Dots has three different Halloween-themed gumdrops: Bat Dots, which are blood orange-flavored, Ghost Dots, which look like they glow in the dark and come in assorted flavors so you never know what you’re going to get, and Candy Corn Dots, which is what I was stuck with since that’s all they had at my Target. I feel cheated.
Crushing disappointment aside, Candy Corn Dots are full of Halloween fun. Well, at least on the outside. Fall leaves, candy corn, and all the colors of the season.
And then there’s this guy up at the top here who is super happy to be on a box of Dots. Look at him, struggling valiantly to keep his floppy, hay-filled glove aloft so as to say hi and tell you that he’s really happy to see you. Scarecrow don’t get enough play on Halloween. It’s always about, well, bats and ghosts.
I believe that my box of Candy Corn Dots is cursed. I had to retake the pictures because the first time, everything came out impossibly dark. The second time, I took about 30 pictures of the box and had to play the “pick where you want your glare spot to be” game. I chose to sacrifice the Dot down at the bottom, because he was obviously trying to hog the spotlight and I wanted to make sure Scarecrow didn’t get blotted out, thus ruining one of his rare moments to shine.
The Dots themselves also proved difficult, but at this point whatever spirit was haunting my camera and/or Dots had exhausted me, so I just gave up and went with it. You win, Dots spirit. And you deserve to – you are the reason for the season!
On the left you see an example of a normal Candy Corn Dot, dome-shaped with orange being the dominating color and a yellow making up the base. I have to ask, where’s the white tip? Candy corns are pretty simple in their construction, and the white tip is pretty key. You’d think they could have just dropped a blob on the top or something.
On the right, you see the Candy Corn Dots equivalent of Quasimodo – deformed, mutated, and awesome. I commend him for managing to slip by whatever Quality Control protocols they have at the Tootsie factory. I ate him second, out of respect.
Candy corns have had their share of controversy, at least amongst the people with which I associate. You either like them or you hate them. We all know how Lewis Black feels about them. I personally find nothing distasteful about candy corn. It’s mostly just a colored triangle of sugar that crumbles in your mouth and rots your teeth. That said, when I would dump out my pillowcase after a long night of trick-or-treating, candy corn was never in the top tier pile. They weren’t vanquished to the pile of tiny boxes of raisins and Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses, but they wouldn’t be hanging out with bite size Snickers any time soon.
Despite the relative simplicity of candy corn, Dots manages to miss the spot. I haven’t had a Dot since…well, probably since I was young enough to trick-or-treat without anyone raising an eyebrow at my age, so I don’t have a Dot control subject. I stuck my nose in the box for a first whiff, and it smelled like plastic and chemicals, with a generic sweet undertone. I thought this was an anomaly, possibly coming from the box itself, but no, the candy itself tasted about the same way. Candy corn doesn’t have that strong of a flavor beyond sugar, and yet you could blindfold almost anyone and give them a piece and they would know that flavor. I had to really look, and possibly wish, for that flavor. It was mostly generically sweet with some plastic and candy corn undertones.
I was pretty disappointed by Candy Corn Dots. Perhaps I set the bar too high. After all, it’s just candy corn. But still, I feel that the missing white tip and the underwhelming replication of that distinct flavor were critical missteps. However, kudos to Dots for putting out a trio of very Halloweeny candy instead of just resting on their tiny-sized regular boxes that are a staple in any trick-or-treater’s bag. Also, Mr. Scarecrow looks so happy on that box. It would break my heart to see him frown.
- Score: 2.5 out of 5 spoooooky candy-haunting spirits
- Price: $0.99
- Size: 7 oz. box
- Purchased at: Target
- Nutritional Quirks: Contains titanium dioxide, also found in paints and sunscreen. Yum!