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Sunday, 29 April 2012

Bassetts Jelly Mascots

Hello! Look, Bassett's have made some jelly sweets especially for the Olympic Games in June. HERE THEY ARE:

They are jellied versions of London's Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville, who are officially described as "two drops of steel with cameras for eyes"

Their story is that classic fairy tale of two drops of steel who are rescued from the last girder used to build the Olympic Stadium (the camera eyes are not explained in the story).

Their names are taken from some boring places in the UK that have some tenuous historical connection to the Olympics. Kids love boring places in the UK with tenuous historical connections to the Olympics almost as much as they love drops of molten steel.


(They had to add the camera for eyes bit as someone on the design team was worried that characters based on bits of metal might be a bit, well, dull. And thank God they did! Imagine if Wenlock and Mandeville just had NORMAL eyes! I wouldn't have been able to get on board with that at all.)

So what happens when you take a blob of molten steel with a cycloptic eye camera and turn it into jelly*? THIS: 

What is that? What am I supposed to think about that? That I'm about to eat a jellied version of a drop of molten steel from a girder that went on to be used to make a building somewhere? YUMMY. And you thought Rowntree's Randoms were random. (They aren't)

Anyway, here's the mascot from Euro 96 when England held the European Football Championships:

Look at him - a lion, a nice friendly recognisable lion with a kind lion face. He's called "Goaliath" which is a real name plus has an amusing football related pun in it. But sadly in 1997 all lions were subsequently deemed racist. In fact, all cuddly animals were banned from being used as mascots in the UK after all of them were found to have some connotations of evil, antisemitism or just "didn't reflect our core values as a nation". The only safe, inoffensive material to base a mascot on was found to be steel girders.

That's why we got these two. PHEW!

In the future, I hope all symbols, mascots, logos and cereal-box characters will be reduced to shapeless proto-forms which don't resemble any recognisable object or carry any any preconceived associations.

So here's my idea for a mascot for the 2016 games. They can have this for free:

He's called Olympic Bob and he represents fair play and a conscientious attitude to picking up litter.


Bassetts Jelly Mascots, £1
Gobble Monkey says: 2 out of 7

*i think I heard this question asked on University Challenge once.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Wagon Wheels

I like the idea of Wagon Wheels more than I actually like Wagon Wheels.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Percy in the Pink

I was getting worried when Marks and Spencers hadn't released a new Percy Pig themed product for a least a week - but then these came out: PHEW

Check out Percy there, hard at work in the kitchen. MAKING CHOCOLATE PIGS IN HIS OWN IMAGE.

How vain is that - making sweets that look exactly like yourself? You wouldn't catch Delia Smith making a chocolate brownie in the shape of her own face would you? Or a range of Jamie Oliver sausages shaped like exact replicas of his own miniaturised body? (although I would definitely buy both of these).

Hopefully soon all Marks and Spencer products will be re-modelled into the shape of Percy's face, the shop will be re-named Marks and Percy and Spencer, then re-named again as Percy's Pig Emporium before all staff are forced to wear pig masks and communicate only in oinks. That's my dream anyway - and I won't rest until it happens. (except for the oinking thing)

Percy of course would rule over the whole thing like a mad dictator - look he's already got the salute down pat:

Stupid Nazi.

So anyway, these chocolate versions of Percy Pig are made from white chocolate with dried raspberry & strawberry concentrates - the same recipe as the infamous Percy Pig Easter Egg from last Egg Day. They taste exactly the same as that - far too sweet to be consumed by a human. Sadly, I fear under Percy's new regime of terror we won't have a choice.

Percy in the Pink, 99p, Marks and Spencers
Gobble Monkey says: 2 out of 7

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The Great American Cereal Book

Check out this book I got:

Yeah that's right, a 368 page hardback book all about cereal. That's the kind of book I like reading OK? Cereal is good - as Jerry Seinfeld said, what could be better than eating and drinking at the same time with one hand without looking?

There's even a full range of Gobble Monkey cereals.

But American cereals are mental.

While here in the UK we have terminally dull cereals called things like "Start", (I call it Stop) and "Special K" (Nothing special about it and it doesn't begin with K), in America they just put doughnuts in a bowl with milk and eat them for breakfast:

Note the free torch. Anyway I suppose they make some sort of vague sense - unlike these:

I cant imagine the guys at Kelloggs okaying those. Cereal that grows in a tree? And just look at the slogan:

"We are the Freakies. Oh we are the Freakies. And this is our Freakies tree. We never miss a meal, 'cause we love our cereal."

Now I know it was the Seventies, but in what universe is that a good slogan? It doesn't rhyme, it doesn't make sense and it mentions trees.

And these are apparently based on people Freakies creator "Jackie End" knew - including HamHose, Snorkeldorf and Grumble. The guys down at Wells Rich Greene must have loved Jackie End mustn't they? I bet they loved marketing his tree-based cereal. That's probably why they made up that rubbish slogan.

But the most freaky thing about Freakies is that the actual cereal doesn't look freaky at all, it's just little round hoops, no freakier than a Cheerio. Maybe that was Jackie End's masterstroke - you look at the box, you read the slogan, and just when you thought things couldn't get anymore freaky - they didn't.

But hey, what about if you love cereal - BUT HATE SPOONS? Then just get some 'Fingos':

"The cereal you eat with your fingers" - isn't that just crisps?

Anyway, here's Boo Berry - he's some sort of effeminately dressed blue ghost. That's normal. Now look at his face. He looks like he's about to throw up all over you doesn't he? Maybe he's eaten too many bowls of Boo Berry. How many bowls is too many? I reckon about one. (No prizes for guessing what colour his vomit will be.)

I would like to get hold of that hat though. But hold on, Boo Berry's got a friend - he's called FrankenBerry.

Don't worry about what FrankenBerry is or that his name makes no sense. He's just some sort of re-animated dead strawberry with metal eyes and a clock attached to his bum-shaped head, OK? It's not important. Just stop thinking about it.

Not all American cereal is good though. Almond "Delight" was so disgusting they had to give away free money to get people to buy it:

Now quickly close your eyes and imagine the craziest cow you can think of. Ready? Now look at this:

That's right - he's wearing a pink hat. Was the crazy cow you imagined wearing a pink hat? I bet he wasn't. And look - Crazy Cow cereal turns the milk STRAWBERRYEY! Suck on that Coco Monkey.

The Great American Cereal Book by Martin Gitlin and Topher Ellis. £11.19, available from amazon
Gobble Monkey says: seven out of seven

Gobble Monkey reviews French cereal here.

Gobble Monkey's least favourite cereal mascots here

Friday, 6 April 2012

Tango Demolition Balls


It's here! YES! Tango Chocolate!*

What do you mean you don't want any?

I don't know why Tango Chocolate* has taken this long, to be honest.  The logic is simple: Everyone likes Tango, so why not just put Tango in everything?

Tango Chocolate* is only the beginning. In the future, I would like ALL food that I eat to be infused with Tango. Tango cereal for breakfast, Tango sandwiches for lunch and Tango chips and Tango ice cream for tea. What about warm Tango soup? Or Tango cheese. All washed down with an ice-cold glass of sweet, sweet Tango.

The Tango possibilities are endless. (If you don't like Tango, don't worry, you will soon get used to it. You won't have a choice.)


So the USP of the Tango "Demolition" Balls/Bar* is they contain bits of popping candy. ("Tang Your Taste Buds" the slogan says, meaninglessly.)

The "Demolition Bar" is one of the most disgusting things I've ever eaten. It's a bit like a soft Aero with an incredibly sweet, sickly orange aftertaste that clogs in the throat - Terry's Chocolate Orange this ain't. And the popping candy just got on my nerves.

The "Demolition Balls" fare slightly better, if only because they deliver their sickly orange punch in a smaller dose. They're a bit like Orange Revels, but with the addition of that irritating popping candy again. Consider my taste buds "tanged".

Still, it's too late to stop the Tango Revolution now, so we may as well just get on with it.

Tango Demolition Bar, 50p
Gobble Monkey says: zero of of seven

Tango Demolition Balls, 55p
Gobble Monkey says: 2 out of seven

*Contains no actual Tango.


Sunday, 1 April 2012

Cadbury's Dairy Milk buttons Easter Egg

It's almost Egg Day!!!  Or Egg Sunday, or Eat As Many Chocolate Eggs As Possible Weekend or whatever you like to call it.

What egg will you be getting this Egg Day? Hmmm?

HERE'S AN IDEA: just buy a bar of chocolate.

Why are you so obsessed with eggs anyway? Look a large bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk is 230 grams for £1.97. A Dairy Milk buttons egg is 101 grams and costs £2.


Yet YOU are still obsessed with buying chocolate moulded into the shape of an egg, and are happy to pay above the odds for the privilege for child labour camps to mould your chocolate into the shape of an egg to sate your unquenchable egg-shaped-things addiction. That's how much you love eggs.

Maybe you think that all food should be melted down and re-shaped into the image of an egg (your favourite food)? You'd love that wouldn't you.

Well check out my chocolate egg this year:


Did the monkey come out of the egg? Or did he lay it?

Since when did monkey's have anything to do with eggs? Monkey's don't lay eggs, they don't live in eggs and I'm not even sure they even like eggs* - and yet Cadbury's have deemed it reasonable to shove a 'soft monkey toy' in with my traditional Egg Day chocolate egg.  Is nothing sacred anymore? Not even our precious Egg Day??!

Tescos have gone one step further this year and turned the actual eggs into animals:

Yes, along with a rabbit and a chicken, that's another pig egg there - according to Tescos, he's called "Peter Pig Egg Face". What sort of a sentence is that? You couldn't choose four more unconnected words. If someone called me 'Peter Pig Egg Face' on the street I'd spit on them.

And a chicken that is also an EGG? That's making my brain melt.

Marks and Spencer, in addition to their monstrous Percy Pig "Egg", have eschewed animals completely with this chocolate robot egg called EggBot.

Aren't traditional Egg Day eggs supposed to be a symbol of 'new life'? Surely a robot is the antithesis of 'new life' - being a mishmash of dead metal and artificial intelligence and all.

It's almost as if confectionery manufacturers have forgotten the true meaning of Egg Day.**

I predict that by next year's Egg Day, eggs will have been completely replaced by any moulded chocolate object, not just pigs, monkeys or robots, but chocolate crows, butchers and a sudoko.

This means we'll have to find a new name for Egg Day. I can't think of anything though.

Cadbury's Dairy Milk buttons chocolate Egg, £2
Gobble Monkey says: tastes exactly the same as Cadbury's Dairy Milk.

*i should know i am a monkey.
** that's worshipping King Eggo, Lord of of the eggs, right?