Nestle Kung Fu Panda Thumb Wrestlers!
Cereal was a big part of my childhood thanks to Saturday morning cartoons. Who ever began that idea was a genius; a kid's day off, the TV all to themselves, all the best shows strung together back to back, and commercials for all sorts of kid friendly stuff like toys, candy, Chuck E. Cheese, and of course, sugary cereals.
The cereals here aren't as great as Lucky Charms or Frankenberry, but there are some winners. Koko Krunch for one.
I don’t normally have a bowl of cereal for breakfast these days, but with my current Kung Fu Panda high, the FREE TOY IN EVERY BOX! marketing got to me. This time out, Nestle has Kung Fu Panda Thumb Wrestlers!
Let's talk packaging.
I'm not sure if we import Nestle cereals like Koko Krunch, Cookie Crisp and Honey Starz from outside the Philippines, or if we make it here for export to other countries. The box has text in several Southeast Asian countries' languages, just like we see in those Hasbro toys meant for the Canadian market (normally printed with French and English text) so it could be either way.
The front of the box has a huge Face of Po (Doctor Who reference, sort of!) graphic that dominates the entire canvas. It's great in the market since my eye gravitated towards it immediately. The back of the box has graphics demonstrating how the toys work, other toys in the set, and something called 3D AUGMENTED REALITY! that doesn't seem to have enough explanation for me to understand.
The toy, one of 3 possible characters, is placed in a small plastic cup that is inserted into a hole cut in the face of the box. It's much nicer for consumers since we get to see what it is we're getting and which character it is (Po, Tigress, or Shen), but it cuts out that thrill of wondering which you'll get. I remember many a time being caught by my mom with my hand buried in a box of cereal looking for the toy inside.
Plus, this little green cup is a pain to open! Little kids won't be able to take this out without some power tools. I thought that you could probably just peel away the cover, but it's glued onto the cup with some kind of space age adhesive that would laugh at Superman and kick him in the balls.
I guess it's meant as a theft deterrent, but do yourself a favor and get some sharp scissors.
Once your thumb armor is out of its plastic prison you can get to it. The gimmick here is you put one of them on your thumb, grab a buddy with another of the toys, and thumb wrestle.
You do know how to thumb wrestle, right?
Good. We'll you do that for awhile until one of the toys' head pops up. It's kind of like a cheap, unsatisfying Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots match.
The feature works well enough and the head locks in the down position so you can display it like a tiny little bust. The spring is a little disappointing though, with very little power. It's also designed for little thumbs, so for guys like me with sausage hands, it hurts like hell. The pain comes from a clip inside the toy that secures it in place.
I love the way the Po version looks too. He's got a duck face going on, as if he's about to let one rip like Daniel-San in the Karate Kid. It's a lot better than the evil mastermind smirk that McDonald's Balance of Justice figure had.
Though it's easy enough to get the other two figures, I have no plans of doing so. Neither looks particularly good. Tigress lacks too many paint applications and Shen isn't the villain that Tai Lung was. His toy is extremely ugly looking. How I'm going to thumb wrestle with only one wrestler is anybody's guess.
I'm going to enjoy a bowl of Koko Krunch and then slurp the chocolate milk while I try and figure it out.