Tag Archives: Halloween

Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn

Brach's S'mores Candy Corn BagFor reasons unbeknownst to me, new Halloween items started showing up unusually early this year. For example, The Impulsive Buy reviewed Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn back in August.

Now, don’t get me wrong, if there’s any holiday I like to stretch out, it’s Halloween. I’d rather see witches and ghouls in August than Santas and ornaments in October. Which, sadly, is a thing I do see.

Amazingly, this is my first Halloween review. Normally, I’d call this absolutely unacceptable, but I’ve been a little busy with personal life stuff. I guess the best way to kick things off is with candy corn, the most iconic of all Halloween treats.

Except for the fact that candy corn sucks, and this is S’mores-flavored candy corn.

If you’re going to buy a bag of candy corn, dare I say it’s probably going to be Brach’s. You’ve already established yourself as the go-to candy corn; there’s no need to branch out. Brach out? No.

But stop they have not, and so we have these. I guess it could have been worse; at least S’mores are a treat generally associated with the autumn season.

In case you had a sad childhood, let me quickly explain what S’mores are: fire-roasted or otherwise heated marshmallows and pieces of a chocolate candy bar sandwiched between two pieces of graham crackers. If you do it right, the marshmallow melts the chocolate, leaving you with a messy, delicious, sugar-filled treat.

As you can see, Brach’s went all-out with the packaging. A few autumn leaves and a picture of a S’mores sandwich. Boo. I say that both with Halloween sarcasm and as a reprimand to Brach’s for not trying harder.

Brach's S'mores Candy Corn
ooooOOOOoooo, spooky penta- yeah nevermind

Well, at least they tied the colors together as best they could – brown base for chocolate, white middle for marshmallow, and an orange tip which kinda-sorta represents the color of graham crackers.

Unfortunately, the brown coloring bleeds onto the white, resulting, oddly, in a pink hue. Perhaps that’s meant to represent the Pepto Bismol you’ll be drinking after eating too many actual S’mores.

So how does this candy corn stack up to tasting like an actual S’mores? (Is the singular of S’mores “S’more”? I don’t really care enough to look it up.)

The answer, both simply and accurately, is no. The base does taste like very artificial chocolate, but the similarities end there. The rest tastes like a candy corn. If I close my eyes and imagine real hard, I feel like I can taste a little graham cracker flavoring, but that might just be wishful thinking, like hoping to score that full-sized candy bar when you go out trick-or-treating.

What these candy corns really taste like are Indian Corn, which is found in Brach’s Autumn Mix.

It took me quite a while to even find a good example of these, because I have thought since I was a kid that these were called Witch’s Teeth. Google basically slapped me in the face and told me I was making up words. My childhood was a lie.

Mind-blowing revelations aside, Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn is basically Brach’s Indian Corn with the tip and middle colors reversed and a ghostly wisp of graham cracker flavor. Given, I think Tootsie Roll-ish candy corn is better than regular candy corn, but it’s not exactly a tremendous upgrade, and the fact of the matter is that they still taste very little like S’mores.

I guess I’ll give points to Brach’s for trying to put a new spin on an old classic, but now I’m taking away those points for basically re-branding their already-existing Indian Corn.

You know what, fuck you Internet, they’re Witch’s Teeth. I don’t care what you say.

Brach’s S’mores Candy Corn

  • Score: 1.5 out of 5 – you guessed it – Witch’s Teeth
  • Price: $2.69
  • Size: 19 oz bag
  • Purchased at: Target
  • Nutritional Quirks: Contains no corn.

Tung Toos Halloween Temporary Tongue Tattoos Fun Pack and Scary Pack

Happy Halloween! What better way to celebrate than to tattoo your tongue?

Tung Toos are one of those things that are stuck in a display at the end of a random shopping aisle. They don’t get top billing in the Halloween aisle like pumpkin-shaped Snickers and 5000-count bags of Willy Wonka candy. Easy to overlook. But that’s what makes them special. And these are, indeed, special.

Tung Toos. Awesome name. Tung Toos. Awesome website. Seriously, I could spend hours just breaking down their website, but I’m kind of in a time crunch here, and there’s so much to get to!

As you may have guessed from the title, these are temporary tattoos…for your tongue! How is that not amazing. Kids seem to love sticking their tongues out, and now they can do it in Halloween style. As if that weren’t enough, they’re flavored! Man oh man. Let’s get right in there.

Tung Toos Halloween Temporary Tongue Tattoos Fun Pack

See, this is the spirit of Halloween. There’s no room for slick packaging in the world of obscure Halloween treats. This is Halloween vomiting all over a package, and doing it right.

Orange, black, green, purple, spider webs, a confused alien, a ghost who is either trying to lure me into his van or is about to catcall me…it’s all there, and it’s all great.

LOOK AT THESE TONGUE TATTOOS. LOOK AT THEM.

I was disappointed to get a “double” in my Fun Pack, but I used to be really into Pogs, so I’m familiar with the feeling. Let’s break this down, clockwise-style.

Happy Jack ‘o Lantern: This dude is super into being on your tongue. He also appears to be flying, and is filled with slime instead of a stupid tea candle. I have a particular fondness for his right eye, which kind of looks like a flame, but also resembles the work of someone who can’t carve in a straight line. I respect that.

Candy Corns: Boring, but a Halloween classic. Well, a Halloween classic with the wrong colors. Yellow tip whaaaaaaat? Tung Toos ain’t afraid to break from convention.

Bats, Yo: Bats. Bats good. Bats fun.

Opportunity for more flying Jack ‘O Lanterns

Crazy Pumpkin: This is a clinically insane pumpkin that has escaped from the pumpkin mental institution. He’s off his meds and off his rocker. Will he stab you, or sing you a song with incomprehensible lyrics? It’ll be a fun surprise!

Box…Monster…Guy: Okay, Box Monster Guy is definitely my favorite in the Fun Pack. Who is Box Monster? What is Box Monster? He appears to have vampire fangs, but then he’s also got a bottom fang, which is probably super useful when you’re shotgunning a beer. It’s not helping to keep his tongue in his mouth, however. Ooooo, a tongue tattoo of a tongue! That’s so meta.

Eye Totem/Poorly Constructed Cairn: I’ll be honest, I have absolutely no idea what is happening here. They seem sort of like eyes? The top and middle ones are looking at each other like they think they’re in the intro of The Brady Bunch. I have absolutely no guesses on the bottom ones. Boobs.

[Edit]: Most of you probably thought I was joking around about the Eye Totem thing. However, it took my husband rotating that particular tattoo 90 degrees for me to see that it obviously says “BOO”. I am the most unobservant person in the world. However, I like my version better, so I’m sticking with it. Besides, “boo” is just two letters short of “boobs”, so let’s just say I was on the right track.

Tung Toos Halloween Temporary Tongue Tattoos Scary Pack

Halloween is lots of fun, but Halloween is also supposed to be scary. Tung Toos knows this, and they’ve got you covered.

More Halloween vomit, and equally awesome: purple background scary trees evil oogie boogies and one smug-as-balls Frankenstein’s monster. I like to think he’s the ringleader, and all the other guys on the package are his minions. I’d be smug too, if I had a skull-and-crossbones doing my bidding.

Another double! Again, disappointing. I wonder if all the packs had doubles? I should have bought 50. Another smart move by Tung Toos. Anyone who has ever collected cards knows you gotta catch ’em all, and that means spending $500 just so you can get that ultra-rare foil card.

Well, I’ll have to make do with what I got. And what I got is pretty fabulous.

Some Kinda Zombie Dude: I love this guy. He’s obviously a zombie, but why are his brains exposed? Who cares, it rocks. I also like his facial expression. It’s less “I wanna eat you” and more “Are you seriously giving me this report at 4:30pm on a Friday?” I think that green thing hanging off his lower lip is supposed to be his tongue, but I prefer to imagine somebody ran up to him and draped a green gummy worm over his mouth. That’s why slow, stupid zombies are fun. You can totally fuck with them.

Cacklin’ Cracklin’ Alien: A classic alien, re-imagined with scary pointy teeth and really dry skin. Seriously, look at those cracks! Someone get this alien some moisturizer! He’ll probably eat you, but hey. No good deed and all that.

Evil Skull: Yep, he’s evil. And seems to be disintegrating around the edges, for some reason. But still evil.

Black Cat Missing Some Toes: Another Halloween classic, the pissed off black cat. A simple yet effective design.

Cyclops Monster Having a Really Bad Day: Again, no idea what this is supposed to be, but my favorite in the Scary Pack. I dunno what happened to this guy, but he obviously sustained a head injury, and I’m guessing he can’t afford medical insurance, since he apparently went to some sketchy back-alley Dr. Killjoy who wrapped his head but ignored the giant gaping wound on his cheek. He’s also ruptured some blood vessels in his eye. Take care of that eye, buddy. It’s the only one you’ve got.

Irresponsible Vampire Ghost: Tied for second place favorite with Some Kinda Zombie Dude, this Vampire Ghost obviously lives with his mom, and she’s sick of doing his laundry. He’s a total slob, letting his ghost sheet get all bloody and dingy like that. He also has that open-mouthed, cow-eyed stare that just screams “I live in my parents’ basement and don’t have time to look for a job because I’m too busy organizing raids”. Video game raids, not ghostly vampire raids. Vampire Ghost Mom really wishes he’d make something of himself.

Repeats Boo Blah Blah: Blah. Wish I’d gotten two Injured Cyclops and Dirty Ghosts instead.

Now that we know all the players, let’s get to the point of them, which is sticking them on your tongue.

If you’ve ever used a temporary tattoo, you’re familiar with how this works. Just in case, however, Tung Toos offers some helpful instructions. Step 1: “Stick out tongue.” Genius.

Steps 2-4: Slap that bitch on your tongue for a couple seconds, don’t fuck with it, and then take the paper off. I’m obviously paraphrasing here; I think some parents might object to such language on a temporary tattoo wrapper.

I did find Step 5 problematic: “Stick out tongue at nearest friend.”

Hmmm…

I’ve heard you’re supposed to be your own best friend. And so I was. Turns out taking a picture of your own tongue in the mirror is harder than it would seem. Despite how it may appear due to my shitty photography, the tattoo itself was pretty clear and brightly colored. That’s temporary tattoo success!

Seeing as how your mouth is full of fluids and all, I expected the tattoo to be very temporary. This was not exactly the case. I figured I’d use one of the repeats as a test run, but Flying Jack didn’t want to leave. So there you go.

The tattoo had a pleasant sugary and slightly fruity taste that faded well before the actual tattoo did. I wasn’t expecting much in the flavor department, so I was glad that at least it didn’t taste like envelope glue.

Really, who cares what they taste like. Tung Toos are meant to be seen by your nearest friends. They deliver a bright and fairly clear image, and they’re Halloween as balls, inside and out. I would slap one of these bad boys on right before going trick-or-treating and stick my tongue out at every single person who gave me candy. When you’ve got a pumpkin or a cyclops on your tongue, that’s a compliment, not an insult!

Tung Toos Halloween Temporary Tongue Tattoos Fun Pack and Scary Pack

  • Score: 4 out of 5 zombies walking around with gummy worms falling out of their mouths
  • Price: $1.00 (on sale; regular price $1.29)
  • Size: Pack of 8 temporary tattoos
  • Purchased at: Fry’s Foods
  • Nutritional Quirks: Did not taste like envelope glue!

Kool-Aid Ghoul-Aid Scary Blackberry

Ghoul-Aid Scary Blackberry is not new. I am sorry that I have to call Kool-Aid’s packaging a liar, but The Surfing Pizza caught you with the exact same packaging last year. Oops.

But that’s okay, because I love Ghoul-Aid. I wasn’t aware of it last year, but once I saw it this year, it brought back old, vague memories of it having existed sometime in my childhood.

I knew I’d had Ghoul-Aid before. I knew a part of me missed it. And the Internet proved me right.

Doing a quick Google Image Search for “old Ghoul-Aid” showed me that it wasn’t just a fever dream or wishful thinking. I WAS RIGHT. And now I have the chance to relive those wonderful memories. Or prove once again that things I loved as a child don’t really hold up in adulthood. Either way.

To be honest, I can’t see this going wrong. Kool-Aid has almost never let me down, and if Ghoul-Aid doesn’t scream Halloween to you, well then, you have a dead soul.

Just look at that package. How many things are awesome about it? Let me count the ways.

Spooooooky black/purple background, complete with giant moon and bats. Creeeeepy slime font declaring this to be Ghoul-Aid, which is a no-brainer in the Halloween re-branding department, if you ask me. Scary Blackberry flavor, which not only brings the right color to the Halloween party, but it also rhymes. Seriously, Kool-Aid would be committing a crime not to have initially thought of this. It all writes itself.

And then, of course, there’s the Kool-Aid Man. He’s done a lot of things throughout the years; busting through walls, surfing, even riding a motherfucking pink shark. Fuck that Dos Equis guy; the Kool-Aid Man is obviously the most interesting man in the world.

I’d like to think the Kool-Aid Man actually is a vampire, and Ghoul-Aid is his one chance to show his true colors and his snazzy suit and classic vampire cape. I like the sneakers; it says, “sure, I vant to suck your blhaad, but I’m still a fun guy”.

One glaring omission: no fangs! I was pretty disappointed by this, until I realized that the Kool-Aid Man is filled not with a classic red Kool-Aid flavor, but with blood. Who needs fangs when your entire head is full of blood? Watch out, dude; you’re spilling your precious hemoglobin.

I love his stance, too. It looks like he’s lunging forward, about to throw some ice cubes and Scary Blackberry right in someone’s face. He seems pretty happy about it, too. I have a feeling the recipient would be less happy, especially if they were wearing white. Who cares, though – he’s the Kool-Aid Man; he can do whatever the fuck he wants. One “OH YEAH!” and all is forgiven.

In case you’re a mummy who just woke up after a thousand-year sleep, here’s how you make Kool-Aid: get a pitcher. Empty a packet of the powder into the pitcher. Add a cup (more or less, depending on how sweet or tart you like it) of sugar. Add two quarts of water. Stir that shit.

It’s so easy, even I can make Kool-Aid, and most of the time without setting anything on fire!

Upon opening the wrapper that contained the 5-pack of Ghoul-Aid, I was pleasantly surprised with a strong and definitive blackberry odor. This, before I had even opened a packet! Things were off to a good start.

And check this shit out! Scary Blackberry powder is orange! omg omg I love you even more now Ghoul-Aid for you have managed to incorporate both of Halloween’s colors into one beverage.

I would have seen this coming if I’d actually read through the links I posted earlier, but I didn’t, and I was glad because Halloween should be full of fun surprises and this was one of them.

Another fun surprise: as soon as water touched the powder, it instantly turned black. To quote Nathan Explosion, it was blacker than the blackest black…times infinity. Add “dark magic” to the Kool-Aid Man’s list of awesome abilities.

Even when diluted with two full quarts of water, Ghoul-Aid remained black with just the tiniest hint of purple. I know it’s a little late, but man, you need to be serving this at your Halloween party. I can’t think of another more appropriate beverage, besides maybe some of that blood from the Kool-Aid Man’s head.

I have to say, Ghoul-Aid Scary Blackberry is delicious. I added just a teensy bit less than a full cup of sugar because I like my Kool-Aid a little tart, and it came out perfect. While not an exact match to actual blackberry juice, Ghoul-Aid came amazingly close. I think if you blindfolded someone and asked them to identify the flavor, they could actually identify it as blackberry. Shame on you for blindfolding someone and making them miss out on the joy of being able to see they’re drinking liquid darkness.

Call it odd that I have such enthusiasm for a powder-based sugar drink, but I do. I eerily do. Kool-Aid Ghoul-Aid Scary Blackberry has the perfect name, great packaging and awesome orange powder that magically turns completely black. Oh, right, and it actually tastes like blackberry! I bought it in a pack of five, but I think I might go back and buy some more before Halloween ends so that I can have Ghoul-Aid year-round. I will have a perpetually black-stained zombie tongue, and I’m okay with that.

Kool-Aid Ghoul-Aid Scary Blackberry

  • Score: 5 out of 5 pitchers of blood
  • Price: $1.00
  • Size: Pack of 5 0.14 oz. packets
  • Purchased at: Target
  • Nutritional Quirks: Does amazing color-changing powder count? I say yes.

Disney Deliciously Wicked Gourmet Candy Corn Candied Apple and Blackberry Magic

I’ve mentioned before that my mom sends me care packs full of goodies for pretty much every holiday. Yes, I am a grown woman, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome.

She always seems to have a little surprise up her sleeve, too. Nestled amongst every candy bar you could name morphed into a pumpkin, these lovely gems arrived: Disney Deliciously Wicked Gourmet Candy Corn.

I know, I know. Candy corn. Candy corn that claims to be gourmet, at that. But this ain’t no pound of Brach’s, we’re talking about here.

There are six products in Disney’s Deliciously Wicked line of candy. First off, “Deliciously Wicked” is a wonderful moniker. Second, each of the six gets its own evil Disney villainess to represent it.

I only have two, but they’re all so lovely that I felt they all deserved mention. Here are the other four: The Evil Queen’s Sour Green Apple Saltwater Taffy, Maleficent’s Fiery Cinnamon Saltwater Taffy, The Evil Queen’s Pumpkin Spice Candy Corn and Cruella de Vil’s Red Velvet Cake Saltwater Taffy. Check out this site to view them all in their lovely glory. Always glad to see Maleficent getting some love.

While I would have liked to sample some taffy, I’m happy with what I’ve got. My mom must have psychically known I was tired of seeing pumpkin-spice flavored candy, so she picked the other two candy corn flavors. Let’s check out what we’ve got, here!

Disney Deliciously Wicked Gourmet Candy Corn Candied Apple

Say what you will about Disney; for all their faults, they know how to make some motherfucking product packaging. Glossy box, beautiful fonts, cohesive design, and no lack of detail. It’s little touches like this on the back of the box that make such packaging so complete:

In case you’re just now breaking Amish or whatever, that really pissed-off lady on the front of the box is the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.

As you can see, she’s quite the angry bitch. I won’t give you the whole background on her, assuming you have Google on your Internet, but they’ve captured the essence of her quite aptly on the package. You think you’ve got a sadistic boss? Feel lucky you didn’t accidentally plant some white roses instead of red ones. The Queen of hearts is very fond of decapitation, and I imagine this package captures her mid-screaming, “Off with their heads!”

What do caramel apples have to do with the Queen of Hearts? At first, I couldn’t really find a connection, but then I realized, hey – caramel apples – apples impaled on sticks – decapitated heads on sticks!

I have no idea if this was Disney’s intention, but I’m going with it.

Even less intentionally, quite a few of my Candied Apple Candy Corns seemed to be missing their heads, but that happens when you’ve got a candy with a thick base and a pointy end. The color scheme of the candy itself was very apt and self-explanatory; brown caramel base, bright red apple middle, and the classic candy corn white tip.

Despite their cuteness, my first whiff was not encouraging. The Queen’s Corn smelled like a caramel apple candy that had been stored inside a plastic ALF mask since 1987. One that a kid was so enamored with that he wore it and refused to take it off for two weeks before Halloween actually arrived. Not an encouraging introduction.

The taste was unfortunately much the same. Of course, most of candy corn is sugar, so that was definitely present, but the caramel and apple flavors were both off and overwhelmed by that plasticky taste. Out of what little I could taste of the intended flavors, the caramel was “eh”, but the apple was straight-up chemical-tasting and fake.

I demand the head of whomever created the flavors of Caramel Apple Candy Corn!

Disney Deliciously Wicked Gourmet Candy Corn Blackberry Magic

Another lovely rendering of a classic Disney villain. Quick look at her symbol on the back of the box:

“Aw, it’s an adorably rendered international symbol of poison, positioned right above the opening of a box full of candy! Nothing wrong with that!”

If you just escaped from a commune of Luddites, Disney helpfully lets you know that this is Ursula from The Little Mermaid.

The Little Mermaid is the very first movie I can remember seeing in a movie theatre. I was rather young, but I don’t recall being very scared of Ursula, despite her large and intimidating presence. Perhaps that’s because, in addition to being a scary mersoul-trapper, she was also sassy. It’s hard to be afraid of a fat lady with tentacles instead of legs when she’s singing catchy songs.

I’m pretty sure she’s also the only being with tentacles besides Cthulhu that doesn’t immediately make me think of horrible hentai. That’s a serious compliment, Ursula.

Again, lovely design on the box, and the portrayal of Ursula shows that she is both evil and totally embracing her obese sauciness. Girl knows she owns it.

These are “Blackberry Magic” candy corns, which is a pretty solid connection, since Ursula does employ what you could call black magic, and it gives Disney the perfect excuse to make a lovely Ursula-color-themed candy corn.

My camera apparently hates the color indigo, but this is a fair enough approximation of the color scheme. They couldn’t be more perfectly tailored for Ursula: deep purple base for her tentacles, a lighter indigo for her torso, and even the white tip fits with her hair! I feel like I should display them in my living room rather than eat them.

Sadly, my nose also agrees with this first impression. Blackberry Magicorns smelled like a Glade “approximation of berry” air freshener that had just been installed in a newly sanitized bathroom.

Ursula’s Corns fared a little better than the Queen’s upon tasting, but not by much. There actually was something of an approximation of blackberry flavor in there, but once again, it had to play second fiddle to the inescapable taste of chemical plastic. Ursula needs to go back to her cauldron and rethink this particular dark magic spell.

Disney is one of the masters of creating polished packaging, and these Deliciously Wicked Candy Corns are no exception. I wish I’d never opened the boxes and instead just set them on a shelf to admire the artistry and the fun candy corn colors.

Unfortunately, my job is to actually taste things, and that’s where these candy corns go wrong. The Queen of Hearts’s Candied Apple tasted like plastic upon bad caramel upon chemical apple, and Ursula’s Blackberry Magic tasted like plastic upon some approximation of blackberry that came somewhat close to succeeding, but failed again in the chemical territory.

As I’ve said before, I give big points to Halloween packaging, which I definitely have to factor into my score. Sadly, the R&D taste development department didn’t have the same luck as the marketing department, and therein lies the downfall of these candy corns, which taste anything but gourmet.

At least for a few days, the Queen and Ursula will be placed where they rightfully should be: on my shelf of Halloween decorations that are inedible.

Disney Deliciously Wicked Gourmet Candy Corn Candied Apple and Blackberry Magic

  • Score (The Queen of Hearts’s Candied Apple): 2 out of 5 decapitated heads on stakes
  • Score (Ursula’s Blackberry Magic): 3 out of 5 squirming tentacles
  • Price: Free!
  • Size: 9 oz. box
  • Purchased at: Somewhere in California
  • Nutritional Quirks: Made mostly of sugar and corn syrup, but it’s the artificial flavoring that spooks me.

Count Chocula Treats

I can’t find anything on the Internet that indicates Count Chocula Treats existed before this year, so I’m going to declare them a new Halloween product for 2012. Go ahead, try and refute me. Just don’t be surprised when you see someone wearing a hockey mask standing outside your window. That heavy breathing sound when you pick up the phone? Ignore it, I’m sure it’s nothing.

Count Chocula and his friends Boo Berry and Frankenberry have been around for over 30 years, making October mornings just a little more awesome for kids. Due to some kind of gross oversight, I was never one of those kids.

It doesn’t make sense. My mom loves Halloween. I love Halloween. I grew up in a time where parents weren’t worried about vaccines causing autism or sugary breakfast cereals turning their kids into obese blobs. I ate Lucky Charms and Frosted Flakes with the best of them. So how come I never ate any of the General Mills monster cereals? It is a perplexing mystery.

No use crying over unspilled sugary milk, however. Last year, I tried Boo Berry cereal for the first time. Now I’m going to sink my teeth into Count Chocula, this time in Treat form.

I usually give big points to any Halloween packaging that’s overstuffed with ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and whatever else you can fit onto a box or wrapper. Basically, I want everything to look like a Michael’s craft store threw up all over it.

That said, I like the cohesive minimalism Of Count Chocula’s Treat box. The color palate sticks to differing shades of brown, which keeps things looking clean and on-target with the product. Count Chocula keeps his appropriate font, and the other text also has a sufficiently spooky font.

The Treats are described as “Chocolatey Cereal Bar with Spooky-Fun Marshmallows”. Boo Berry also used the phrase “Spooky-Fun Marshmallows”, which I kind of like, but I also think General Mills isn’t giving kids enough credit. Just calling them “spooky marshmallows” would up the Halloween factor, and I can guarantee no child is going to be frightened by practically-formless blobs of sugar. By just calling them spooky, the fun is implied.

Moving on to Count Chocula himself. He has gone through several redesigns over the years, but his general undead spirit remains intact. I never really took a good look at him before now, but upon close inspection, he’s quite the interesting form of vampire.

First we have the cape with the giant collar, which is required for any self-respecting bloodsucker (or chocolatesucker, in this case). Then there’s his fabulous double-pointed hairstyle, which very few people could pull off, but Count Chocula does it with finesse and also with a wicked widow’s peak that would make any self-respecting vampire jealous.

The Choc-Man starts getting weird when we begin examining facial features. I respect his pointy ears that seem to extend almost beyond the top of his skull, But what is with that schnoz, man? I’ll skip right past the racist Jewish joke and ponder the idea that the Count is somehow related to Pinocchio and he just told a really big lie. I hope it’s not about the marshmallows being spooky-fun, or that his Treats are “naturally” flavored. He’s already got a loophole in describing the bars as “chocolatey”, which implies some degree of chocolateness but makes no claims in regards to actual chocolatude.

Maybe his big nose helps him to sniff out chocolate. Like Toucan Sam’s, it always knows.

I never noticed this before I started a triple-digit-wordcount-breakdown of every damn aspect of Count Chocula like he was auditioning for America’s Next Top Monster, but what is happening with his fangs, if you could even call them that? Dude, are you a vampire or some sort of undead human/nutria hybrid? It’s a good thing he’s a chocolate vampire and not a blood-sucking vampire, else he’d just be ineffectively trying to gnaw on people’s necks until they just got uncomfortable and squirmed away. Also, General Mills apparently does not provide dental insurance, because the poor Count has lost all his teeth except for two. That is sad.

Now that I’ve spent an unreasonable amount of time completely sperging out on Count Chocula, let me just completely contradict everything I’ve said and say that Count Chocula is awesome. It’s our flaws that make us beautiful, right? He may a buck-toothed big-nosed chocolate vampire, but he’s our buck-toothed, big-nosed chocolate vampire, dammit.

If you ask me, the one flaw in this packaging is that there’s too much emphasis on the cereal bar. You’ve already hooked us with Count Chocula and the promise of spooky-fun; I really don’t care what the dang thing looks like. The fang-ished guy doesn’t even make an appearance on the bar wrappers themselves. Give the immortal man his deserved time to shine (note: shine should not come from the sun).

Count Chocula Treats, much like the Count himself, aren’t exactly pretty, but sure do have a lot going on. Just on the surface, I could see chocolate chips, chocolate drizzle, Count Chocula cereal, and even a peek of marshmallows. There also seemed to be a sheen of chocolate glaze, and oh, by the way, the entire foundation of the bar is made out of chocolate.

In other words, this ain’t no Nutri-Grain breakfast bar. This is a chocolate mecca in cereal bar form. It’s seriously no wonder the Count lost all but two of his teeth.

But was it worth it? My mouth says yes. Biting into a Count Chocula Treat creates an instant chocoparty in your mouth. The Chocula cereal adds one of the many chocolate dimensions and a bit of crunch. The marshmallows are more formless and less spooky-fun; I think there’s a marshmallow ghost assistant that adds that chewiness and flavor that makes this a Treat (think Rice Krispies) and not just a “bar”.

My biggest complaint about these Treats is that the spooky-fun marshmallows are mostly hidden inside the bar and have no discernible form. At first, I thought this was a design flaw in the bar, but the more I looked on the Internet, the more I became convinced that Count Chocula cereal’s marshmallows never actually had a form. Just amorphous blobs. Hey, blobs have their own place in the Halloween echelon, but I’d like to see some effort to make them look like…something. Fangs, maybe?

The chocolate chips, drizzle topping, glaze and chocolate foundation all add to the overall chocolatey taste, but it’s the taste and texture of the Count Chocula cereal and the marshmallow goo that really makes Count Chocula Treats come together, as it were.  If you’re not a fan of chocolate or marshmallow treats, you’re obviously going to hate this. If you love Count Chocula cereal and have always wished it could be made into an even less healthy and more chocolatey S’mores-like food, then these bars will make your Halloween just that much more happy.

Completely unrelated note: Count Chocula Treats were listed on my receipt as “COUCHO”. Little-known fact, Count Chocula is a long-lost Marx brother!

Count Chocula Treats

  • Score: 4.5 out of 5 pretty women being mildly irritated as Count Chocula tries to gnaw their necks
  • Price: $2.66
  • Size: Box of 6 0.85 oz. bars
  • Purchased at: Target
  • Nutritional Quirks: Each bar contains a surprisingly low 100 calories, but they are also rather small at only 0.85 oz. per bar. But who cares about calories; it’s Halloween!

Dinosaur Dracula and The Surfing Pizza also bit into some Count Chocula Treats.

Cadbury Screme Egg

Now this is Halloween. I hope those four simple words got that song from The Nightmare Before Christmas stuck in your head, because I have had it stuck in mine for three days now. I could think of worse Halloween songs. See: The Worst Witch.

Now you really hate me. We’re off to a great start.

The packaging of Cadbury Screme Eggs is simplistic but effective: black background, green oozy blob, and purple accents. Oh, sure, black and orange get all the attention around this time of year, but I think green and purple are the backup players that really add to the Halloween spirit.

And, of course, there’s the name. Could a candy be more primed for a Halloween makeover? Just pop an S on “creme” and you are set.

Cadbury wasn’t content to just make a slight name change and re-decorate some foil, however. More on that in just a second.

Screme Eggs are new in the US this year, but they’ve existed in the UK for…I’m not sure how long, but at least a year. I know this for a fact, because a friend of mine (the same one that sacrificed herself to ingest a pizza stuffed with hot dogs just for the sake of JFB) sent me a Halloween care package last year from the UK that included these eggs. Unfortunately, due to accursed international shipping, the package didn’t arrive until after Halloween was over.

I should have told November to screw off and reviewed the awesome sampling of products anyways, but for some reason I took a hard line on Halloween. I ate the goodies, but I really should have reviewed them. I have regrets, but also bragging rights that I ate Cadbury Screme Eggs before most people in the US had this opportunity. The regret still lingers, however.

Looks pretty innocuous, right? Just another already-existing product with some Halloween packaging. Yawn.

JFB confession time: I hate eggs. I have hated eggs for as long as I can remember. I don’t want to hate eggs; it makes ordering breakfast an unjust challenge. I have often seen breakfast products and thought, “That sounds delicious…too bad it’s an omelet.”

I wish I could say that I’m up for anything when it comes to reviewing foods, but I just can’t bring myself to eat things with eggs in them. I’d consider it a grand character flaw, but I’m sure most people out there have at least one food that they just can’t stand. Eggs are my kryptonite.

This all leads up to an anecdote: when I was a child, I was absolutely convinced that Cadbury Creme Eggs had actual egg inside. Try as she might, my mom could not convince me that these eggs were nothing more than a sugary Easter treat that just happened to look like an egg, inside and out. It took years before I was willing to try one. Kids are stupid.

However, perhaps if I’d had Cadbury Screme Eggs in my life as a child, I would have been much more willing to try them.

AAAHHHHHH! That’s not the typical white-and-yellow filling of a Cadbury Egg! The yolk has been replaced with green ooze! You’ve now completely won my heart, Cadbury Screme Eggs. You’re my Ectoplasm hero.

And yes, as a youth I probably would have been more willing to try an egg with green ooze inside than one that somewhat simulated actual egg filling. Kids.

Not one to rest on their slimy laurels, Cadbury also has a very Halloweenie website, complete with haunted house, bats, and a Halloween countdown clock on the home page. It also has suggestions for Halloween activities like “eyeball race” (hells yeah!) and “pin the wart on the witch”, which I think should replace pin the tail on the donkey year-round.

There’s also a Halloween trivia quiz, with questions like, “Why were Jack o’Lanterns created?” and multiple choice options like “People were lonely and found the face comforting.” It is rather adorable. Let’s face it, Cadbury Screme Eggs are for kids, and adults like me who turn into kids when October 1st rolls around. I also like the idea of lonely people carving into squash because they need a friend. “Oh Jack, you’re such a good listener. No hard feelings about scooping your guts out, right?”

As for the taste, if you’ve eaten a Cadbury Creme Egg, you’ve tasted a Cadbury Screme Egg. Sugar goo inside a milk chocolate shell. Oh, sure, they could have changed the flavoring of the green goo to green apple or something, but you know what? I love Cadbury Screme Eggs just the way they are. Good packaging, fun website, and green ooze inside.

My only bone to pick would be that the egg itself doesn’t have a cool skull on it, but after careful consideration, I think leaving the egg as-is works just as well. It’s innocence betrays nothing of the fun ghost goo that lies inside. It’s like a wall at a haunted house that suddenly drops away to reveal a bloody psychopath who wants to cut you in half with a chainsaw. Halloween is a time of surprises.

As an added bonus, I’m now halfway to making green eggs and ham, and I don’t even have to eat real eggs!

Cadbury Screme Egg

  • Score: 4.5 out of 5 disembodied heads covered in slime
  • Price: $0.79
  • Size: 1.2 oz. egg
  • Purchased at: Target
  • Nutritional Quirks: These things are almost literally pure sugar. Parents BEWARE

Limited Harvest Flavor Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis

I have to say, I’ve been disappointed by this year’s Halloween-themed food offerings. Given, my expectations are pretty high – I expect pretty much every food packaging on grocery shelves to be covered in bats, ghosts, and witches, and the contents possibly coated in Ectoplasm.

I understand that this is unrealistic, and I applaud companies for at least trying, like the Candy Corn Oreos, even if the results are less than stellar. But if I see the words “pumpkin spice” one more time, I’m going to cause an incident in aisle three that may impede my ability to do my usual grocery shopping in the future, unless I can get away with blaming it on a poltergeist.

I also realize that making something “Halloween-flavored” has some pretty strict limitations. Eating ghost-flavored Doritos would probably pretty disappointing; I’ve never tasted a ghost, but I imagine they aren’t very flavorful. Maybe cold, at best. Likewise, I would hesitate to eat a Snickers bar that had spiders instead of peanuts in it.

…Actually, that would be kind of awesome, but I understand where they could run into some problems with that.

All this complaining leads up to one of the few new Halloween offerings I’ve seen this year: Limited Harvest Flavor Milky Way Caramels.

Okay, so there’s no ghouls or goblins on the packaging, and it’s technically not a Halloween offering, it’s a “Harvest Flavor”, which is an odd thing to call a flavor, but I’ll go with it. At least it has a cute little leaf logo.

Because I so desperately want this to have some semblance of Halloween to it, I like to think the candy on the bottom is actually vomiting out the words “Caramel Apple” in delicious caramel ooze. That’s good ooze vomit control, right there. Excellent cursive. Vomiting pumpkins the world over could take a lesson from this barfing piece of candy.

These candies are called “Minis”, and for obvious reasons. Milky Way Caramel Apples are only available in this size and in this package, which means they’re obviously made for trick-or-treaters. Piece of advice: if you’re going to give these out, give more than one per child. Kids are demanding, these days. Fun Size or egg on your house.

Getting to the candy itself: imagine you’re a youth, living in, say, Massachusetts. It’s October; the leaves are turning a myriad of beautiful colors, there’s a brisk chill in the air, but it’s not cold enough that your Ghostbusters jacket can’t keep you warm. You and your parents have made the drive out of the bustling metropolis and are at an orchard where, for a price, you now have a basket in-hand to perform your own manual labor.

You’re on the quest for the perfect apples. You need a little help to reach the taller ones, but in the end, you’ve picked the ripest, reddest, juiciest apples you could find.

Once you’re home, your mom painstakingly melts both cubes of caramel and chocolate chips on the stove while you dutifully shove popsicle sticks up the ass of the very best of the apples you’ve picked. You wait with anticipation until, finally, it’s time to dip. First the caramel, then the chocolate, and then it’s time to bite into that juicy, sugary, perfect apple. It’s harvest time, and life is good.

Now, forget all that.

Okay, that’s not exactly fair. Caramel Apple Minis have the typical Milky Way chocolate coating and caramel upper layer, but you can see that the lower nougat layer is lighter than typical Milky Ways. It’s actually rather close to the color of the inside of an apple.

It’s not just the color that’s different, however. Upon biting into one of these Minis, my mouth was instantly flooded with apple flavor. The chocolate and caramel flavors were immediately overwhelmed.

Exactly what constitutes “apple flavor”? Well, it’s a little hard to describe. It’d be easy to say that it tasted like a green apple Jolly Rancher, or a green apple Jelly Belly, or…well, any of the innumerable green apple-flavored candies that have snatched the title of “go-to green flavor” from lime in not-so-recent years. RIP, lime. I miss you.

But this candy was different. It wasn’t sour like other apple candies. It actually kind of tasted like…apples?

Don’t fall out of your chair in shock quite yet, though. It was more like a hint of real apple with a healthy chemical artificiality. I know it’s weak, but my first impression was, “This is…weird.” Not helpful, really, but there it is. It was unique in that it almost pulled off an actual apple taste, but that taste was ruined by the strength of the artificial taste. In fact, even though these candies were less than bite-sized, after eating only two, the chemicapple taste lingered well after I was done, and I’d had my fill.

I have to say, I was expecting disaster from Limited Harvest Flavor Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis. What I got was a surprising and unique apple flavor that wasn’t a total disaster, but far from a tasty autumn treat that mimics an actual caramel apple. The apple flavor was too chemically and artificial, and it overwhelmed the chocolate and caramel, leaving an unpleasant aftertaste that didn’t leave me wanting to come back for more.

As always, I give points and appreciation to Milky Way for trying to go beyond just throwing a bat on the wrapper or changing the shape of the candy to a pumpkin, but I can’t give a total thumbs up on these Limited Harvest Flavor Caramel Apple Minis. If I were a trick-or-treater, I’d be excited to see this new product in my pillow case (as long as there was more than one), but I’d wind up going back to my A-pile Fun Size Snickers and Twix pretty quickly.

Limited Harvest Flavor Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis

  • Score: 2.5 out of 5 puking pumpkins
  • Price: $2.79
  • Size: 11.5 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: Target
  • Nutritional Quirks: Nothing remotely apple-related listed as an ingredient, so I guess the mysterious “artificial and natural flavors” are what make the apple magic happen. I’m leaning more towards the “artificial” part.

Candy Blog, Fatguyfoodblog and The Impulsive Buy also reviewed these little buggers.

Limited Edition Candy Corn flavor creme Artificially Flavored Oreo

It’s only mid-September, so you may be wondering why I’m reviewing a candy corn-flavored cookie. Well, first of all, mid-September is Halloween time. I don’t care what you say; from now until October 31st, I will submerge myself in as many ghosts, ghouls, bats, witches, zombies and fake blood as I can, and I will do it with no apologies.

Second, the Internet seems to have exploded with Candy Corn Oreo mania. Why? I have no idea. As we continue to descend into oddly-flavored snack food madness, Candy Corn Oreos seem like a rather mundane thing to get crazy about. But hey, I go where the Internet goes. And here we are.

I’ve been calling them Candy Corn Oreos, but their official moniker is Limited Edition Candy Corn flavor creme Oreos. This irritates me for two completely trivial reasons. Shouldn’t that be “flavored creme”? And why is it spelled “creme” instead of “cream”? Is there a difference? I can’t seem to find one, beyond using French spelling to look fancy. You are Candy Corn Oreos. You are not fancy. You have flavored cream.

Actually, wait, the official official name is Limited Edition Candy Corn flavor creme Artificially Flavored Oreos. So maybe they didn’t want to have two “flavored”s in one…eh, I give up.

I know, I know. I’m being nitpicky. I think I’m just cranky because I’m all out of candy corn-related material. When I reviewed Candy Corn Dots, I noted that people either love or hate candy corn. A year later, I reviewed M&M’s White Chocolate Candy Corn, wherein I made the same observation, and also linked to the same Lewis Black skit on candy corn, in which he is much funnier than I am anyways, because he’s Lewis Black.

Please, everyone: stop making things that are supposed to taste like candy corn. For my sake. I’m starting to look like a schlub at open mic night over here, sweating and pulling at my shirt collar. Even the drunks are getting tired of my old material, and they’re already blacked out.

Well, let’s get this over with, then.

Jesus Christ, Nabisco, you are giving me no breaks, here. Look at this minimalist packaging. “Hey, here’s a cookie, and some CG candy corns of varying sizes, in case you did not understand that these are Candy Corn Oreos.”

Actually, the more I stare at it, I like the way the candy corns increase in size, giving the illusion that they are coming closer and closer to you. That big guy in front looks like he’s about ready to jump right off the package and fuck my shit up. The cookie and the Oreo logo can barely contain him. He’s all like, “Hold me back bro, hold me back!” I bet he wouldn’t even know what to do with himself if they let him go. All the candy corns in the background are just rolling their eyes. “Ugh, Gary does this every time he drinks.”

Upon opening the package, I was assaulted not by Gary, but by the overwhelming smell of sugar. I literally did one of those “whoah, back that shit up” moves, like when you sniff a carton of expired milk, except less gross and more “I think I just got a cavity through my olfactory senses”.

Heh. It looks like a candy corn butt.

I’d go on another inappropriate rant about how the white tip of candy corn is not properly represented, but I guess you could say the Golden Oreo cookies themselves serve that function. You slid by on a technicality, Nabisco.

What’s more important here is that the flavor of the candy corn is not properly represented. I tried, I really did. I ate like, four cookies. I licked the cream – er, creme. If I tried really hard, I thought I could maybe taste some residual candy corn flavor, but mostly it was typical sweet vanilla-ish Oreo frosting and Golden Oreo cookie.

My husband swore he could taste the candy corn, but try as I might, I just wasn’t getting it. And you know what? I’m pretty okay with that, because I think I’d rather have a regular Golden Oreo than a candy-corn flavored Oreo.

I appreciate the efforts of any snack company that makes special seasonal products, but if you’re going to put out some Limited Edition Candy Corn flavor creme Artificially Flavored Oreos, they should probably taste like candy corn. These Oreos won’t go to waste, but I also won’t feel much Halloweenier eating them, which means they’ve missed their mark. Maybe I’ll dunk them in a nice, tall glass of fake blood to get more into the Halloween spirit.

Spirit? Get it? I hope so because I’m going to use that joke about 50 more times before Halloween is over. Enjoy!

Limited Edition Candy Corn flavor creme Artificially Flavored Oreo

  • Score: 3 out of 5 candy corn butts
  • Price: $2.99
  • Size: 10.5 oz. package
  • Purchased at: Target (exclusive)
  • Nutritional Quirks: Does not taste like candy corn, but you’ll still get a hearty helping of sugar!

Dinosaur Dracula, GrubGrade and The Impulsive Buy also reviewed these cookies.

M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corn

Candy corn. Love it or hate it, it’s been around for over 100 years, and it’s not going anywhere. It’s an iconic symbol of Halloween. It can be used to make impromptu vampire fangs, so hey, that’s something. I’m a big fan of Lewis Black’s take on the stuff. My take on candy corn? I don’t hate it, but let’s just say it never went into the “premium” pile of candy when it came time to sort out my trick-or-treat haul.

I had never even heard of M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corn until it arrived in the Halloween package of love my mom sent me. Yes, two out of my three Halloween reviews have come courtesy of my mom. Yes, I am a grown woman, and I still get care packages from my mommy. Don’t act like you’re not jealous. I don’t care if you’re 15 or 50, getting a box full of goodies for Halloween is awesome.

I have to say, I’m loving the package. The bag subtly reflects the candy corn’s tri-color appearance, and there’s some corn stalks in the background, because everyone knows candy corn is made from corn. It’s going to be the next biofuel. Which is great, because the amount of uneaten candy corn in the world could probably get us by for a very long time.

And then, of course, there’s Red. Red looks pissed. Or…constipated? It’s hard to tell. Although, given his hand placement, it’s either intestinal distress or he hates how the costume makes him look fat. Regardless, he wants out of that fucking costume like right now. He must share Lewis Black’s views on candy corn.

Through pure chance or clever design on the part of M&Ms, the sample I took from the bag to photograph seemed to reflect the color ratio of an actual candy corn. Small white tip, large yellow middle, and an orange base that falls in between. They’re larger than regular M&Ms, but maintain the classic M&M shape.

I was already apprehensive about the idea of a white chocolate candy corn-flavored M&M, so when I caught a strong whiff of plastic off of them, my hesitance only increased. I’m on good terms with white chocolate, but…together with candy corn flavoring? It seems like a rather Frankensteinian pairing. My tongue shuddered. It was the wrong kind of Halloween scary.

Good news and bad news: M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corns taste like…candy corns. Which, come to think of it, taste pretty much like how the M&Ms smelled. Like plastic. They really nailed the taste quite accurately. There’s a hint of white chocolate flavor at the end, and it has the texture of white chocolate with a candy shell crunch, but the flavor is strongly that of candy corn. Possibly even more than candy corns themselves. M&Ms out-candy-corned the candy corn. Take that, Brachs.

If you’re a fan of candy corn, M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corns will delight your palate and look great in that bowl on your coffee table that has a zombie hand sticking out of it which moves and screams any time someone passes by it, annoying everyone in the room. If you’re Lewis Black, I assume you will shout incomprehensibly and throw them across the room while twitching violently. If you are Red, I guess you’ll just stand there looking annoyed. I’m assuming the cast of M&M characters don’t indulge in cannibalism.

If you’re me, you’ll appreciate the entertaining packaging and the accuracy of the replication of candy corn flavor. Unfortunately, like candy corns themselves, these M&Ms won’t be in my premium pile of Halloween candy. However, I always appreciate it when a company tries something new for Halloween. Even if it tastes like plastic.

M&Ms White Chocolate Candy Corn

  • Score: 3 out of 5 pissed off Reds
  • Price: Freeeeeeeee! (Thanks again Mom!)
  • Size: 9.9 oz. bag
  • Purchased at: I have no idea; somewhere in Southern California
  • Nutritional Quirks: One serving (about 1/4 cup) contains 35% of your daily recommended saturated fat. Brach’s candy corn contains 0 grams of any fat. Make the wise choice. (Eat a Fun Size Snickers bar.)

Vile Villains Hot Chocolate: Wonderfully Wacky Purple, Deceivingly Orange, and Heartless Green

Kids love food that is a color it isn’t supposed to be. My mind immediately travels back to Pop Qwiz, a microwave popcorn that came in various un-popcorn colors like red, green, and what should always be your favorite unnatural food color, blue. It also came in yellow, which is weird, because you can do that with butter. But hey, there was also purple, so I will forgive Pop Qwiz. For those of you too young to remember Pop Qwiz, here’s a commercial, and get off my lawn.

The second thing I remember is Heinz ketchup, which made some cah-RAZY colors like green, purple, blue, and teal. Teal? Most kids probably don’t even know what teal is. This was in 2000, at which time I had (mostly) grown out of my desire to eat foods of inappropriate colors, but I do remember my grandfather bought a bottle of the green stuff. Just because. I tip my hat to his spirit, since it’s obvious a little bit of him rubbed off on JFB.

Pop Qwiz disappeared long ago and Heinz stopped making the colored ketchups in 2006, presumably leaving millions of children without the opportunity to eat extra food coloring while their parents roll their eyes.

But fear not! (Or be afraid, it is the season for it.)  Just in time for Halloween, and possibly only for Halloween, I present to you Vile Villains Hot Chocolate! Not a hell of a lot of info about them on the Internet, but I gather they’re only available at Walgreen’s, and they come in three colors: Wonderfully Wacky Purple, Deceivingly Orange, and Heartless Green. The chocolate remains the same, but the colors are Halloweenolicious.

This is a Disney Joint, so we’ve got three villains from their vast library of evil beings. I’ll talk briefly about each and show you the all-important pictures, but since the chocolate is the same in all three, we’ll check that out at the end.

Wonderfully Wacky Purple Hot Chocolate

Okay, I have objections right off the bat, here. Really, the Chesire Cat? First off, he’s not even a villain. Second, I suppose he could pull off representing purple, but isn’t there someone who would really embody the spirit of purple? Any guesses? Motherfucking MALEFICENT from Sleeping Beauty, that’s right! Only one of the awesomest Disney villains ever! SHE TURNS INTO A MOTHERFUCKING DRAGON. Wasted opportunity.

Oddly, all the powders look generally the same. I was expecting purple powder, but this is what I got. But hey, kids like shit that changes colors just like they like food that is oddly colored, so…bonus?

The hot chocolate itself was a little more pastel than I would have liked. Lavender is not that spooky. I had a heck of a time taking the photos because, as you can see, it gets that film on top that masks the true color of the liquid, but you can generally see it around the edges. I later realized I could have let it cool down and that probably would have fixed the problem. But done is done. Deal with it.

Deceivingly Orange Hot Chocolate

Here we have the Evil Queen from Snow White, disguised as a witch. She gives Snow White a poisoned apple in the story, but here she appears to be presenting a Jack o’Lantern, apparently to tie in with the orange color. I have to say, if Snow White had been given a pumpkin, the story would have turned out much differently, unless she decided to toast the seeds and eat them I suppose.

Deceivingly Orange is a strange name. Out of context, it makes little sense. Oranges are not so deceiving. You pretty much get what you’re asking for out of an orange, unless you bought a grapefruit by mistake, but that’s your own fault. In this context, Deceivingly Orange means several things – first of all, nobody expects their hot chocolate to be orange, and second, the poisoned apple is deceiving. Except now it’s a pumpkin. Why not.

I’m not a big fan of orange as a color, but I guess this one delivers the most Halloweeny of all the colors. Purple and green are great backup colors for Halloween, but if you’re going to go Halloween, you know you have to go black and orange. The black is surprisingly absent, but at least orange has a backup team.

Heartless Green Hot Chocolate

Here we see the Evil Queen from Snow White in her natural evil form. With that bubbling green cauldron, she feels the most natural of the three. I am, however, a little miffed that two of the three Vile Villains are from Snow White. There are a bazillion Disney villains; do we really have to dip into the same pumpkin bucket twice?

Also, she’s holding the poisoned apple. Where the hell was the continuity director on these things?

Much like with the purple hot chocolate, this drink’s color is disappointingly pale. It does look a little sickly, however, which could be considered in the spirit of Halloween, but I would have liked to have seen a deep, dark green. Same with the purple.

Now then, to the hot chocolate flavor itself. I ran into a problem right off the bat: Vile Villains Hot Chocolate does not contain any chocolate. No cocoa powder, nothing. Now, I understand the fundamental reason for this; cocoa is brown, and that would effect the color of the drink. I understand with the orange and the green, but if they had made the purple darker, couldn’t they have gotten away with adding some cocoa? And what about black? It seems like it would have been easy to incorporate cocoa powder into that. But hey, I wasn’t on the hot chocolate development team; who knows what hurdles they went through before they settled upon these choices.

Oddly, despite the absence of actual chocolate, the Vile Villains do possess a ghost of hot chocolate taste. The basic ingredients are sugar, nonfat dry milk, and non dairy creamer. This makes for a very sweet drink, and I think it’s the creamer that makes it taste a bit like hot chocolate.

My mom (who lovingly sent me these when I couldn’t find them at my local Walgreen’s) thought they were awful due to the lack of chocolate flavor, but I found them passable as a hot, sweet, milky drink. Then again, I may or may not have enjoyed a few sips of flavored creamer in my past, so perhaps I’m not quite right in the head.

In the end, the execution of packaging and coloring didn’t sit quite right with me, but I think kids would enjoy drinking hot “chocolate” that comes in a spooooky package and nontraditional colors. Temperatures are falling, Halloween is in full swing, and a hot sweet treat would probably satisfy most young palates. Adults will probably find the lack of chocolate flavor disappointing, unless they really enjoy the taste of non dairy creamer. I appreciate the effort to create a cool Halloween product, but Disney’s Imagineers could have put a little more thought into it. (Note: I doubt the Imagineers had anything to do with this product; I just wanted an excuse to use the term “Imagineers”.)

Vile Villains Hot Chocolate: Wonderfully Wacky Purple, Deceivingly Orange, and Heartless Green

  • Score: 2 out of 5 totally kick-ass Maleficent dragons that should have been on the purple package
  • Price: Freeeeeeeee! (Thanks Mom!)
  • Size: 1.25 oz. package
  • Purchased at: A Walgreen’s somewhere in Southern California
  • Nutritional Quirks: No chocolate in the hot chocolate. Perhaps the largest quirk of all time.