Have you ever thought to yourself, "You know what this world needs? An excessively sweet breakfast cereal loosely based on a 58-year-old stop-motion animated holiday classic!"
Of course you have. Who hasn't?
Well, we're all in luck! Allow me to introduce you to the latest innovation in food-like breakfast offerings: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Cereal!
Interesting choice of color palette here – really inviting, like that unfortunate visit you once made to a gas station restroom off the turnpike and haven't talked about since.
What is this desperate exercise in brand extension actually made of though?
Think of it as a festive combination of Cocoa Puffs, Lucky Charms marshmallows, and cynicism.
Okay, that's not the actual ingredient list. Here is the real one:
Yellow 5 & 6, Blue 1, Red 40.
This isn't a cereal, this is a Rothko painting.
But it's made of more than just artificial colors and sugar. It's got a secret ingredient!
Here's the thing about hot cocoa.
I mean, I understand cocoa flavor. That's a thing that's not necessarily temperature dependent.
But you can't have hot cocoa in a cold breakfast cereal.
I smell a lawsuit!
But this is more than just a cereal, it's an experience! Take a look at these imaginative Rudolph-themed games they've come up with to delight kids and parents alike!
Take turns pulling each other on a sled to see who can run away from the Bumble the fastest.
No snow? Then, see who can run around the place where you live the fastest.
What will these dream factory imagineers come up with next?! Jumping up and down?
I'm not sure what's more sad, that they don't think kids know that they can run around, or that kids don't know that they can run around.
"Hey, mommy, look at me! My legs work!"
"That's wonderful honey, just like your Minecraft avatar. Now come inside before you catch Covid."
There's also a cutout Christmas tree ornament that you and your family will treasure for days to come.
Incidentally, "hang with Rudolph" sounds less like a call for holiday fun, and more like an Iranian death sentence.
Before we dive into the box, a quick look at the nutritional "value."
I always marvel at food processors' ability to suck the fiber out of just about anything, including "whole grain corn."
How does Rudolph stack up to Lucky Charms, that nutritional disaster that shares its penchant for trying to convince parents that dehydrated marshmallows are somehow an appropriate breakfast option?
Rudolph offers half the fiber, two-thirds the protein, and all the sugar in the same 1-cup, 140-calorie serving.
Okay, let's pour out a delightful bowl of this Christmas cheer.
That's really... brown.
It's like being in Rockefeller Center if the famous Christmas tree were a dung heap.
Fortunately, the box includes a handy key as to what the shapes are supposed to be.
This is what they look like in real life.
Okay, so I'm getting a long-haired terrier, a rabbit, a fish, an airliner, and a golf bag.
But hey, there are also Christmas trees!
Or, Christmas lichen. One or the other. Shut up and eat your fungus, I mean, cereal.
Rudolph's nose looks like uncooked hamburger patties.
And Hermey's hat? This is what Hermey's hat is supposed to look like.
And this is its marshmallow avatar.
Could you show a little respect and at least pretend you care?
What about the most important thing? Name and likeness royalties?
Taste. Taste is what I meant to ask there.
It definitely smells like Cocoa Puffs, but once you start eating it you are overwhelmed by the sugary marshmallows. I'm not even sure what flavor they are supposed to be: some generic sweet berry thing maybe? Or are the colors just making me think that?
Of course, I'm not the target market for this cereal – kids are, which is why I see it prominently displayed in my local supermarket in the middle of high-traffic aisles (the ones parents can't avoid).
So, I had my son try them.
He sampled a couple reindeer.
"It tastes like every other chocolate cereal I've ever had."
Then he tried the marshmallow.
"These are Lucky Charms marshmallows."
I asked him to try them together.
"All I taste is marshmallow."
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer cereal is an exercise in marketing, and nothing more.
So, should you buy this?
I'm not suggesting that these are as bad as Kashi Go Keto Friendly cereal. I still have those, left untouched and tucked away since my review seven months ago, sitting in shame on the highest shelf in my kitchen cabinet mercifully out of reach.
But that doesn't mean it's good. It's just more of the same.
I'll leave you with this. While Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will forever remain a cherished childhood memory, after repeated viewings as an adult, it is undeniably, deeply, weird.