The latest odd piece of licensing found on the shelves is the DC Comics Strawberry Flavour Popping Candy with Lolly Dipper and it’s a doozy!
It’s basically a 10g bag of pop rocks – except that after the weight of the lollipop, collectable sticker inside and packaging itself, the amount of pop rocks in the packet is minimal. But look at that packaging! Who wouldn’t want to buy that, given its classic artwork and the contoured shape of the packet?
Granted, the contents are quite disappointing in terms of sweet value. Despite the Batman logo depicted on the picture of the lollipop, I didn’t spot one on mine. The flavour of the sucker itself was barely noticeable, while the flavour of the pop rocks – clearly, you would imagine, the most fun part of the product – seemed devoid of any actual taste at all. That being said, they did pop respectably. They were not only audible, but the popping seemed to last for quite a while.
For all the disappointment of the product itself, full credit has to go to the stickers included. They aren’t just of DC’s top-tier characters but also some of the more obscure ones, and the artwork on them are images from the silver and bronze ages of comics. There’s also a rather neat piece of design of the packet, in that it opens from the bottom. That means that you don’t have to tear through the characters on the packet, just in case you want to keep the picture.
It’s another piece of slightly shameless licensing which, astonishingly, gets things right. The product isn’t that great, but then neither are many other items of comic book merchandising. From the Guardians of the Galaxy action figures (which were great, aside from Star-Lord’s cheap blue plastic element guns – a problem which can be fixed with the help of coloured permanent markers, by the way) and Hulk bodywash which smells of apples to crummy light-up Green Lantern rings which look nothing like an actual GL ring, there are plenty of products out there which are a let-down in some way.
Here, the pop rocks do deliver in terms of being fun even if they taste bland. The stickers add a child-friendly “lucky packet” feel to the whole thing, making it a bonus that you get to keep a piece of DC memorabilia even after the sweets are gone. The heroes on the packet aren’t just cool, they’re iconic. Even Superman’s red underwear, something which DC scrapped years ago in a bid to make him cooler but that they still use on all sorts of merchandise because it looks better, is on display for long-time fans and kids.
Strictly speaking, the DC Comics Strawberry Flavour Popping Candy with Lolly Dipper isn’t a tasty treat. However, there’s still enough here to satisfy the child in all of us.