Mario not only saves the princess from the clutches of evil lizards, he also has been saving stomachs from hunger pangs for many years. Outside of fruit snacks and McDonald Happy Meal toys, Mario is actually no stranger to the breakfast cereal category. Back in the 80s, Nintendo released a dual pack, limited time, cereal that featured both Mario and Zelda. I remember eating some when I was like 4, maybe 5, years old and thinking it wasn’t bad. But then again, I was only on planet Earth for a short amount of time so my opinions were not exact refined back then; I was just excited to be putting Mario and Zelda propaganda inside me.
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Enter December 2017, Nintendo, and Kellogg’s to join forces to release Super Mario Cereal to the masses. The kicker behind this cereal isn’t necessarily the return of Mario in breakfast format, but rather the amiibo support found in every box. The biggest challenge, unfortunately like many other Nintendo products, is actually finding this product on store shelves to purchase. It took me weeks to finally track down a box but when I did, there was a 2/$5 sale going on so I was able to take advantage of the sale price. eBay scalpers are currently listing boxes for around $20.
If you are lucky enough to find a box, keep those expectation in check. While it is cool that there is an amiibo in every box, the cereal itself isn’t exactly top tier quality.
First, let’s take a look at the cereal itself.
The box describes this Kellogg’s cereal as “mixed berry cereal with marshmallows.” Also labeled on the box is the phrase “featuring power-up marshmallows.” Looking at the nutrition facts and ingredients, this breakfast treat isn’t what you would call a “natural” product. Loaded with modified cornstarch, red 40, yellow 5, blue 1, and even yellow 6, it is a shame that this chemically induced food is marketed so heavily towards children. Parents beware.
The entire cereal is composed of four difference pieces: the grain “star” shaped cereal bits, a red Mario hat marshmallow, a yellow coin block marshmallow, and a green 1-up mushroom marshmallow. From the image below, you can see that the grain pieces look more like deformed Blair Witch stick figures and each marshmallow is nothing more than a brightly colored blob. Honestly, this Super Mario cereal is nothing more than a Lucky Charms knockoff, another Kellogg’s product.
For comparison, below is a picture of the Super Mario cereal above current Lucky Charms.
While this Super Mario cereal doesn’t taste “spit me out” terrible, it surely doesn’t taste good. In fact, if Mario’s name was not associated with this and the amiibo functionality was not included, it would be a huge let down. You know those cheaper cereals packaged in bags that usually sit on the bottom shelf at your local grocer? Well this Mario cereal tastes like a bad version of that Lucky Charms knockoff only with a stronger medicine-like taste. It stays crunchy for a while but turns the milk into this awkward gray-ish color that doesn’t make it look any more appealing. The Mario series is known for using bright colors in the games so seeing a muted gray as a result of cereal sog is not only weird, it just looks unhealthy.
Let’s be honest though. No one is really going to buy this cereal for the taste. No, consumers will buy this for the amiibo functionality, giving into the marketing blitz surrounding the Nintendo Switch and Super Mario Odyssey. Inside every box is an amiibo that can be scanned into certain Switch, Wii U, and 3DS or 2DS systems with NFC compatibility. To use this creative, bonus functionality, just hold that specific area of the box to the NFC reader on a corresponding Nintendo system like any other amiibo or amiibo card.
For scientific purposes, I cut open the box to see what the actual amiibo is. Unlike the typical action-figure amiibo, this cereal amiibo is literally just a circle sticker with some strange numbers written on it. Although, this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise given how amiibo cards work and the cost of this cereal is no different than any other box sitting on the store shelf.
Scanning this amiibo into Super Mario Odyssey, the main tie-in for the cereal, the player is rewarded with a few coins and a Power Moon location. It actually acts just like any other non-Mario Odyssey amiibo only with a subtle “hey, you scanned in an edible amiibo” description during the scanning process. However, this is still an amiibo so it can be used in other games. To confirm this, I scanned in this Mario cereal amiibo into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and random ingredients fell from the sky as if scanning in any other non-Zelda related amiibo. Since keeping a box of cereal on my shelf doesn’t look as cool as the amiibo figures, I just cut out the cereal amiibo from the box and added it to the collection.
The box itself is colorful and entertaining. It does a good job of letting you know this box is special because of the amiibo functionality and there is a maze with some Mario trivia questions on the back. The pipe maze, however, is a little misleading because it seems as though you can trace on the outer perimeter of the maze but it is actually just the black boarder. It could have been a little clearer but I don’t want to nag too much about the maze when there are bigger bullet points in which to focus.
When I bought this cereal, it was on sale 2/$5 so I bought two boxes. Let me tell you, it was a good thing I did. Upon opening the first box, the cereal bag was already open! Gross. Not sure if something happened during shipping or if indeed this bag of cereal was intentionally opened. In this case, I opted that it was better to be safe than to be sorry so I threw that bag away, keeping the amiibo inside the box though. Luckily, the bag inside box number two was sealed and perfectly fine. Strange, never had that happen before.
Due to the scarcity of finding this product on store shelves, is it worth going out of your way to find a box of this Super Mario cereal? No, not really. Sure, the amiibo functionality is cool, and it is unique to actually ingest Mario, but the chemical taste and unhealthy nutrition facts are a major setback. However, if you see this box on the shelf and are an amiibo collector, then there is really no reason to not buy a box especially since the cost is comparable to most other sugary breakfast cereals on the market.
Not As Good As: Lucky Charms
Better Than: Fruity Pebbles (but pretty much everything is)
Also Try: Super Mario enema (Woo-Whoo!)