Monday, May 15, 2006

TMNT Bubble Toons

I’m not entirely sure how the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles end up on my site so often.  Perhaps I’m charmed by their love for pizza, or, maybe it’s their knack for stopping evil by kicking it in its collective face – either way, I’m a fan ‘till the bitter end.  For Valentines Day a couple months back, my fiancé satiated my inner-nerd once again, by giving me some bubble gum that featured crude pictorial visages of my favorite green homeboys.  Surely she loves me, as nobody goes out of his or her way to purchase something this ridiculous for someone else just for the hell of it.

The packaging itself provides several solid minutes of entertainment, or perplexity, depending on what makes you tick.  They use the term “Picture Gum” as a sort of innuendo, as it’s both the start of a sentence, as well as an allusion to the gum’s unique gimmick.  The tagline states that this particular gum is “Wacky” which will surely persuade those who can’t decide if they want a chocolate bar or the gum with the goofy pictures on it.  “Let’s see – do I want to be munching on a Snickers while in traffic or incessantly chewing on a fucking mediocre rendition of a cartoon character – well, shit – I can’t decide!”

Here’s the rogues gallery – a bevy of turtles and second-rate villains.  This is apparently under the “Mutants & Monsters” sub-category, which leads me to believe there might be other series’ of this gimmick gum, but I don’t really want to find out.  The taste is strawberry, which does little for me, but there’s no alternative.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the caricatures of characters I’m considering eating.  First off, we’ve got Leonardo who appears to be praying – no, not for a new sword or the destruction of that embarrassing sex tape he made with April ‘O Neil, but that I don’t eat him first.  Next, take a look at lead villain Shredder in all of his (or if you’ve been watching the current cartoon series it’d be “her”) shiny sinewy glory.  Since Shredder’s rival, the wise rat Splinter, was so disappointingly not given his own gum caricature, I shall eat him first to restore a bit of balance in this sick world.

In perhaps the stupidest thing I’ve done yet for my website – watch me chew bubble gum.  Or, watch my teeth tear apart the nefarious Shredder – now that sounds much better!

In the end, there’s a lot going on here, but none of it really works.  The gum isn’t even good.  That’s a major issue I take with it.  Now, perhaps if the gum would have been edible, I would have had a lot more trouble finding fault – however, the gum is wretched.  It somehow manages to be too sugary yet too bland at the same time.  Now, it could be in part due to having sat around on my desk for a while, but the caricatures don’t even properly dissolve.  Even after eating the gum for twenty minutes, you’re still stuck with speckles of what was once a crude portrayal of Michelangelo.   I know that she meant well, but unbeknownst to her, I gave this “Picture Gum” to a bum outside of our building.  I asked him if he ever wanted to chew on a monster – he said he had the night prior under a bridge for $40, but would only charge me $25 seeing as I’m such a handsome guy.

Overall Grade: C- 

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