Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Recipe: Larfleeze's Orange Lantern Cookies

In 2010 DC released the Larfleeze Christmas special:

That issue contained a recipe for "Lafleeze's Orange Lantern Cookies." So, like any normal person, I not only made the recipe, I shot video of the process. Enjoy:



Here's the recipe if you'd like to try it our yourself:


Merry Larfmas!




Monday, November 26, 2012

Finger Food

[Insert blog-starting "Play with your food" joke here]

So, yeah, Marvel Gummy Candy Finger Puppets...my jaw hit the floor at the Dollar Store the other day when I stumbled across these little beauties.

Looks like a pretty straightforward premise:
  1. Insert fingers in puppets
  2. Perform your favorite Tennessee Williams play starring edible finger puppet versions of your favorite Marvel Heroes
  3. Eat the puppets off your fingers one by one as you pretend to be Galactus (Warning: It's not recommended that you consume any part of your actual hand.)
Let's do the roll call:

The Marvel box has the usual "movie gang": Spider-Man, Iron Man, Wolverine and the Hulk. Yep, it's the Marvel Universe's cool kids table. No surprises here.

Although I will compliment them on the sculpts. Sure it's not action figure quality but "gummy" is a difficult medium and these guys look pretty good.

And, of course, not content to just be a part of the "Marvel Heroes" lineup, you-know-who gets his own box. And you might notice his box has the same "Spider Sense Spider-Man" label as those boring Spider-Man Strawberry Licorice Webs from awhile back.

Poses are also a little questionable. The two middle fingers have standard Spidey stances but the one on the index finger looks like he's just standing there and the one on my pinky looks like he's stretching after a good night's sleep. But Spider-Man's an elder statesman in the candy world so he can get away with stuff like that.

But you'd never see Captain America trying to pull that crap.

UPDATE: Check it out: They're on a cake!




Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Geek Squad

I know I'm probably going to sound like John, the owner of Cockamamie's Collectibles Shop, but don't you just love the graphics on this box?


I mean really, it looks like something you'd get at Toys 'R' Us that would be filled with any number of outstanding superhero playthings and whatnot. I mean, look at it...LOOK AT IT, DAMMIT!!!

Marvel's Super Hero Squad finally decided to get serious about superheroing and release some fruit snacks. While this may not be the first time that Thor and Captain America have shared time on a fruits snacks box, I'm pretty sure it's the first SHS foray into the grocery aisles, thereby edging out their DC Super Friend cousins in the "Wow-My-Eight-Year-Old Attention-Span-Really-Groks-These-Super-Sweet-Goodies" category and buries the needle on the "Please-Mom-Can-We-Get-These-O-Meter."


Multi-colored, multi-shaped...yep, it's everything you could want out of your Super Hero Squad Fruit Snacks. It may be hard to tell from the picture below but I assume that's everybody:


What do you mean some of them are blurry? Look, I'm not your mother. Go take your own fruit snack pictures.

Not so easy, is it?


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Green Tea

Once again I'm a little late to the party but after a few special orders I finally tracked down these bad boys:


The Brisk Green Lantern Green tea was a promotional tie-in with the 2011 movie and features Kenneth Rocafort art (who is currently on the Outsiders Red Hood & the Outlaws title...I'd love to get him to sign a can) with Hal, Sinestro, Kilowog and Tomar Re! (Once again Jack T. Chance and Bzzd get screwed over.)


It may seem odd to some people that I've had these in my grubby little hands since Saturday and, despite having plenty to spare, I've had absolutely no desire to drink one. I'm not a big tea drinker to begin with and the "Mango Dragonfruit" flavor isn't terribly appealing to me.

I really just got them to add to my super hero food collection so I only need one (maybe two). So does anybody want ten cans of Green Lantern tea?

At the time the movie came out I was hyped up about the tea (more so than the movie) but had difficulty finding it so I had to settle for the next best thing: inputting a code online (as I've done so many times before) with the weak expectation of winning a prize.

[SPOILER ALERT: I didn't win]


So after finishing my bag of Doritos and inputting as much of my personal information as they could as for, I was rewarded with this message:



I "won" a "free" Green Lantern "digital" "comic" (man, that's a lot of quotation marks). And here it is for for viewing "pleasure":



Underwhelmed? We all are.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Mystery of the Captain America Fruit Snacks

Not surprisingly, it took a big budget movie to finally launch Captain America's fruit snack career. Say what you will about Batman, but he's at a point where he can launch a new line of fruit snacks at the drop of a hat. Movie, schmovie.

But Cap is a little newer to the grocery aisles and I say it's about time. His very first foray into the world of dextrose gum and high fructose corn syrup looked a little like this:



Eye-catching packaging and the allure of four different fruit flavors made this thing practically jump off the shelf and into my shopping cart. But the more I delved into the world of Captain America Fruit Snacks, the more I realized this was more than a superfluous grocery item. It's a Da Vinci Code-esque box of clues, riddles and misdirects, most noticeably symbolized by the the maze etched onto Cap's iconic shield. Seems easy enough...or is it?


Well ok, it is fairly easy, as most "back of the box" mazes are, but look towards the bottom:


"Can you help find the missing items?" it says. That's a lot of different stylized A's. Why so many? One assumes that you are supposed to find them there on the back (it's not like they're hidden very well...you can see that shield with wings right there). And the answer key on the inside of the box indicates that as well.

But I'm not content to just accept easy answers. I want long, drawn out, insanely convoluted answers! That's what years of reading comics will do to you.


So I keep going back to the multiple A's. Since when do marketers want multiple logos?!? Since never! So I choose to believe that this is a clue! Not about
Captain America: The First Avenger but perhaps the future of the franchise!  Multiple Caps?  Winter Soldier?

As always, look to the candy for answers:



Check out who makes a pretty hefty appearance in these co-called "Captain America" Fruit Snacks:


Wha?!? That's Thor! And his hammer! And a lightning bolt which I assume pertains to Thor (god of thunder and all that...). Fifty percent of the gummies are about Thor. Yet he doesn't get double billing on the box. That means something! Something's going on here! But what? Trouble in Avengers Mansion?

I was so worked up by this I ate the entire box. This did not lead to any insights but rather a slightly bloated, nauseous feeling...which I assume also means something. I think it means I need to go lie down.


But I'll be back...



Thursday, November 8, 2012

Morning in America

Another summer blockbuster, another promotional tie-in. The best kind of tie-ins involve promotional food of some sort and so the Dunkin' Donuts Captain America Coolatta from last year didn't disappoint.


It looks like Dunkin' Donuts is trying to one up 7-Eleven when it comes to super hero collectible cups because they work thrice (it's a word) as hard and incorporate three different flavors into their Captain America tri-sectioned cup (which is what I'm guessing it's called).

Three flavors, "red," white" and "blue" come with the collectible cup which keeps them separated until you ultimately excrete them! Yum!


They also get extra points for not only offering a Captain America donut with red, white and blue sprinkles but also going to the extra effort of making it in the shape of a star...kind of. So it's kind of reminiscent of the Hulk dount from a few years ago but with a little extra effort thrown in.


But the roughness of the shape is more than made up for with the jelly filling...red like the Red Skull...I guess.

This coincided with the Captain America Super Swirl Flavor and and special Cap & HYDRA Sundaes at Baskin Robbins (and I guess the movie too) but when I went to get some the girl there said she didn't know how to make them. So screw them! They'll have to do without the added publicity of the four people who read this blog (hi, mom)!

And just in case you haven't seen it, here's the super-cool, extended cut of the Captain America Dunkin' Donuts commercial:



Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cup Capes

I'm probably a little behind on this. Recently the internet welcomed the arrival of Hostess Green Lantern GloBalls and Flash Cakes. As soon as I heard about them my only mission in life was to obtain them.

For some horrible reason Hostess decided not to sell them in my area so once again I had to turn to eBay for validation. Anyway, a couple of bids later and they are now mine:

Reminiscent of the Hulk Cakes from a few years ago, these dessert treats apparently tie in with the release of Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. How exactly do Green Lantern & Flash tasty treats tie in with that particular DVD? Who knows and who cares?

I'm just happy to finally have some super hero food that features someone other than Supes, Bats or Spidey on it.

Let's start with GL:

As you probably guessed, Green Lanter GloBalls are remarkably similar to the regular Hostess Snoballs: a marshmallow coating covering a cream filled chocolate cake. Except that these are green! Just like the green constructs that Green Lantern creates in order to fight evil. Awesome!

And now for the Flash:

So, here we have modified chocolate cupcakes with red icing and yellow sprinkles. That's more than enough justification for me.

So there you have it. I like to think of this as a giant step forward for second string characters who hope to break into the grocery store genre. If all goes well, hopefully, we will soon see Aquaman Canned Tuna, Plastic Man Pretzels and Booster Gold Potted Meat Food Product.

And that would be a beautiful thing.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Spider-Cereal: A Retrospective

Many superheroes have made appearances in the breakfast cereal genre but none have made their presence known during the most important meal of the day like our own friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. And today we take a moment to appreciate his early morning accomplishments...


Its hard to imagine now, but there was a time when the only way to get your Spider-Man fix was through animated means. And what goes better with cartoons than cereal?


While the Fox Kids Spider-Man cartoon from the 1990s was somewhat flawed it was often engaging, so much so that it was captured in marshmallow form for all posterity.


Various spider themed marshmallow shapes shared the bowl with Chex which I would imagine symbolize spider webs. The marshmallow shapes range from interesting (the Kingpin) to slightly less thrilling (Peter Parker's camera).

This was all fine and good and in the midst of the Clone Saga we were happy to have some classic Spider-Man as a part of our balanced breakfast but things were bound to change. We didn' know what we were missing because several years later...along came Tobey...

The first Spider-Man movie brought another cereal into our lives. This time it was a Kellogg's production that included a custom web shaped Spider-Berry flavor. I don't know what Spider-Berries taste like but judging from appearances I would imagine that they are similar to Crunch Berries.

The mystery behind the Spider-Berries can be investigated via this behind the scenes footage provided by Kellogg's:


Hopefully that peek behind the curtain will provide enough momentum to sail past the underwhelming Spider-Man 2 cereal.


It's not that there's anything wrong with Spider-Man 2 cereal, its just that it's the same cereal in a new box. I like to think they just decided not to fix something that wasn't broke. At least they made a bit of an effort by adding various puzzles to the back of the box.

Its a practice that General Mills kept when they got their shot at Spider-Man 3 Cereal.

They did away with any pretense of relevant spider shapes and went with the full on Spider-Berry/Crunch Berry motif.  I was perfectly happy with this turn of events but the powers that be want what they want...and that means reboot!


Yes, a new Spider-Man necessitates a new cereal.  And this one wasn't kidding around as evidenced by the return of marshmallows!  It took almost 20 years to bring back marshmallows to a Spider-Man cereal but there they are staring back at you from your bowl. 

So far these are the only Spider-Man cereals to exist and yet I know it won't be long until we welcome ol' web head back to breakfast once again.  Until then, I still hold my candlelight vigil in my breakfast nook every morning waiting for my Iron Man Crunch.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fantasticakes (ugh...sorry for that title)

The 50th anniversary of the Fantastic Four was recently celebrated in some awesome ways and some horrible ways. One of the more questionable anniversary celebrations came in cake form as one of comics' oldest super teams was immortalized in fondant in an episode of Food Network's Last Cake Standing.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like cake. (I do. Really.) And it's not even that I don't like Last Cake Standing. It's a great Sunday afternoon distraction while you wait for whatever is coming on HBO later that evening.

The artisans who compete generally produce some amazing confectionery creations but this episode's fare was a little difficult to digest. I guess it's as hard to adapt the Fantastic Four into the medium of cake as it is to adapt them into the medium of film.

If it seems like I was a little disappointed in the FF cakes then, congratulations! You have reading comprehension skills! So instead of taking you through the painstaking process of making crappy Fantastic Four cakes we'll just skip to the end and take a look at the results.

Let's start with "Team Jason" (by the way they split up in teams for this challenge):


Sadly, this is the best of the bunch. It was complimented by the judges for including 5 figures but all I can see is four: Reed, the Super Skrull, a very tiny Ben (barely visible under Reed) and below the Skrull is Sue with this expression:


I choose to believe that she is just really, really surprised about something. I assume the flames are coming from the Skrull but I guess that could be Johnny. Let's see what the judges had to say about Team Jason's second cake.


Holy crap! Is that Tom Brevoort?!? He's one of the judges for this week's competition! That's kind of cool!

Anyway, back to the horrible cakes...I don't know if anyone saw a shoddily sculpted Sliver Surfer flying around but he must have been there somewhere to herald the coming of...Galactus!


It's hard to have that menacing, apocalyptic feeling when the city Galactus is about to eat looks like a set piece from "Cats." Also, hey look, the Silver Surfer IS there! He's not quite as well hidden as the Thing was on the previous cake but but he's definitely easy to miss. Someone get him a red and white striped shirt and a walking stick.


"The Devourer of Worlds" or just a "Grumpy Gus"? It also looks like his funky hat is broken.

So it looks like "Team Richard" (that's the other team) has it all wrapped up, right? They'd have to essentially just puke in a baking pan in order to lose, right? Right?


I really don't mean to be overly harsh. I know making cakes is difficult and so is sculpting. My question is: if you want to do an homage to the Fantastic Four then why not include the Fantastic Four? Sure we all like the Hulk (I assume that's the Hulk...or maybe Shrek) and the Hulk v. Thing fight is very iconic but very often the Hulk is more trouble than he's worth.

In the comics he constantly causes problems and it seems that in the real world he's also a headache. You can see why in this clip:


Oh, Hulk...you minx. Not only are you falling down on the job you are also making unwanted(?) advances on your opponent:


Maybe it was just a good luck kiss. That sounds like something the Hulk would do. I wish the rest of the FF could be here to see this. Well I'm sure they'll all be on the next cake.


Nevermind. It's just the Thing punching Dr. Doom. And it looks like the thing's head is also on top of that black box thing. In a blog entry full of assumptions I'm also just going to assume that that is a very specific comic reference. If it's not, don't tell me. If it is, don't tell me.

Man, Team Richard LOVES the Thing. And they love it when he punches people. Either that or they just don't have a lot of ideas.

Anyhoo, skip to the end and the winner was...Team Jason!

Yea? I guess?

Well, as they say on "The Next Iron Chef," even great chefs can have bad days. I'm hoping that by the FF's next monumental anniversary the world's cake making technology and techniques will have advanced enough to truly do the World's Greatest Comic Magazine justice.

(By the way, all images are property of Food Network)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Gumption

It's the bane of elementary school teachers, the scourge of the dental industry and the arch nemesis of the entire janitorial industry. And yet it still remains stuck underneath our desks and our hearts.

It. Is. Bubble Gum.


And like most things it can be improved with the addition of super heroes. Not convinced? Then it seems a demonstration is in order.


Have you ever seen a perfectly ordinary item but instead of the "King's English," the package contains Japanese writing? That little tweak to the mundane just blows your mind, right?

No?


Well, anyway, here's some Japanese Batman Gum:


According to Lex Luthor there are some people that can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe. Personally I'm having a hard time with this particular wrapper.

Not too long ago (maybe the mid-90's), a trip to your favorite comic book store to pick up your favorite X-Men title could have ended with a celebratory piece of your new favorite gum.

I'm not sure if X-Men gum was meant to be given out for free with the purchase of an X-Men comic or if it was meant to be sold but I am sure of two things:

1. It is awesome

2. Each piece came with a free tattoo!


It may be hard to tell from the picture but the tattoo that came with this sacrificed piece of gum is Magneto. I meticulously followed the instruction to apply it to my hand but I guess after fifteen years on the shelf, temporary tattoos lose their vibrancy.

So I'll forgo posting a picture of my non-tattooed hand.


The passage of time may obliterate tattoo ink but it makes the gum itself rock hard. Which only seems appropriate for gum with a pseudo-clever "rock" theme. Luckily we have some of that too:


Krypton Bubble Gum leaps over tall buildings in a single bound in order to reach its premise of "rocks" as "gum". The obvious question being: If you go with the "krypton rock" motif then why not call it Kryptonite Gum? I don't have any answers for you but I can tell you that they certainly do look like rocks.

And since they're from 1976 they now taste like rocks. You'd have to be a man of steel to chew these and keep your jaw intact.

Moving ahead a few years and to a different company, 1979 gave us gum alternatives in the form of your favorite Marvel heroes.


Staying true to the Marvel "House Gum Style," these also came with free temporary tattoos but since I don't have any character duplicates then you don't get to see any. No vintage Marvel gum gets unwrapped today.

But don't look so smug, Spider-Man. You just barely dodged a bullet. (Seriously, I've got his face plastered on everything.)


And so we are right back where we started. We all know that gum is fun. And we all know that tubes are fun. So it doesn't take the world's greatest detective to figure out that gum in a tube is twice as fun.


The late 80's and early 90's were the golden age for Batman merchandising. It even got to the point where the only idea they had left was to put chewing gum in a squeezable tube. Genius or madness? Or both? Or neither? You be the judge.

So what have we learned today? Perhaps that your regular chewing gum is boring? Maybe Lex Luthor was onto something when it came to unlocking the secrets of the universe? Or maybe you should just spit out your gum and get back to work on that death ray.