From his first squashed goomba in the 1980’s, Mario has possessed the hearts and controller clutching hands of adults and children alike. No longer content with mere metaphorical control of his adoring public, Mario’s latest adventure in Odyssey finds his iconic red hat infused with an ethereal being named Cappy. This friendly fedora enables Mario to plant his mustache on both sentient creatures and inanimate objects which he then directly controls. Apparently, plumbing the dark recesses of his greatest foe’s mind sent him spiraling deep into the abyss he has for so long gazed into. For now, after assuming dominion over Odyssey’s kingdoms with his new found power, our pasta munching Napoleon has turned Cappy’s ghostly gaze to our world. Through dark, pointy hatted kamek magic, Mario has plastered his merry mug on Kellogg’s Super Mario Cereal boxes across the nation.
Not only does Mario attempt to enrapture you with his baby blues’ best come hither, the cereal box itself is an amiibo. It even comes complete with Nintendo’s aneurysm inducing policy of making them as difficult as possible to find! Never one to be thwarted, Mario managed to take control of my wallet when I tracked his latest foray into cereal down at my local Walmart. Quickly stuffing his cardboard canvas under my winter coat, I made like a nabbit for the checkout line. Arriving home a few hours later, after an unforeseeable delay involving a nonplussed loss prevention specialist and a tazer, I cracked open the box and poured a handful of the Mushroom Kingdom medley into my still tingling hands.
Super Mario Cereal’s starry oats along with mushroom, hat, and coin block shaped marshmallow pieces spilled through my eager hands like gold coins into Wario’s grubby mitts. Unfortunately, echoes of him sneering “loser” rang through my head as I sampled my treasured cereal booty. While Mario chose Lucky to wear his machiavellian mustache and create his breakfast treat, possession drained all of the magical deliciousness from this pale imitation. When isolated and eaten dry, there is a heavy oat flavor with little sweetness in tow from the star pieces.
Things don’t improve with the colorful if misshapen marshmallows. Mario maniacs will be able to discern their pixelated namesakes, but blowing through his nest egg after early retirement has forced him to outsource mallow manufacturing to the low wage Atari 2600 Kingdom to save a few gold coins. They share an equally unsatisfying texture that dissolves in your mouth like Mario on the wrong end of a podoboo and taste of a generic, sugary “fruit” flavor you know and don’t love. Even when combined, this cereal offers the dry snacking appeal of revisiting Mario’s vacation on Isle Delfino.
When submerged in your milk of choice, Super Mario Cereal doesn’t improve and becomes blander as the somnolent fruit flavor packs the punch of Baby Luigi. Perhaps Mario should have spent a bit more time in the Luncheon Kingdom as even a starving Yoshi wouldn’t be excited to swallow a bowl of these Not-So-Lucky Charms.
As for the Amiibo functionality of the box itself, it provides no unique Odyssey benefit. It will either reveal a moon location with Uncle Amiibo or coins when used normally. The scanner is located on the back of the box where you’ll find cute, albeit prosaic, art beside a maze and a trivia game that proves facile to even goombas like me.
Given the underwhelming taste of this cereal, there is only one sane conclusion to draw. Mario has devised an amiibotized cereal botnet (that I’ve not so cleverly coined “boxnet”) as a Trojan Yoshi— allowing him to capture vast swaths of the world at once when Mushroom Kingdom Order 66 is given. If you relish the idea of a life of toil in Mario Party themed labor camps, this is worth picking up for the novelty of the box alone. For those in search of a fruity breakfast sans dystopian future, keep your wallet far away from Cappy when venturing into the Cereal Aisle Kingdom.
I leave you with this not so lovely piece of food “art” that is more ztar than star and illustrates why words are my paint brush of choice…