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IN-DEPTH REPORT: Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts

Posted on Friday, April 28th, 2006

Dave!Ever since I read that Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts are being released over at Timothy's blog, I've wanted them. Days of searching at local grocery stores turned up nothing, and so I started telling everybody I know to help me look. My Hello-Kitty Pop-Tart search eventually involved a dozen people in four states. Finally, after I had reached suicidal-levels of despair that I would never find Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts, my mom found them at the local Fred Meyer (hey, you really do "find it at Freddies!").

Behold the grandeur that is Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts...

Hellokittypoptarts1

BACKGROUND: I've long held a fascination with Hello Kitty, but not in the way you are probably thinking (i.e., I don't have my bedroom decorated in Hello Kitty merchandise, nor do I wear Hello Kitty clothing). Nope, my obsession stems from two things: 1) My love of Japan from my travels there, and 2) The elegant simplicity that defines the "Hello Kitty Look". As you might guess, Hello Kitty was a big influence when creating my cartoon persona...

Davehellokitty

HISTORY: Hello Kitty was created in 1974 by Sanrio graphic designer Ikuko Shimizu as one in a line of several "characters" for the company. Her popularity eventually escalated her to near cult status, and she is easily one of the most well-known Japanese exports of the last couple of decades. Remaining popular both in Japan and abroad, Hello Kitty can be found on everything from toys and stationery to toilet paper and vibrators. There is some question as to whether Hello Kitty was inspired by Dutch cartoon icon "Miffy" (created 1955 by Dick Bruna), but most people have written this off as a coincidence.

ASSOCIATES: Hello Kitty is often found in the company of her many friends, including Cathy the bunny, Tim & Tammy the monkeys, Tippy the bear, and (ironically) her pet cat Charmmy Kitty. Hello Kitty's full name is "Kitty White", and she has a twin sister name "Mimmy".

PACKAGING: Hello Kitty "Meow-Berry" Pop-Tarts are made by Kelloggs, and is just one out of dozens of Pop-Tart flavors. They are sold in boxes of twelve and are conveniently foil-wrapped in six two-packs. They weigh-in at 22 ounces and you can buy a box for under $3.00. In addition to the front panel (shown above), there is also a game on the back...

Hellokittypoptarts2

Colorful, and well-rendered in Hello Kitty Style, it's a search puzzle to locate as many bows as you can find. The answer is printed inside the carton, and I ended up missing two because they were so small or obscured as to be unrecognizable. Faithful to the Hello Kitty brand, and an eye-catcher on store shelves, I give the packaging an A-.

APPEARANCE: From the box, it appears that Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts are decorated in her signature pink color and sprinkled with miniature candies in the shape of Hello Kitty, bows, and flowers. The reality is a bit disappointing...

Kittytarts

Instead of a festive pink frosting, it's kind of a purple-ish pink that's not very appetizing. Instead of the icing being neatly centered on the pastry, it was smeared off to one side. The generous assortment of candy sprinkles shown on the box were nothing more than a few scattered bits. In short, the product looked nothing like what I was expecting. If it had even remotely resembled what was on the box, I would have been much happier. But, alas, I give the actual product a D- for looks.

TASTE: Pop-Tarts are an acquired taste that not everybody enjoys. I happen to love them. My only criticism is that the pastry dough is dense and gummy when chewed... forming a kind of nasty paste. You have to be careful that you always have plenty of filling with each bite so that the crap pastry doesn't ruin your dining experience. The flavor advertised is "Meow-Berry" which is explained to be a "wild berry filling". Tasting it, I get a good sense of berry flavor, though trying to figure out which berries are in the mix is fairly difficult. I definitely taste strawberry... and probably some kind of raspberry or blackberry... perhaps a hint of blueberry... but nothing definite can be discerned. Overall I give the product a B for taste, considering we're talking about Pop-Tarts here.

OVERALL RATING: This product had such high potential, but really fell short in the appearance department. This is really bad news for a food item, and cuts the final score down to a C+. If Kelloggs could find a way to improve the look of Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts, they'd jump to a B+ or A- easy. Overall, I am giving them a cautious recommendation. If you like Pop-Tarts, these are worth a try. If you don't like Pop-Tarts, the Hello Kitty Meow-Berry variety will not change your mind.


Categories: DaveToons 2006, Food 2006Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Tonya says:

    Just looking at those makes my teeth hurt :P

  2. adena says:

    Batman legos and Hello Kitty pop-tarts….

    I have no words.

  3. Nicole says:

    Ahhhhh…Hello Kitty. I used to love all the Sanrio stuff (an secretly still do). When I was young (oh so long ago) there was a Sanrio store in our local mall. It was my favorite store in the entire world and I still think of it fondly.

    If Timothy and I had known how much you yearned for Hello Kitty Pop Tarts, we would have gladly have sent you some. I have to admit I haven’t tried them yet, although I do love Pop Tarts and Hello Kitty.

  4. timothy says:

    Yay!!! I’m glad you found them. Even though they only scored an average grade, you have to admit that seeing the purrrty pink box with our favorite bow-wearing kitty gives you a warm fuzzy each time you open the pantry.

    My favorite Pop Tarts flavor is strawberry, and I prefer the unfrosted ones. The Meow Berry is reminiscent of strawberry, and the crunchy sprinkles remind me of eating birthday cake. I’m sorry that you had a bad sprinlkes and frosting experience. Mine was not disappointing.

  5. Sayuri says:

    Just when I think you can’t get any cuter Dave!!

  6. Eve says:

    I had a little Hello Kitty stamper the size of a nickel when I was 9, I used to stamp it all over my correspondences (back when you had to write to your friends by hand, then mail it to them in a self-addressed stamped envelope). It was super cute.

    Now, let’s talk about Pop Tarts. Honestly, they kind of taste like crap, don’t they? But any child of the ’70s knows that these little toaster pastries were the greatest things ever back then. Sugar in a square, breakfast approved! Oh the glory of it all. Back when sugar was acceptable, especially in the morning! (Remember Sugar Corn Pops and Sugar Snaps?)

    But really now, Pop Tarts, just not the same anymore. They had to have changed the recipe or something. And the photo of the HK variety — ack! That is seriously sad, so sad I laughed my ass off when I saw it. The packaging is cute, though, but I guess it’s gotta be with such a lame looking product.

  7. James D. says:

    I need to buy a toaster.

  8. mikey says:

    After laughing at the Hello Kitty Vibrator, I couldn’t read the rest of your posting.

  9. Mooselet says:

    Pop Tarts are better un-toasted. I used to take them camping and could go through a box easily. I also ate cold Chef Boyardee ravioli out of the can so I didn’t have to cook it.

    My favourite Pop Tart flavour was the chocolate frosted. Yummy.

  10. Firda says:

    Um, I think I’ll stick with my favourite Canadian snack, Passion Flakie (a.k.a. Vachon Creme Filled Pastries in the States). So good! You should try it if you haven’t.

    I grew up with Sanrio characters. I’ve completely grown out of Hello Kitty & Friends. :P

  11. LarryB says:

    I wonder if Hello Kitty Pop Tarts are optimized for use in Hello Kitty Toasters? http://www.toaster.org/hellokitty.html

  12. Bec says:

    Pink sugary joy! Pop tarts! I am HUGELY doubted I’ll be able to find the HK version but I am so wanting something loaded with sugar right now… and the local 24hour garage had no coke with lime… the limited edition couldn’t be that limited right? The advert is still on the TV!
    First bus to the supermarket in an hour and a half… and then ridiculously unhealthy junk ood will be mine!

  13. RW says:

    I shall now betray my grandpa-ness and ask… the third picture from the top… on the left side… is that bunny… is… that… bunny… Miffy?

    Yes I have a two year old grand-daughter ok!??!

  14. nancycle says:

    After enjoying and taking care of a fifteen year old Japanese student for three weeks in my home, I TOTALLY get the whole Hello Kitty, Japanese graphic perspective dealio.

    But more importantly, I really-really want a pop-tart right now.

    Blog On.

  15. karla says:

    I love pop tarts. I always bring some back to Norway with me. They are (one of) my comfort food.

    I only eat them hot and toasted however. And I never get them if they don’t have icing. Cold pop tarts taste like berry flavored cardboard. You are right. They could be so much better.

    Like…toaster struedel. Yum….

  16. MRKisThatKid says:

    So how many bows are there? I counted 20

  17. Nicola says:

    Am I the only one that’s counted up the bows on the back of the pack? From the picture on this post, I can see 15… am I right??

    Pop-tarts aren’t really that popular here, our local supermarket only stocks maybe 2 or 3 flavours…

  18. Nicola says:

    Oh man, now I’m seeing 17 of these bows… Dave2, put me out of my misery, how many bows are there???

  19. Nicola says:

    16, there are 16 bows and that’s my final answer, I don’t need to phone a friend or ask the audience.

  20. Neil T. says:

    Is that an artificial duck you’re holding there, Dave? :)

    (really wants a Zombies ate my Brain t-shirt)

  21. Challen says:

    Is it just me or does the fact that when you put something in a toaster with frosting and the frosting doesn’t melt or come off seem sort of wrong?? Still Tasty!

  22. kilax says:

    I can’t believe I just read a whole review over poptarts. You crack me up, Dave.

    I love poptarts – my favorite are the brown sugar. Yum yum…

  23. shannon says:

    I was a child of the 80’s and I find it amusing that all the popular toys that were around when I was growing up (Hello Kitty, Care Bears, Cabbage Patch Kids, My Little Pony, etc…) have made a huge comeback and are now popular again. I think they disappeared in the nineties (or I was just no longer paying attention) but now I have a three year old who worships the same characters I used to. If I wanted to save a ridiculous amount of money in toys, I would go over to my parent’s house and unbox all of my old toys (and my brother’s) that they have stored in their attic. I’m just far too lazy to go through almost three decades of stuff my parents have never thrown away. I would like to have my old Hello Kitty lunchbox again though. That was awesome.

  24. ~jtm says:

    Here’s my guilty pop tart pleasure…warm out of the toaster oven with some butter on top. Pure artery clogging bliss right there!

  25. Juli says:

    I can’t wait to read about the Kitty Spangles vs. Hello Kitty Cat Fight! MEEEOW!!!

  26. Kevin says:

    Oh. My. God.

    I… I… yeah.

    I must admit, though, that I never realized the Hello Kitty influence on DaveToons until this post. It just never dawned on me.

    I guess I’ll make sure to have some of these around when you’re in Chicago in June and July. Will that guarantee that you’ll drop me a line? Oh, that and the promise of Giordano’s?

  27. Grins says:

    I remember Hello Kitty from my days living in Japan as well. Thought it was hilarious when I saw her pop up in the states several years later. But I’ll have to stick with the brown sugar cinnamon poptarts when the evil things call my name.

  28. Dave2 says:

    For those who simply must know, here’s the Hello Kitty puzzle answer…

    Hello Kitty Puzzle Answer

  29. Dave2 says:

    Tonya: They are quite sweet, yes. I usually eat the unfrosted variety, so it took some getting used to!

    Adena: That’s probably a good thing… I’d like to keep my ego intact! :-)

    Nicole: I was beginning to think that I needed to get a ticket to American Samoa in order to find my Pop-Tarts (hey, I have plenty of frequent flier miles!). Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts are definitely two good things in one box!

    Timothy: A-HA! HERE’S THE GUY TO BLAME FOR MY HELLO KITTY POP-TART OBSESSION! :-) I too prefer the unfrosted strawberry flavor (though recently I’ve been really into Hot Fudge Sundae Pop-Tarts). I don’t mind any of the fruit flavors (it’s the cinnamon, maple, French Toast, and those type flavors I avoid). Hopefully my second box of tarts will have a better frosting and sprinkle experience!

    Chanakin: I’m a vegetarian and have never eaten “cat” so I’ll have to take your work for it. I am a bit surprised that cat tastes like berries though…

    Sayuri: Awww… that’s the cartoon me you’re thinking of, right?

    Eve: I still buy Sugar Pops and Sugar Smacks from time to time… though my favorite cereal is Peanut Butter Captain Crunch, so it’s been a while since I’ve had either. Actually, this just goes to show that goodness is built right in when “sugar” is in the name! I’ve come to expect that products will rarely look like they are portrayed on the packaging… but my Pop-Tarts were really sad. Maybe I got a bad batch? I guess we’ll find out when I open my second box.

    James: Toast is one of the bestest foods ever, and having a toaster is more important than toilet paper!

    Mikey: Next time I mention vibrators in my entry, I’ll save them for last!

    Mooselet: I can’t eat them cold… my Pop-Tarts must be warmed so that the filling is gooey and the pastry is a little less pasty. If you like chocolate-frosted… you MUST try the new and delicious Hot Fudge Sundae, which is AMAZING. Somehow it really does kind of taste like chocolate sauce on vanilla ice cream!

    Firda: Oh yes… I had Passion Flakie when I was in Ottawa (I think). They were excellent. Of course, I have never had any Vachon snack that was bad… they’re all terrific, and I wish I could find them where I live.

    Larry: Ah yes. The toaster that burns a Hello Kitty face on your toast… classic! Though i’m not sure how that would work for Pop-Tarts. The frosting might react badly to the design being burned in?

    Bec: I’m responsible for unhealthy dietary habits now? That is so awesome! :-)

  30. Dave2 says:

    RW: Nope. That’s Hello Kitty’s friend Cathy Bunny. But they look very similar…

    Miffy

    Nancycle: Any time is a good time for a Pop-Tart, so toast on!

    Karla: Toaster Strudel always gives me heartburn, and I have no idea why. Kind of sad, really, because I like the taste okay. :-(

    MRK: I think there is 18 total. I’ll put the answer up in another comment.

    Nicola: Oooh… I won’t wait… I’ll go take a picture of the answer and put it up right now. No need to be tortured by Hello Kitty!

    Neil: Nope… I think that’s an artificial chick! Zombie shirt pre-orders will go on sale today… I’ll send you a $10 off coupon. :-)

    Challen: It does kind of make me wonder what the flame-retardant frosting does to your stomach lining, yes. Oooh. Probably best not to think about it! :-)

    Shannon: My favorite toys growing up were always Lego. They’ve never gone out of style, but they sure have changed since I was a kid!

    JTM: Oh yes… I butter the unfrosted Pop-Tarts too. Delicious because your tart then becomes salty-sweet!

    Juli: CAT-FIGHT!! I dare say that Hello Kitty would probably win such a fight, because her legal backing at Sanrio must be incredible! :-)

    Kevin: I tried not to copy Hello Kitty Style exactly, but I’ve always loved the clean lines that her characters have, and it’s reflected in my own cartoons. Giordanos? Seriously, I am so there. :-)

    Grins: I love visiting the Sanrio stores in Japan. Scary and fascinating at the same time! They are usually fairly large, which is a surprising change from most Japanese stores, which are quite small. I’m not a big fan of the cinnamon or maple Pop-Tarts…they always seem over-flavored to me. Of course, given how bad the pastry tastes, this is probably a good thing! :-)

  31. Harold says:

    Actually Dave, Pop Tarts were invented in Ireland many years ago…My Grandma had the family recipe and would fry them up in a pan . She called them Fry Tarts…
    Dave enstead of popping them in a toaster, try throwing them in a fry pan and grill to perfection.

  32. Dave2 says:

    Yes, but according to you, EVERYTHING was invented in Ireland! I wonder what frying a Pop-Tart would do to the frosting? If my kitchen catches on fire, I’m blaming you, and know where to find you! :-)

  33. Nicola says:

    Phrrrrt. I didn’t get the green one above the fish bowl, or the one on the back of the toy train…. Beaten by the poptarts.. oh dear.

  34. Dave2 says:

    Hah! You are SO Hello Kitty’s bitch!

    But aren’t we all? :-)

    If it’s any consolation, those are the exact same two that I missed.

  35. RW says:

    Ok… Cathy Bunny. Whew… I thought I was going insane there for a minute.

  36. Bec says:

    Unhealthy dietary habits, spending more time in front of the TV, having to find space for my bucket of Lego and, oh so may other things I blame on you… You, and my total lack of will power…

  37. Randy says:

    SOME years ago, in my university days…breakfast consisted always consisted of chocolate fudge or strawberry Pop-Tarts and a glass of milk.

    Of course now I understand why I got the shakes half-way through the morning and don’t eat them anymore…

    But it is good to see that they are continuing to keep up with the times.

    This was a very fun/feel-good blog entry!
    : )

  38. ms. sizzle says:

    confession: i have never eaten a pop tart. ever.

  39. adena says:

    I don’t think I’ve stuck a pop-tart in the toaster in quite a few years….they’ve always been eaten sans toasting. (Partly because that filling gets nuclear hot, and with me, that equals near disaster.)

  40. Nicola says:

    Aww Dave2, I feel better knowing I’m in such good company…

  41. Pauly D says:

    I don’t care what kind of POP TARTS they are, I will eat them all.

  42. Tink says:

    OMG…i need some Hello Kitty Pop Tarts!!!… I love Hello Kitty…and BTW Dave your already high approval rating with me just went through the roof…you really ARE the shit.

  43. apryl says:

    my Spongebob Pop Tarts were pretty tasty. with a strong cup of coffee, who needs cream & sugar? the Pop Tarts have it all!

  44. LLA says:

    Hey there – my friend Phil thought that I would enjoy your blog* since he noticed that we are both fans of the Hello Kitty PopTart.

    *and he was right, I am enjoying it a great deal – keep up the good work!

  45. Challen says:

    Hooray for old schools toys! I’d take barrels of Legos and make forts for my GIJoe. I love those little fake trees! Unfortunately it took nearly all of my Legos to build something big enough! Oh, if anyone wants to sell their toys give me a hollar!

  46. Christie says:

    I have 4 boxes in the cupboard!!!! I wish I had read your blog sooner. I would have sent you a box. My girls saw Hello Kitty and had to have them. LOL.

  47. Belinda says:

    My spouse just TOTALLY does not get the crucial and delicate balance of eating a Pop-Tart correctly, so as to ensure just the right crust-to-filling ratio. Thank God you do. *relieved sigh.*

  48. Quickbeam says:

    I absolutely love the Hello Kitty PopTarts. I don’t toast them. I agree that the HK shaped sprinkles are disappointing. That doesn’t stop me from buying them. In my area, they are everywhere/every store.

  49. ChillyWilly says:

    I’ve always respected the simple nature of the Hello Kitty line.

    As a long time Pop Tarts lover, I may have to scout these out. We don’t have Fred Meyers here anymore (a few older FM stores converted into Smith’s Marketplace), but I’m sure local grocers will have this soon.

    My all-time favorite Pop Tart flavor is Frosted Cherry. most other flavors get passed up in favor of this main stay.

  50. Robin says:

    My boyfriend (and I now) collect some Hello kitty things, he likes them for the same reasons you do. We got a very interesting Hello Kitty item off ebay once ;)

  51. Epona says:

    Dang it. I think I missed four of those HK bows. What’s with the one that’s hardly noticable to the naked eye (on the purse right of Kitty herself)?

    This is just a purposeful set up to failure.

  52. Epona says:

    Wait, I mean, the *slipper* to the right of Kitty, not the purse.

  53. [Emo Lover] says:

    I f♥ck♥ng LOVE my f♥ck♥ng Hello, Kitty PopTarts
    O_O They’re so pink
    O_O And nummy
    O_O And so adorable
    xD I LOVE THEM!!!!
    HAIL THE HELLO KITTY POPTARTS OF GOODNESS!!!

  54. ??? says:

    i think hello kitty are great to be honest ive never tried the pop tarts everyone i know who has tried them said they are better untoasted but i dont know.

  55. Hilly says:

    How adorable! My boss is a freak for all things Hello Kitty so now I search for it wherever I go.

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