I recently stood at the end cap of a grocery store aisle, doing a double-take at a stack of macaroni-and-cheese boxes. I rubbed my eyes. I wasn't seeing things. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Kraft mac and cheese is a real thing. And it's not alone. Geek marketing of foods is a trend.
There are Angry Birds fruit gummies, Super Mario Campbell's chicken noodle soup cans, Spider-Man Cheez-It crackers, Iron Man candies, and some sort of mysterious juice beverage with the Incredible Hulk's roid-rage head on top of it. I bought them all. I poked and prodded them. I inspected Yoda's apple-flavored gummy ears. I held crackers up into the light to evaluate the artwork. I even ate them.
Since the early days of "Buck Rogers" tie-ins with Kellogg's back in the 1930s, geek properties have found a way to hook up with food-related products. For the most part, the results fall into the snack food and candy realm, the kind of products meant to fuel a binge video-gaming session. A few, like the Super Mario soup, could pass as main dishes if you have a flexible idea of what qualifies as an entree.
I was hard-pressed to build a full meal around my purchases, but settled on Ninja Turtle pasta with a side of Soup-er Mario, Hulk juice for a beverage, and Angry Birds graham crackers (with Angry Birds gummies) for dessert. It was a meal fit for a geek with an iron constitution. The only thing missing was a "Game of Thrones" beer, but my local store was fresh out.
In the course of my investigations, I ate crackers with spiders on them, munched on C-3PO's head, chewed up Red Bird, cracked open an Iron Man egg, and boiled Donatello the Ninja Turtle, all in the pursuit of gustatory glory. What did I actually get? And what did these things actually taste like? Scroll through the gallery for a full list of geeky comestibles and find out: