amazing pieces to NYCC.