What exactly is Franken Berry? What label should we apply, beyond the basic "monster"? Is he a zombie? No, a zombie is a single, ravenous, reanimated corpse. Franken Berry, if we follow the logical inspiration, is an amalgam of body parts built around the dead mind of someone a mad scientist once loved. A brained damaged beyond repair, forced back into consciousness by science without direction or purpose, lashing out against the meaninglessness of it all. He is what happens when a memory that should fade is held onto too tightly for too long.
He was one of the first recruits into General Mill's monster army, and one of the longest-lasting. The living dead excel in the battle for this complete breakfast, even if they have a head that looks like a freshly-spanked ass.
The good General did a fairly good job getting Franken Berry cleaned up for public consumption. His grey, cold flesh painted a bright pink hue, stitches and various bits of rot covered up with items raided from one of the Steampunk tables in the DragonCon dealers' room (they're all pretty much Steampunk tables). He has a steam whistle in his head. A steam whistle.
Franken Berry was a terrifying testament to the evil lurking in the darkened corners of scientific study. Now he's a pink Steampunk creature with an ass for a head.
I cannot stress that last part enough. What makes his cranium even more amazing is the fact that when the cereal was initially released, there was a rash of children being brought to the hospital because their stool had turned bright pink. They called it "Franken Berry Stool." Seriously.
Not in this day and age, however. Society frowns on foods that color our children's poop, so the pigmentation was changed, and our droppings went back to normal.
Perhaps that change is why Franken Berry's strawberry taste isn't quite as profound as it once was. Or maybe every thing was just so much more intense back when I was a child. Either way, I prefer the way Franken Berry tastes in my brain-mouth to the weak and fleeting strawberry flavor of today's version.
Still, Franken Berry has always been my favorite variety. I like pink, and it is pink. I love the taste of strawberry flavoring (not necessarily strawberries by themselves, but things meant to taste like them). It has that. And it is still the cereal most likely to give you an orgasm when mixed with strawberry Quik.
The witching hour is almost at hand, and so our Snacktaku Monster Cereals Review Spooktacular comes to a close. Thank you all for coming, watching, reading, and eating along with this trip down this shadowy, sinister memory lane. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I am going to be sick from eating sugar-infused cereal for days.
Snacktaku is Kotaku's take on the wild and wonderful world of eating things, but not eating meals. Eating meals is for those with too much time on their hands. Past critiques can be found at the Snacktaku review archive.