REVIEW: Limited Edition Festival Fun Frosted Vanilla I-Scream Cone Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Limited Edition Festival Fun Frosted Vanilla I-Scream Cone

The festival: a landmark of summertime reinforcing the laws of physics with every flash-flinging ride you wind past, and, while all the balloon animals and fluffy teddy bears make it seem like a locale reserved for docile featherweights, don’t be fooled: festivals are not for the thin-skinned.

Indeed, danger lurks behind every fried goodie and clinkity-clink coaster that threatens to hurl your body straight over the Kansas plains. That is part of what makes the festival so exciting: the subliminal notion that you could die at any moment.

Yes, dear venturers, the festival is a place where only the bold dare step, and these Festival Fun Frosted Vanilla I-Scream Cone Pop-Tarts are no different. These treats are not for the faint of heart. If you cower at the Kellogg, find yourself trembling at the thought of being sucked into a sugary shadow, then shoo! Be off with ye, oh crybabies! Oh sippers of chamomile tea! May you live a long and boring life.

Now that I have narrowed you down to the brave lunatics before me, quick! To the toaster!

Ah, yes, the toaster. The very appliance inspiring that 1987 champion of childhood animation, The Brave Little Toaster. It was there that I came to understand the value of endurance and grasped the reality that the car crusher in the junkyard is really alive, has googly eyes, and wants to eat my kitchen tools. Most importantly, I learned that small appliances can do amazing feats, and, while my toaster may not be able to fling itself over a mountain, it can sure transform a Pop-Tart, so I am going to toast this bugger on medium-low.

While we await our toaster pastry’s toasted goodness, let us observe a moment of silence to reflect on the values taught to us by The Brave Little Toaster.

(…I hope you are being silent right now, brave venturer…)

Okay! Moment of reflection complete!

And thus, here we have the magic of the toasted I-Scream Pop-Tart in all its rectangle glory.

Limited Edition Festival Fun Frosted Vanilla I-Scream Cone Pop-Tarts Innards

Inside the crust rests the vanilla filling, which is ample in quantity. While it is meant to mimic the likes of vanilla ice cream, it maintains more of a gooey marshmallow consistency and holds a taste similar to that of Betty Crocker vanilla icing, which makes it hard to not smile when consuming. This flavor would threaten to overwhelm my taste buds if it were not for the milk-chocolatey icing, which adds a nice splash of cocoa flavor that both juxtaposes (word of the day) and balances the vanilla.

The pastry crust is crunchy and cracker-like without a distinguishing taste, acting more like a textural canvas to contrast the oozy vanilla filling. My first thought was that it would have been nice to shake up the crust and perhaps made it thin and crisp like a waffle cone, yet that would then pose the question: is it still be a Pop-Tart without the signature thick crust? Or does it morph into a completely different beast? A pastry with a new identity? I don’t know, but I could foresee such a conundrum causing an existential crisis amongst the community of toaster pastries. Thank you, Pop-Tarts, for tactfully avoiding such a catastrophe of pastry identity by keeping the crust the same.

Limited Edition Festival Fun Frosted Vanilla I-Scream Cone Pop-Tarts Sprinkles

And there are sprinkles! Rainbow sprinkles! The sprinkles are arranged on the frosting with all the logic of a tourist’s map, which would explain why so many tourists get lost every year (a growing problem in many cities). While it may not work for tourists’ maps, the random sprinkling of rainbow happiness adds a bit of visual joy, and I discovered that they don’t burn when you put them in the toaster, a question I’d never wondered, but am relieved to find out.

Like all Pop-Tarts of yore, it is quite sweet and would be better suited for the evening snack than the hearty breakfast. The list of ingredients is a lengthy one, predominantly of the sugar variety. I was a bit disheartened to discover that Pop-Tarts are still mingling around with the hydrogenated oil crowd, but hey, nothing’s perfect, and they do pack a walloping eight vitamins and minerals in there somewhere.

If there’s one final lesson to glean from The Brave Little Toaster, it’s that friendship is magic. Since there are two to a Pop-Tart package, these toaster pastries inspire sharing and will grant you friends beyond the realm Little Toaster’s town could’ve ever imagined, so rip open that aluminum package and share with a pal, or, since these are “I-Scream” Pop-Tarts, haul out the pint of Ben and Jerry’s and smoosh them into an ice cream sandwich.

In the midst of the lights and flashes and winky-dink rides, festivals celebrate the spirit of straightforward innovation, and these Festival Fun Frosted Vanilla I-Scream Pop-Tarts embody that very spirit. While they’re admittedly not revolutionary to the Pop-Tart world, they dare to be simple, a risk perhaps more valiant than going with the wispy trends of high-end vanilla beans and exclusive Verona chocolates. In the midst of an ever-expanding food empire, Pop-Tarts remain humble and they honor that identity here in the form of a chocolate-vanilla square, and that, in and of itself, is worthy of celebration. So break out the toasters, brave venturers, and celebrate.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 190 calories, 4 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Other Limited Edition Festival Fun Frosted Vanilla I-Scream Cone Pop-Tarts reviews:
Foodette Reviews
Ephemeral Noms
The Mind of a Big Cat

Item: Limited Edition Frosted Vanilla I-Scream Cone Pop-Tarts
Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: 14.1 ounces/8 pastries
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Lots of chocolate icing. Variety of textures. Sprinkles. Humility. Eight vitamins and minerals. The hope of a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream sandwich. The Brave Little Toaster.. Friendship is magic.
Cons: Hydrogenated oils. Vanilla frosting filling in the guise of ice cream. The threat of overwhelming vanilla flavor. Toaster pastry existential crisis. Nightmares of evil junkyard car crushers.

NEWS: USA! USA! USA! USA CEREAL! USA POP-TARTS!

American flag

Did you know the Summer Olympics are happening this year?

I forgot, but thankfully Kellogg’s reminded me by announcing their 2012 Team USA Collector’s Edition Cereal and Limited Edition 2012 Team USA Mixed Berry Pop-Tarts.

The 2012 Team USA Collector’s Edition Cereal is a vanilla-flavored multigrain and multicolored cereal made up of red, white, and blue loops. Each box has athlete trading cards on the back. Oooh, I hope they have a card for USA badminton player Tony Gunawan. But it’ll probably end up being basketball players or gymnasts.

Limited Edition 2012 Team USA Mixed Berry Pop-Tarts are as patriotic as the 2012 Team USA cereal. The mixed berry filling is surrounded by a red crust and is topped with white icing and red and blue sprinkles. Each pair of these limited edition Pop-Tarts are wrapped in gold-colored foil.

A cup of Kellogg’s 2012 Team USA Cereal has 110 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 170 milligrams of sodium, 45 milligrams of potassium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals.

One 2012 Team USA Pop-Tart has 190 calories, 4 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 17 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Wildlicious Wild! Fruit Fusion Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Wildlicious Wild! Fruit Fusion Pop-Tarts

Pop-Tarts are just friggin’ weird. They resemble a tart as much as I look like actor Tom Cruise, or even pre/post-drug fiend Tom Sizemore. The pastry is exactly two ninety degree angles that form an exact rectangle scarier than the black monolith in Kubrick’s classic. Instead of being filled with stars, Dave, it is filled with jam, calories, carbohydrates and sodium. The frosting is shiny like nail polish and is harder than fondant. So yes, this is not health food but its shape does scream convenience.

You won’t find Pop-Tarts in a bakery. When you give them to a child, you can’t help but make the “sorry face.” All the cool kids have the Toaster Strudels but Pop-Tarts have persevered through all of it. These ubiquitous things have remained a part of our existence and I am sure when the Sun starts expanding in its death, the waters on Earth have dried up, all mammals have become pieces of tasty jerky, those Pop-Tarts are still going to survive. I know so.

And as weird as they are, like Tom Sizemore and his old drug habit, I have a strong compulsion to buy any new flavor of Pop-Tarts I see. I just have to. I don’t care if I get mostly disappointed when I eat them. I just need to have them now. It’s the same exact feeling I get when I buy supermarket sushi or when I watch German art films.

I habitually stop by the Pop-Tarts section when I go to down the cereal aisle. To my delight, I saw a box of Wildlicious Wild! Fruit Fusion Pop-Tarts. With a title like that, I was expecting this to rival the KY Jelly Fire and Ice. I could blame The Impulsive Buy and say I bought these because I am obligated to review them. In truth, I would have bought them anyway because I just need to.

From gumdrops to Sunkist, I love all things orange flavored. The fact there is an orange pictured amongst the fruits pictured on the box will probably be the closest thing I will ever get to a marmalade Pop-Tart. To be specific, there is a strawberry and cherry pictured as well. I’m assuming this is the fruit fusion which doesn’t seem that wild but it’s Pop-Tarts we’re talking about here.

Kellogg's Wildlicious Wild! Fruit Fusion Pop-Tarts Burnt

Amusing to me, the only fruits listed in the ingredients are cherries and apples. Even more fascinating are the instructions on how to toast your goodies. I’m not sure what it says about its target audience. They even have a diagram to emphasize how to toast these things. More depressing is what does this say about me? I had to toast another because I burned my first pastry.

I normally eat these untoasted but I will review these Pop-Tarts in both the raw and the cooked form.

Kellogg's Wildlicious Wild! Fruit Fusion Pop-Tarts Closeup

Unsheathing the treat out of its silver wrapper, it was a bit comical to me how vibrant the colors of the frosting were. It looked like someone slathered mustard on it and then zig zagged ketchup (in true 1950’s kitsch) all over the tart. This thing could double as Jem’s truly outrageous maxi-pad.

In the simplest form, without toasting, the crust is dry as expected. The frosting is the same vague sweet flavor that can be found on all Pop-Tarts with that unnatural sugar shell. The bite is surprisingly a bit tart and not overly sweet. I like it because it is not an abundance of immediate sugar that will numb your tongue.

The jam itself has a strong cherry flavor but I’m not sure if it overwhelmed the orange and strawberry. Not really a surprise since they aren’t listed in the ingredients. I ended up taking a couple more bites and only the tart cherry jam shines through. That is kind of disappointing but the fact that this (let’s face it, these things are really big cookies) is not as sweet as the other flavors is a plus.

Toasted, it smells like baked sugar but not in a welcoming bakery way. It’s just baked sugar. I hate that smell which is why I never toast them, but I’m also lazy. Texture wise, the frosting adds a nice crispness and the jam is even more intense. The taste is improved but not enough for me to bother toasting these things. I’m making a “lazy face” here.

Let’s be honest and come to an agreement that nobody really craves these things. There are better ways to spend 200 calories and the sodium is high enough to offset my blood pressure meds. I can’t tell you how many unfinished boxes of Pop-Tarts I have chucked out. I liked this one despite the repulsive color frosting but will probably not finish the box.

I would still make the “sorry face” if I had to give one to my little niece or any other kids looking for a snack. Yet, I (in a non-committal way) would eat these again as I made the “yeah, I know” face. So yeah reader, I know.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of Saturated fat, 2 grams if Polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 170 mg of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, less than one gram of dietary fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein)

Item: Kellogg’s Wildlicious Wild! Fruit Fusion Pop-Tarts
Price: $1.99
Size: 14.1 ounces/8 toaster pastries
Purchased: Publix
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: The tart sweetness is a nice change. Easy to hold. Tom Sizemore in Heat. Tom Cruise in Collateral (Michael Mann is the man). Making faces. If you love cherry, you cannot go wrong. Toasting it has a nice texture. 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Cons: No orange flavor. Easy to burn if you’re a dummy like me. Crust is dry but that’s to be expected. Wild frosting does nothing for the Pop-Tart. The color is a bit gross looking. Tom Sizemore in that sex video. Tom Cruise in MI:2. Loaded with sodium, unless you love sodium! 2010: The Year We Make Contact.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Printed Fun Frosted Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Limited Edition Printed Fun Frosted Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts

The element of surprise can be a valuable tool.  As the Japanese poet Bashō famously observed, “When you surprise your enemy, you fuck his shit up.”  [Translated]  That’s true both on the battlefield and in the kitchen. I’ve eaten and reviewed plenty of foods that have surprised me, some pleasantly, some less so.  One of the draws of foreign food, as related to me by people who try it, is the chance to encounter new tastes you’ve never experienced before and weren’t expecting.

But as God is my witness, Pop-Tarts are not such a food.  No one buys Pop-Tarts for the mystery factor.  You purchase them because you know exactly what you’re getting: a flaky pastry, probably frosting on top, and filled with whatever flavor you selected, be it S’Mores or Raspberry Milkshake or Soylent Green.  If I got a Pop-Tart that didn’t taste like what it was named, I would only eat the entire box in three days under extreme protest, I promise you that.  So when I learned Kellogg’s was releasing another limited edition holiday variety of Pop-Tarts, this one flavored like sugar cookies, my only thought was: they’d damn well better taste like sugar cookies.  Well, as it turns out:

…..yeah, basically they taste like sugar cookies.  Phew.

While no living human has eaten as many Pop-Tarts varieties as The Impulsive Buy’s editor-in-chief, I have been around the block a few times myself, and these are among the better-tasting Pop-Tarts I’ve tried.  They don’t taste exactly like real sugar cookies, which obviously don’t have vaguely marshmallow-y filling inside them like these do, and the texture is a bit different from crumbly sugar cookies.  You wouldn’t mistake them for cookies in a blind taste test is what I’m saying, but you’d still probably ask for another bite.  The sweetness lingers in your mouth afterward and might be too much for those without a sweet tooth, though I doubt the sugar-averse are picking up a package of these anyway.  And as simple as sugar cookies are, I’m glad Kellogg’s didn’t try making them Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Cone (With Rainbow Sprinkles and Hot Fudge) Pop-Tarts, which would’ve ruined it.  For once they wisely showed some restraint.

Kellogg's Limited Edition Printed Fun Frosted Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts Foil WrapperNot a lot, mind you.  I’m guessing someone’s train of thought was that if the pastry itself was going to be straightforward, they’d better jazz it up in other respects.  Said jazzing occurs two ways, the first of which is the wrappers.  As you probably know, they come in packs of two inside shiny foil wrappers. 

What I’ve never seen before is little word balloons with slogans extolling the virtues of the product contained therein, and yet there they were.  I’m guessing they’re randomly generated, since one of my wrappers sported the phrase “We look good in silver,” and immediately below it, “Silver is your color.”  Some are almost slightly funny, most just annoying.  I kept looking for one promising good things were right around the corner, but no dice.

But trite-ass slogans don’t sell Pop-Tarts, as my grandmother used to say — the main draw, other than the taste, is the “printed fun” promised in the name.  See, each pastry hosts a scene of a smiling creature frolicking in winter, be it kittens skiing or a penguin flipping you the bird (I assume… it’s hard to tell without fingers), or most bizarrely, a snowman bobsled team sporting two of Jamaica’s three national colors, suggesting someone at Kellogg’s has a sly sense of humor and a fondness for Cool Runnings.

Kellogg's Limited Edition Printed Fun Frosted Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts PrintThe polar bear is skating rather than enjoying a cool, refreshing Coca-Cola, missing out on a golden opportunity for cross-promotion if you ask me, but then food blogging’s gain was the marketing world’s loss, obviously.  Anyway, they’re… well, they’re cute.  It’s not like kids needed an extra incentive to eat warm rectangles of sugar and fat, but they fit the holiday theme and allow you the chance to bite a seal’s head off without going to jail, so there’s that.

I unapologetically kind of dig these.  I should probably be annoyed by the excessive cuteness of the printed images, far more saccharine than anything contained within the pastry itself.  But… well, it’s the holiday season.  If there’s ever a time to refrain from mocking overly sentimental things, minus the last five paragraphs, this is probably it.  They taste good and pretty similar to actual sugar cookies, the printed images will appeal to their intended audience of children and me, and they can be used as a last-minute gift in a pinch, if it turns out your girlfriend doesn€™t find the “Dick in a Box” skit as hilarious as you do.  Overall, as shameless holiday tie-ins go, they’re definitely among the better ones.

(Nutritional Info – 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, 200 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein)

Item: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Printed Fun Frosted Sugar Cookie Pop-Tarts
Price: $3.39
Size: 21.2 oz/12 toaster pastries
Purchased at: Acme
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: (Mostly) taste like sugar cookies.  Delicious filling.  Abundant frosting.  Affordable price.  Cute animal images.  Keeping it simple.  Some of the foil word balloons.
Cons: The element of surprise in Pop-Tarts.  Atsa lotta sugar!  Missed marketing opportunities.  Overly cutesy.  Most of the foil word balloons.

VIDEO REVIEW: Wildlicious Frosted Wild! Strawberry Pop-Tarts

Yes, another Pop-Tarts review, but this time it’s in video form.

This is our 24th Pop-Tarts review and it’s also TIB’s 1,000th review overall.

WOO HOO!

I’d like to thank TIB’s past and present writers, who have helped this quasi-product review blog achieve this milestone. But we wouldn’t have reached this milestone if it weren’t for all of you who read our words (and watch our occasional videos). Because, seriously, if no one read this blog, I would’ve allowed it to join the millions of dead blogs floating around on the internet.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy TIB’s 1,000th review.

Notes: