REVIEW: Kellogg’s Birthday Edition Flavor Flashback Frosted Chocolate Vanilla Creme Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Birthday Edition Flavor Flashback Frosted Chocolate Vanilla Creme Pop-Tarts

Much that makes this world excellent is breaching the big 5-0 this year: Lucky Charms, The Giving Tree, the Civil Rights Act, Dr. Strangelove. Even my beloved Pop-Tarts are whipping out their walkers and hauling their rectangular, toastified hineys Over The Hill, and, in what can only be described as a birthday party for the public, Pop-Tarts is blessing us with a flavor that’s existed only in the history books since its 2009 extinction: Chocolate Vanilla Crème.

Kellogg's Birthday Edition Flavor Flashback Frosted Chocolate Vanilla Creme Pop-Tarts Fresh out of the wrapper

Right out of the wrapper, the smell of Cocoa Puffs poofs into the kitchen, knocking my nose around with smells of cocoa cereal and sweet, sweet sugar. There’s no trace of vanilla scooting into my nose just yet, but I’ve yet to crack open the gooey insides. Quick, get thee to a toaster!

Post-toast, the crust retains that certain crunch of a crackle that I so love to find in my Pop-Tarts, bursting open to reveal a layer of white goo that holds all the smell and consistency of marshmallow fluff.

And while the crust delivers on texture, it’s a bit dulled on the flavor spectrum. More mild than Cookies n’ Crème, less chocolatey than a Teddy Graham, the initial wafts of cocoa only transfer the lightest hints of a Tootsie-Roll-like cocoa powder into the actual taste, landing with all the sadness of a deflated red balloon from a French film.

Kellogg's Birthday Edition Flavor Flashback Frosted Chocolate Vanilla Creme Pop-Tarts marshmallowy innards

What reins supreme is the gooey frosting center, which retains the taste and texture of a fluffified Betty Crocker Icing. The volume of his poofy innard feels scant, becoming peculiarly crusty if toasted for too long, but it delivers a powerful punch of a sugar rush with a tinge of artificial vanilla to bring some flavor to the faintly flavored crust.

Despite the wonky balance in flavor, when the forces of both elements combine, the whole Flashback Flavor tastes a bit like the birthday cake you might find at your friendly neighborhood grocer, and who’s to judge if you’re a lover grocery store birthday cake? Nary a soul! Lift up your weary head, Birthday Cake Lover, for your cake, too, should be celebrated in all its glorious, unquestioned sugary sweetness. In fact, if you or your significant other has a hankering for grocery store cake but is worried about frosting-coated fingers, consider picking up a box of these for Valentine’s Day. Nothing says, “I love you” like a new version of a formerly extinct toaster pastry.

I have a theory that, with every year we age, we get 1 percent more awesome. If that’s true, Pop-Tarts are 50 percent awesome this year. Classic flavors, like Strawberry and Brown Sugar Cinnamon, coupled with some of the newer flavors, like Pumpkin Pie and Peanut Butter, prove that Pop-Tarts’ 50 percent awesomeness has been attained. Unfortunately, this particular flavor fell just a smidge short from its tasty kin for me. While its sugary sweetness covered me to ride on a 6-day Sugar Rush, the crust was a bit flat on flavor and the filling, while fluffy, fell on the sword of too little vanilla flavor.

Kellogg's Birthday Edition Flavor Flashback Frosted Chocolate Vanilla Creme Pop-Tarts Part of this birthday balanced breakfast

At the same time, while these may not amaze, I have to remember: these particular Pop-Tarts weren’t built to amaze. They were built to remind. To harken back to a Pop-Tart of yore, and, on that note, they deliver. For those nostalgic for the ol’ Chocolate Vanilla Crème or looking for a good eBay item to sell, definitely stock up now. For others searching for a powerful chocolate vanilla experience, these fall short, reminding that Pop-Tarts may be 50 percent awesome, but they still have 50 percent more room to grow.

So Happy 50th, Pop-Tarts. Thank you for bringing me your pastries. Please continue to do so for another 50. I’ll continue to eat them by the box-full.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 toaster pastry – 200 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 20 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Kellogg’s Birthday Edition Flavor Flashback Frosted Chocolate Vanilla Creme Pop-Tarts
Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 8 pastries
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Crispy crust. Marshmallowy sugar innards. Smells like Cocoa Puffs. Betty Crocker icing. The Giving Tree. Pop-Tarts are officially 50 percent awesome. Celebration for grocery store cake.
Cons: Not as chocolatey as they smell. More sugary than vanilla-y. Innards get cooked away when in the toaster too long. Toaster pastry extinction. Popped balloons of sorrow.

REVIEW: Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty! Peanut Butter

Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty! Peanut Butter

More orange than a University of Texas football jersey and more texturally variegated than a special edition Pokémon card, it’s the latest, greatest Pop-Tarts box filled with peanut butter toaster pastries!!

Yes, people, it’s here.

After a 27-year hiatus, peanut butter is bursting through the wall of Pop-Tarts with more superhero powers than the Powerpuff Girls and Kool-Aid Man combined and, after three trips to Walmart and a narrow escape from a runaway grocery cart, I have attained my box of six golden delights.

No, your eyes aren’t fooling you. That is a gold wrapper you see and, after an in-depth psychological study, I have concluded that golden wrappers are magic.

Every time I open one, I find myself believing I am Charlie Bucket peeling back the winning Wonka wrapper, then I skip into the streets and burst into song (“I’ve got a golden ticket!”).

Apologies to anyone who had the experience of hearing me sing and thank you, Kellogg’s, for providing me with the fulfillment of a childhood dream, even if it’s only in my mind.

Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty! Peanut Butter Golden Ticket

All delusions of winning a trip to see an eccentric, semi-crazed candy maker aside, let’s get down to brass tacks: what do these suckers taste like?

If there’s anything the marketing plan at Google has proven, it’s that simple is always best, and these toaster pastries reinforce just that: absent of jelly or honey, these unfrosted Plain Janes allow the simple, beautiful peanut butter to shine. The crust is sweet, slightly salty, and sprinkled with sugar, harkening back to old-school peanut butter cookies.

The peanut butter inside is of the creamy variety, a touch sweeter and gooey-er than my regular Skippy, which makes it just perfect for the filling. It adds the sugary, salty, roasted-peanut creaminess needed to play off the crackly, sucrose-laden crust.

And, indeed, this is one crackly crust. If you’re unfamiliar with the genus of unfrosted Pop-Tarts, you may want to know that this crust is a little more crumbly than what you might find with a frosted Pop-Tart. The grainy casing of this fella will give your pastry-munching experience more of a shortbread/homemade graham cracker feel. Despite its more delicate nature, the crust holds the filling inside it throughout the toasting, never breaking at the seams.

Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty! Peanut Butter Innards

Have I mentioned toasting would be encouraged? It would be. If these taste astounding right out of the wrapper, they taste even better toasted, a feat I thought impossible at this point. The edges of the crust get slightly crisp and the peanut butter filling softens and collects at the bottom, allowing your last bite to be full of all four of the five food groups: crispy, salty, gooey, and sweet.

And these Pop-Tarts give you agency as a creative human. In the absence of jelly or any other filling, you can add whatever you like to make your own Pop-Tarts “sandwich.” Marshmallow, Doritos, ice cream, ranch dressing, whatever. I’m not gonna judge. You want some jelly with yours? Plop a friendly slab on there or, better yet, go get a box of Strawberry Pop-Tarts and eat both Pop-Tarts together. Now that’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

The greatest crime these have committed is that there are only six in a box as opposed to the regular eight. According to a response to a customer on the Pop-Tarts Facebook page, this was done to keep the price level the same as peanut butter is a more expensive ingredient.

(Margaret shakes a blighted fist to the sky!)

Curse you, market of overpriced crushed legumes!!

Number games aside, these are delicious. Up there in my top three, maybe even my top two Pop-Tarts of all time. They are crispy and salty enough to allow me to imagine they’d be perfect for breakfast while being just sweet enough to please the dessert lover in me. Give me a pack of these and some chocolate ice cream and I’m a happy kid. If Pop-Tarts are looking to up their sales, these will make for a growth curve gone vertical in my book.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 60 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 250 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of potassium, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of sugars, and 3 grams of protein.)

Item: Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty! Peanut Butter
Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 1 box/6 pastries
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Gooey, creamy peanut butter. Shortbread cookie crust. Crackly sugar coating. Even better toasted. Cool box. Golden wrappers. One of the best Pop-Tarts experiences I’ve ever had. Most likely formed by powers of Kool-Aid Man and the Powerpuff Girls combined.
Cons: Only 6 per box. Overpriced crushed legumes. Golden wrappers do not earn you trip to eccentric candy maker’s laboratory. Runaway grocery carts in Wal-Mart. Realizing (yet again) that I am not musically inclined.

REVIEW: Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty! Frosted Chocolate Peanut Butter

Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty! Frosted Chocolate Peanut Butter

Dear Peanut Butter,

I get it. I’m a realist. You’re salty and sweet, ooey-gooey and down right delectable, and I was wrong to have tried to hog you all to myself. I can see monogamy just can’t work for you.

What with you going behind my back with Jelly or Honey all those years, it should have come as no surprise to me when I learned you really did have a thing for Bacon. And don’t get me started on Bananas, or, as even my more adventurous friends tell me, Pickles.

But Peanut Butter, it’s time for you to be a realist. We were made for each other.

You know how I know? Because when it came time to pair you up in all the convenience of a toaster pastry, that matchmaker Kellogg’s company didn’t hitch your wagon to Jelly or send you a valentine from Honey. No, they stuffed you inside of me, and damned if I don’t admit we are perfect together.

Why hide our love from the world any longer? I say we announce that we’re back and better than ever. They thought our best days were behind us, what with Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs no longer being the novelty it once was, and our time in pretty much every conceivable Snickers form having run its course. But there’s just something about this new love, born from the Pop-Tart, which just works.

Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty! Frosted Chocolate Peanut Butter Foil

You adorn yourself in a golden wrapper, but it’s what’s beneath that shining attire which counts. Could it be our delicious utility together? Sometimes dull and uninteresting when eaten at room temperature, our Pop-Tart is perfect in any climate.

Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty! Frosted Chocolate Peanut Butter Outards

Tantalizing with a semisweet chocolate aroma, each slightly crispy bite of the exterior frosted shell yields to your peanuty and salty gooeyness. It’s homey and familiar – not pretentious or overly oily like some of those organic designer peanut butters; yet at the same time, it’s wholesome and full bodied, like the Midwestern girl next door. I love how you don’t use chemicals like hydrogenated oils to taste your best, proving that natural taste can definitely go a long way.

Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty! Frosted Chocolate Peanut Butter Innards

Did I mentioned the chew? I know there are some who scoff at your ability to stick to the roof of their mouths, but as we come together in one sweet, salty, chocolaty and smooth amalgamation, even the most rushed eater is forced to reckon with the forces of mechanical digestion and savor our love. Even our outer shell, a bit doughy, tasty and bland on its own (despite the cocoa tint) gets new life during this phase of our relationship, as we rekindle the classic flavors of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

I could go on forever but I think you know what I’m saying. Peanut Butter, it’s hard to screw us up. And yes, Pop-Tart has tarnished the flavorful marriage of power couples before. But in this case, we don’t just go together, we go together in one of the best Pop-Tart flavors that has ever been conceived.

True, there may be minor flaws to our love – you are a bit thin, you know, and I’d love to love more of your filling – but it’s nothing we can’t overcome. But promise me one thing, Peanut Butter. Even if Pop-Tarts decides to start paring you with your old flings, just remember that I, Chocolate, was your first true love.



(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of total fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 2 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 240 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 19 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)

Other Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty! Frosted Chocolate Peanut Butte reviews:
Fatguy Food Blog

Item: Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty! Frosted Chocolate Peanut Butter
Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 6 toaster pastries/box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Perhaps the single most memorable Pop-Tart I’ve ever eaten. Exceptional balance of chocolate and peanut butter flavor. Tastes like a slightly melted version of a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup, except without the gritty peanut butter texture. Ooey-gooey peanut butter filling, even when not warmed. Sticks in the nooks and crannies within your mouth.
Cons: Only six Toaster Pastries instead of the usual eight. I wish these Pastries were pregnant with an bulging baby of peanut butter filling. On the heavier side of the sugar spectrum for Pop-Tarts. Probably not best to eat the entire box without some sort of liquid to wash it down. Writing a love letter to a condiment.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Frosted Red Velvet Pop-Tarts

Limited Edition Frosted Red Velvet Pop-Tarts

Here’s your off-the-wall thought for today: if someone was making you a romantic mix CD (for our younger readers, ask your parents what those are), what song would absolutely have to be on it?

It’s not a trick question, and I don’t mean a cheerful, airy ballad.  What tune gives you that weak-in-the-knees, smoldering feeling?  

For me, I have to go with “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles.  It’s an unconventional choice — she’s not a particularly famous artist, and hell, the song isn’t even really about romance… it’s about missing Elvis.  But damn, there’s just something about the twang of that guitar, the slow beat, and the way Myles kicks about fifty extra levels of sultry into her voice as she croons “what could you dooooo?”  You can keep your Wicked Games and your Closers, thanks; I’ll take the homage to a dead Southern rocker.

And this is the point where you quite reasonably ask, “What on earth does any of this have to do with food?”

My only response is that we’re reviewing Red Velvet Pop-Tarts today, and I can no longer hear the word “velvet” without thinking of that song.  (Makes coat shopping uncomfortable, let me tell you.)  Also, nearly every single flavor of Pop-Tart has already been reviewed on this site and we’re kind of running out of intros; the next one will consist entirely of the phrase “All blog and no play makes our editor-in-chief something something” just typed over and over again.

Limited Edition Frosted Red Velvet Pop-Tarts Closeup

But putting that aside, Red Velvet is the latest in Kellogg’s Pokemon-esque quest to capture every flavor known to man in tart form, then make them battle for supremacy.  The front of the box has the standard picture of the Pop-Tart itself, but also one of a red velvet cupcake, the kind you might find in an upscale bakery or a pretentious grocery store.  It’s pretty effective at making your mouth water, since both images look downright tasty and will probably sell more than a few units on visual impulse purchases alone.  (Don’t laugh, that’s Maxim’s entire marketing strategy.)  The package also emphasizes that these are limited edition, so depending on how they taste, it might be time to clear out your pantry and start stockpiling.

Limited Edition Frosted Red Velvet Pop-Tarts Innards

The Pop-Tarts come inside the standard foil wrappers with random sayings/”jokes” on them.  Nothing particularly interesting there, although in keeping with the romance theme, I noticed one of the word balloons telling me I’m so easy to open up to, and another one just says “Oooooh.  Ahhhhh.  Yummm!”  Keep it in your pants, Kellogg’s.  Pressing ahead, opening a packet reveals fairly aesthetically appealing Pop-Tarts.  Nothing spectacular, but the red sprinkles make it pop and it’s slightly neat seeing a rust-colored tart.  Breaking one open reveals the white creme filling you’ve encountered before in so many of its pastry predecessors.

Which is all well and good, but at the end of the day, are you taking a first class flight to Flavortown?  Well… somewhat.  The creme filling and the frosting on top are the exact same as what you’ve had on plenty of other Pop-Tarts before; you already know whether you like it or not.  In addition to visual appeal, the sprinkles actually do provide a little bit of added crunch, which is nice from a texture standpoint — nothing major, just the sort of minor element that can sometimes tip the scales in one direction or the other.  Assuming you toast yours, the filling melts nicely and forms a nice soft contrast with the flaky shell.

But that leads me to my biggest disappointment: while these tarts are appropriately sweet and gooey, they just don’t deliver enough red velvet taste.  I’m not a glutton for red velvet or anything (again: go black or go home), but if you’re going to make that the name of the pastry, you’ve gotta deliver the goods.  The flavor isn’t completely absent; there are faint undertones that pop up here and there, like living right on the edge of a radio station’s broadcast radius.  When it’s there, it’s nice, but a lot of the time you’re just eating a sugar and creme filling Pop-Tart.  Still good, but not nearly as distinctive as it should be.

And that about sums it up.  You may want to buy these if you’re a Pop-Tart completist, or if they simply look like the best of all the available options.  I don’t think anyone who has a taste for toaster pastries is going to be disappointed in these; they taste good, as long as you’re willing to live with all the sugar and sodium.  It’s just that there are far more distinct flavors available, and red velvet fans in particular are liable to judge these and find them wanting.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 190 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of total fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of sugars, 2 grams of protein.)

Other Limited Edition Frosted Red Velvet Pop-Tarts reviews:
Foodette Reviews

Item: Limited Edition Frosted Red Velvet Pop-Tarts
Purchased Price: $2.79 (with BonusCard discount)
Size: 8 toaster pastries
Purchased at: Giant
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Mississippi in the middle of a dry spell.  Among the more visually-interesting Pop-Tarts.  Sprinkles + melty creme make for good texture.  Hard to complain too hard about a taste that is, really, pretty good.  Price is right.
Cons: n a flash he was gone, it happened so soon.  Very faint red velvet taste.  Foil wrappers coming on to me.  You’ll forget these existed a month after eating them.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Limited Edition Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts

If I were to list my top 20 favorite products of all time, there would be only one toaster pastry and it would be Frosted Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts.

Oh, you haven’t heard of them?

Well, they were around when Pop-Tarts options were much simpler, occupied very little shelf space, and almost all of them were actually tart. But, apparently, Frosted Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts didn’t sell well and were discontinued.

When they disappeared from shelves, I had to settle for the pigs slop known as Frosted Strawberry and Frosted Blueberry Pop-Tarts. And the more I stuffed down as part of my complete breakfast, the more upset and depressed I got about not having Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts in my life.

So I did what any middle school child with a penchant for writing would do. I wrote a letter to Kellogg’s, which went something like this:

Dear Kellogg’s,

Why did you kill the frosted apple pop tarts? After I wake up my mommy puts one in the toaster for me. I ask her if I can have two but she says no cause I’ll get fat. I told her I’m already fat, but she didn’t give me two. See I like them so much that I want to eat two. I like the jelly part of the pop tart, it doesn’t taste like the red apples my mommy feeds me to make me skinny, but it taste good. Please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please make frosted apple pop tarts again. I said please a lot, so that means you have to give me what I want, because when I say please a lot to my mommy she gives me what I want except when I ask for two pop tarts.

Thank you.

Despite the excessive pleases in my letter, Kellogg’s didn’t bring back Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts. Although, now that I think about it, Kellogg’s probably didn’t get my letter because, if I remember correctly, I put an Easter Seal on the envelope, thinking it was a postage stamp and I didn’t put a return address. However, these new Limited Edition Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts come close to replacing my beloved toaster pastries from the 1980s.

Since the Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts’ demise, there have been several apple-flavored Pop-Tarts, like Apple Strudel Pop-Tarts, Apple Pie Pop-Tarts, Apple Cinnamon Pop-Tarts, but none of them have hit me with a wave of nostalgia that these Limited Edition Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts have.

Kellogg's Limited Edition Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts Closeup

Well, to be more precise, it’s the delicious apple pie-ish filling that takes me back to a time when I would look through the Sears Wish Book catalog, circle the toys I knew my parents couldn’t afford, and then laugh at the horrible Christmas sweaters being sold. Sure, the filling’s brown color reminds me of browning apples that have been exposed to oxygen for too long, but it’s so wonderfully sweet and tasty.

While these new Pop-Tarts may taste like Frosted Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts, there are a few major visual differences. The Pop-Tarts from my childhood were frosted almost completely from bow to stern (yes, I believe that is the proper way to address the front and rear of a Pop-Tart), but these Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts are only drizzled with frosting. Lame. But like the Oatmeal Delights Pop-Tarts we reviewed, they have wonderful sweet and crunchy crumbles on top which kind of make up for the lack of frosting.

If you do find yourself purchasing a box of these Pop-Tarts, don’t be lazy and eat them straight out of the shiny foil wrapper. Take the time to toast them and you’ll be rewarded with a much tastier experience.

And if you’re a child of the 80s who loved Frosted Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts as much as I did, the tasty apple, cinnamon, and sugar gloop in the Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts will be the flux capacitor that takes your taste buds back in time.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 50 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, and a few vitamins and minerals.)

Item: Limited Edition Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts
Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 8 toaster pastries
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Sooo good. Reminds me of Frosted Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts. Delicious apple pie-ish filling. Sugary crumbles on top were wonderful. Awesome when toasted. Good when not toasted. Sears Wish Book.
Cons: Only drizzles of frosting. Limited edition. Using Easter Seals as postage stamps. Not getting what I want with a lot of pleases.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Oatmeal Delights Frosted Mapley Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Oatmeal Delights Frosted Mapley Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts

I’m going to guess that not everyone reading this 1) spent their adolescent years in the early to mid ’90s, and 2) read superhero comics.

But that’s okay.

(Statistically, you’re almost certainly better off for it.)

All you need to know is this: in the early ’90s, comic book publishers went absolutely, 100 percent bugfuck insane. Comics were selling like crazy, movies and cartoons had people interested in the characters, and everyone believed their mint copy of X-Force #1 was going to make them fabulously wealthy someday, whereas its primary use today is to prop up uneven table legs at comic stores everywhere.

To keep the cash train running, publishers came up with a ridiculous variety of gimmicks to entice you to buy their wares. They did variant covers. Holographic covers. Glow-in-the-dark covers. Photo covers. Silent issues. Sideways issues. Issues with nothing but splash pages. Superman died. Batman crippled. Green Lantern genocidal. Spider-Man wearing armor. One comic writer, upon dying, had his ashes mixed into the ink for the printing of a trade paperback he had written. It was madness.

(Except the last one, that was tight. Miss ya, Grue!)

Why do I bring this up? Because I increasingly get that same “’90s comics” vibe when I think about Pop-Tarts. They started out as a nice, simple breakfast pastry for kids. Eventually came new flavors, nothing wrong with that. But then they just started throwing shit at the wall to see what stuck.

We got Pop-Tarts clearly designed for dessert, not breakfast. We got seasonal Pop-Tarts with winter images printed on them. We got Wild! Pop-Tarts. And even Pop-Tarts that let you show your school spirit. And now? Well, now we’ve got a sub-brand of Pop-Tarts called Oatmeal Delights with two varieties, Frosted Strawberry and Frosted Mapley Brown Sugar; we’ll be looking at the latter. I suspect we’re supposed to think “mapley” is just a cute stylistic tic, but I’m interpreting it in more of the “vaguely reminiscent of maple” way. Your mileage may vary.

Kellogg's Oatmeal Delights Frosted Mapley Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts Top

I’m not going to lie — the box itself is almost worth the purchase. There’s just so much going on there. On the front, nearly every image and word is set at an angle like you’re eating M.C. Escher’s own toaster pastries. I thought Pop-Tarts had long ago accepted they were never going to be the healthy option, yet this package can’t stop trying to convince me it’s nutritious, touting its 8 vitamins and minerals, made from whole grain, no high fructose corn syrup, no trans fat, plenty of calcium and B vitamins, and a good source of fiber.

(Spoiler: the calories and total fat are not ridiculous, but still not what anyone would mistake for “healthy.”)

The back of the box avows that each pastry contains the perfect amount of icing, which I’m calling bullshit on because “perfect” is a strong word and pride goeth before the icing fall, or whatever. There’s also one of those barcodes you can scan with your smartphone to learn more info, although I didn’t because I was crushing it on Angry Birds and you’ve really gotta ride that streak out.

Kellogg's Oatmeal Delights Frosted Mapley Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts Innards

TL;DR. Just… how do they taste? Not quite how I was expecting, but still pretty good. The outer layer is crispy, with cinnamon oat crumbles liberally coating it and curvy drizzles of icing. The inside filling is definitely gooey and tastes of brown sugar and maple (“mapley,” if you will), although I can’t say it particularly screams oatmeal. That’s not a criticism per se, it’s just that these could easily be called Maple Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts with no mention of oatmeal and you wouldn’t question it.

Still, the flavor did bring me back to college, stealing instant oatmeal packets from the dining hall so I’d have something to eat at 11:00 PM when it was time to start that term paper. Good times, good times. Also, there’s a reasonable amount of filling, slightly less so on each of the ends, as per usual.

All told, the brown sugar crumbles, icing, and maple filling add up to an appealing whole. Not overflowing with sheer unadulterated flavor perhaps, but a solid effort that you can maybe trick your brain into thinking is healthy if you work at it. Much like holographic covers and sideways issues, these probably won’t be around for long, so try some while you can!

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 15(!) grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Kellogg’s Oatmeal Delights Frosted Mapley Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts
Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 8 toaster pastries
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Cinnamon oat crumbles both look and taste appealing. Box isn’t attractive, but crammed with so much that you’ll buy it just to have something to read on the train. The maple(y) taste was good, though could have been more pronounced. Perhaps slightly better for you than regular Pop-Tarts. Pretty cheap. The ’80s comic industry.
Cons: The ’90s comic industry. Might’ve benefited from a little more oatmeal crammed in there. At this rate, TIB will soon become an all-Pop-Tarts review blog, instead of just a mostly-Pop-Tarts review blog. Kinda dull to look at — white icing would’ve offset that a little.