Syd Lexia vs. Cabbage Patch Kids Cereal
In 1978, a 21-year-old art student named Xavier Roberts began producing handmade dolls called Little People. The hook was that not only were the dolls cute, but they also came with adoption certificates. The enterprise quickly became successful, to the point where Roberts was able to open Babyland General Hospital, a hospital-themed store and miniature theme park where the dolls were "born". By 1982, interest in the dolls became so high that Roberts inked a deal allowing the dolls, now known as Cabbage Patch Kids, to be mass produced by Coleco. By Christmas 1983, they were the hottest toy on the market. As a result, they were also fucking impossible to get. As early as October of that year, riots occurred when stores advertising the doll failed to have anywhere close to enough Cabbage Patch Kids to cover all the customers who showed up. Despite these shortages, or perhaps because of them, Coleco experienced record profits. Pretty soon, everyone wanted a piece of the Cabbage Patch Kids merchandising pie. Soon, there were terrible Cabbage Patch Kids books, terrible Cabbage Patch Kids records, and a terrible Cabbage Patch Kids Christmas special. And in 1985, Ralston introduced a terrible Cabbage Patch Kids Cereal. And that's what I'll be eating today.
In a lot of ways, Ralston's cereals resemble Data East's pinball machines; most of their products were pretty mediocre and derivative, but the consumer base didn't care because the products were based on popular licenses. As such, Cabbage Patch Kids Cereal was a slam dunk. The cereal that nearly got a 75-year-old man trampled to death was an instant hit with doll-crazy little girls. In fact, the original proposed slogans for the cereal, TRAMPLE YOUR TASTE BUDS and START A RIOT IN YOUR MOUTH, played upon the violent frenzies associated with Cabbage Patch Kids. Okay, I probably made those taglines up. But, please, feel free to repeat them as though they were actually real. But that's not what Ralston did. Instead, they marketed Cabbage Patch Kids Cereal as a healthy cereal. I'm going to be honest; the fact that it's low in sugar and contains no artificial flavors terrifies me. In the past, it's been the sugar and artificial flavors that have kept the expired cereals barely edible.
The cereal box is now open. I am one step closer to eating this disgusting stuff. But first, let's talk about a bunch of other Cabbage Patch Kids-related cereal stuff that doesn't require me ingesting long expired food. First off, there's the box. Cabbage Patch Kids Cereal employed a gimmick that Ralston would repeat with the Nintendo Cereal System, much to my delight: collectible boxes. Cabbage Patch Kids Cereal had at least six different boxes, each with different artwork on the front and its own collection of stupid mazes, jumbles and crossword puzzles on the back. The box fronts were kind of creepy. Each one depicts actual Cabbage Patch Kids dolls posed in some sort of activity. On my box, they're camping. And of course, they're also getting ready to eat Cabbage Patch Kids Cereal. Something about this doesn't sit well with me. Maybe I've just seen Child's Play too many times, but I don't like seeing dolls in lifelike poses. It's fucking creepy.
Inside this box of cereal, I have the chance of getting one of six exciting Cabbage Patch-related stickers. These are the characters:
•Xavier, a ten-year-old boy who discovers the Cabbage Patch in a magical valley behind a waterfall.
•Lavendar McDade, an evil old lady who wants to enslave the Cabbage Patch Kids in her gold mine. I swear I'm not making this up.
•Cabbage Jack, Lavendar's top henchman. Jack is upset that delicious cabbages are being turned into babies. He's a rabbit.
•Colonel Casey, the overseer of Babyland General Hospital. He doubles as a narrator. Oh yeah, he's also a stork.
•Otis Lee, the leader of the Cabbage Patch Kids.
•Sybil Sadie, another Cabbage Patch Kid. She is forced to work in the mine until Otis rescues her.
Awesome! With exciting choices like these, I feel like I win no matter who I get! Hey, who did I get?
I got the stork. Nice. I suddenly want to buy some Vlasic Pickles for some reason. Also, I got a coupon. It's for fifteen cents off my next box of Cabbage Patch Kids Cereal. And since this box is marked at the reasonable price of $1.73, that's a savings of well over 8%. And guess what the expiration date on the coupon is? THERE IS NONE. So Ralston was either extremely optimistic or extremely pessimistic about how long this cereal would last. My guess is the latter.
Licensed cereals generally have obvious thematic shapes. Batman Cereal was shaped like the bats. Bill & Ted's Excellent Cereal had generic cinnamon oat squares mixed with marshmallow musical notes. The Ghostbusters cereal divided the franchise's famous logo into marshmallow ghosts and fruit-flavored null symbols. Meanwhile, pieces of Cabbage Patch Kids Cereal are shaped like "happy faces". Yeah, right. Let's be honest here, the disturbing truth is that they're shaped like the heads of Cabbage Patch Kids. So with every spoonful of this cereal, you're mercilessly crushing the noggins of newborn Cabbage Patch babies. It's like a mass abortion in your mouth! And they're crispy... just like cabbage.
It's hard to tell how well this cereal has held up, but many of pieces are missing eyes, smiles, or both. On the one hand, it's possible that these openings have closed up as the cereal has aged. On the other hand, Ralston was known for making cheap, low quality cereals. So perhaps the openings were never there to begin with. But while the current physical integrity of the cereal is up for debate, its current smell is not. The cereal smells fucking awful, emitting an aroma that can best be described as human urine with a hint of cat urine. Maybe I won't eat this one.
Oh what the hell, I'll give it a try. This is going to be fucking terrible. Pray for me.
Oh wait, I almost forgot. This time there's an added twist: my expired cereal is being served with expired milk! Granted, the milk is only two days out of code, but expired dairy products are a lot more dangerous than expired cereal. The milk has the faintest smell of something that shouldn't be consumed. By itself, it would probably be fine. When combined with 25-year-old cereal, it could quickly turn deadly. Let's see what happens...
Holy fuck, this cereal tasted as terrible as it smelled. Furthermore, the milk was a bad choice. Despite how empty that bowl looks, I really didn't eat that much. Truth be told, I only ate about four spoonfuls of this awful stuff. I attempted to eat another three, but ended up spitting them out in the sink. About fifteen minutes later, my left arm started tingling. I know people say that all the time as a joke, but I swear it happened. I probably should have gone to the hospital, but I really didn't want to explain that I had been eating cereal from 1985. So instead, I brushed my teeth for about ten minutes to get the awful taste out of my mouth, then I took a nap, knowing full well I might never wake up again. But I did. So apparently I didn't have a heart attack, which is pretty cool. Unfortunately, I felt really sick for the next six hours after my nap. I came very, very close to throwing up.
I don't know why Cabbage Patch Kids Cereal tasted so much worse than the other expired Ralston cereals I've sampled, but I imagine it's due, ironically, to the cereal's more healthy contents. So when you're stocking your next bomb shelter, keep that in mind. When the apocalypse comes, you don't want Cheerios; you want Count Chocula. Cabbage Patch Kids Cereal, I fucking hate you. First off, you disproved the theory I put forth in the previous article that cereals based on questionable licenses are more delicious than ones based on good licenses. Secondly, if I had known you would be so terrible, I would have saved you for last. If past precedent is any indication, the final review will be a lot easier on my stomach than this one. I'm sure that's disappointing for my readers, but it's a huge relief for me. Then again, maybe I've misjudged my final opponent. I guess we'll see.
FINAL VERDICT: Cabbage Patch Kids Cereal? More like GARBAGE PAIL Kids Cereal!
Posted by: Syd Lexia
EVERY HAPPY FACE HAS A CRISPY TASTE.