Friday, August 12, 2022

Old New Coke - Stranger Things Food Items Part 1

Stranger Things has the WORST product tie ins.

I fell in love with the show's first season, watching it through twice before it really took off and became the phenomenon we all know today. I loved the hair (except for Will's, hasn't he been through enough?), the costumes, the attention to details, the soundtracks, and all the homages to other movies and media I grew up with. What I don't love? The merch.

For something that is so popular, so beloved, created with so much passion and skilled craftsmanship...the merch is cheap as hell. But...I keep buying it. Well, the food stuff, anyway. 

For example, during the mall season, Netflix and Coke brought back NEW Coke as an online exclusive purchase with Stranger Things branding. 

New Coke was such an infamous moment in American food and beverage history, was it a huge flop? Or a strategic marketing ploy to make the original "classic" product something to covet and celebrate? I was too young for it when it was still around, but now I had a chance to see for myself what it was all about! I bought it, and when it arrived I was very underwhelmed. 

The package came in a printed shipping box, that was rather beat up upon arrival, other than the logos on the outside of the box, there was no fanfare of special packaging. Inside, two mini glass bottles of coke with Stranger Things themed labels. One is normal Coke, the other Coke Zero. They are cute, but the print quality is pretty bad. I work in print, and this isn't even up to par with the bottles you buy in the store normally. Coke Starlight puts this to SHAME. Alongside that you only got two cans of New Coke. When the cans arrived, they were somehow only half full in spite of being completely sealed. According to online posts, I wasn't the only one this happened to. I think they cheap'd out on the can production there too. At least the cans looked period-accurate as far as their design. 

At the time this bundle was like, $20 plus shipping, now they're going for $50+ online and I gotta's not worth it. 

So, what does New Coke taste like? Well, upon first sip, kind of like cotton candy? With an odd cooling effect afterwards, and slightly flat. But the flatness could be because the cans I received were half full and faulty. So I am not sure if that is just how it is supposed to be, or if that is due to the lack luster packaging and quality control. 

There is a cooling after affect that I can feel down my throat after swallowing, it's mild, and kind of like artificial sugars...not off putting, just present.  

It's not completely night and day from normal, "classic" Coca-cola, but it's different enough that you can tell something is up. Now, is this how it tasted back in 1985? I have no idea. I didn't get the chance to try it back then and even if I had, I was way too young to remember what it was like. The best thing I can liken it to is actually, Coke Starlight. Just a little flatter and sweeter. 

I don't dislike this new-New Coke, and if I could have just bought a Stranger Things 6-pack of it, I would have, but as a bundle, with these tiny not-so-great printed labels and mini glass bottles? It's  "meh," from me, dawg. 

But it's not as bad as the other Stranger Things food item reviews I have coming your way...

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