Kellogg's Corn Pops

I have to hand it to Kellogg's for coming up with a great-looking box cover. The logo really jumps out, and there's an action-packed shot of Corn Pops either flying into a bowl of cereal or springing forth from it (enlarged to show texture, as noted).

On the back of the box, there is a series of games that culminate in you unscrambling a web address for a "way-cool" site you can "log-on" to ( At the bottom, however, they flat-out print the address for those children too far gone in their ADD to figure out a simple cereal box puzzle.

There is a really disturbing drawing of a child's head on a muscular physique. His name is Power-Packed Paul, and breakfast is his morning source of energy. His friends are Sally Smarts (breakfast helps give her brain power), Lee the M.V.P. (which I'm guessing stands for Most Valuable Puerto Rican, because naturally this is a multicultral cast of characters – oh, breakfast gives him the winning edge), and Busy Beth (breakfast helps her do it all – minus points to Kellogg's for not explaining what "it all" consists of).

There is also a drawing of a brain, with its stem attached. I guess the point they're trying to drive home is that breakfast increases both mental and physical performance. I'm actually disappointed that there isn't a kid in a wheelchair on the box.

I never noticed a difference in my abilities caused by eating breakfast. If you're going to fail a test, you're going to fail a test. Eating a bowl of Corn Pops, no matter how delicious, is not going to help you pass, unless you regurgitate it during class and get to go to the nurse. And if you want to tell me that skipping breakfast will lose you a hundred points on the SAT, well, that's just horsefeathers.

I can't decide whether Corn Pops are crispy or crunchy, because they are a little bit of both. Whichever they are, they still do a number on the roof of your mouth, though not nearly to the degree of Cap'n Crunch. One time, I fell off the diving board and scraped my side on the edge of the pool – that's kind of what eating Cap'n Crunch feels like on your mouth.

Regardless, Cap'n Crunch is good. Falling off the diving board isn't so good. Corn Pops are good. They're sweet, and don't get very soggy even at the end of the bowl. The box is big and full, and lasts a while. Plus they're great to snack on. I don't really care what the nutritionality of it is, because if you're that concerned with your health, you're probably eating Portabello Mushroom Crunch, anyway.

Anyway, Corn Pops meets the mysterious requirements of the American Heart Association, so it can't be that bad. It tastes good and crunches well, and isn't that all that really matters in a breakfast cereal? On that matter, is there any kind of cereal that is not a breakfast cereal? I mean, I've never had a dinner cereal.

Review by Albert Stephanides