Click to read my review of an itsy bitsy Ninja Turtles pinball machine! Also imagine a grown man posing his Michelangelo action figure several ways for the pictures in this article. It’s not sad at all. Coin-a-bunga, dudes!
I’ve yet to come across someone from my generation that doesn’t know what Kid Cuisine is. Whether recalling the penguin mascot on the box or the icy blue plastic tray it came in, others recollections of it are surprisingly fond. And with so many iconic childhood brands going the way of the dodo, it’s remarkable that you can still find Kid Cuisine nestled comfortably in your local freezer section.
I know this because I just bought one from my local freezer section.
No, I didn’t buy it because I had a hankering for soggy cardboard cheese pizza. Nor did I get a craving for soupy slimy mac and cheese. I didn’t yearn for spongey chicken nuggets and a “brownie” so hard it could break a kitchen window. I bought it because it featured the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And anyone that knows me understands you can slap a Ninja Turtle on anything and I’ll buy it. Case and point: Kid Freaking Cuisine.
I was never particularly fond of Kid Cuisine. I think I just felt, as a kid, it was my duty to eat Kid Cuisine. It’s right there in the title after all. This time around after a nostalgic conversation with my girlfriend I found myself in the “frozen dinner” section for curiosities sake. Lo and behold, towards the bottom of the freezer they be for a mere $1.97. The presence of Ninja Turtles coupled with the diarrhea the meal would surely cause reinforced my purchase. And to bring everything full circle I realized I could write about this on my virtual tumbleweed of a website. Now as I put this in writing I realize it is very sad.
I put my tray in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. I crushed the activity on the back of the box in about 25 seconds. Writing the Turtles names and weapons down? Please! I scoffed confidently. I pondered why I was doing this exactly. That took some time. Before I could come up with any discernible answer my food was about ready. And here it is…
For anybody who wants the details it’s Cowabunga Popcorn Chicken with fries, corn, and Shell Shocked Chocolate Cookies. You’d think a Ninja Turtle themed meal would contain PIZZA. But at this point I realized I was giving too much thought to my frozen children’s meal. I mean, I probably have the longest review on a Kid Cuisine out there right now. And if that’s true, it’s an accomplishment I’ll relish to the grave.
Now, I’m no food critic. I don’t have sophisticated tastes (I took pictures of a Ninja Turtle doll next to a frozen dinner). I grew up on Happy Meals and think Taco Bell is high culinary art. But I do like to watch Gordon Ramsey television shows. So I have some training in that regard.
To be frank, it was awful. But it was just a microwavable kids meal for $1.97. And when you’re a kid…you’re picky and your taste palette sucks. So maybe this would be passable to the average 5 year old I don’t know. Taking what I remember about previous Kid Cuisines, I would’ve had a pizza, that weird brownie thing (with some green “ooze” icing) and maybe a Ninja Turtles sticker/trading card/temporary tattoo in the box.
In conclusion, I can’t believe I’m writing about this much more posing it for pictures. I guess it adds to the eccentric charm of my website. I’m not going to recommend this to adults or children. And with the “clean and healthy” eating angle my generation pushes, I’m sort of astonished that these are still around. I’m not saying that because I think you shouldn’t feed trash to your kids, I’m simply saying there’s much tastier trash you could be feeding your kids.
This is just the consequences of being a shill to a brand you love. A slave to my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Cowabunga, dudes. Cowabunga.
Are toys as fun as they used to be? Would the modern kid rather have a touchscreen instead of a Stretch Armstrong? Years of experience as an expert man-child led me to realize that toys have sort of “grown up” alongside me. Trading “Glow In The Dark!” and “Oozing Action!” features for “collector friendly packaging” and “high articulation and detail”.
Yet sometimes you long for a toy that wants to be played with. It’s a wild concept, I know. So my 25% off coupon and I ventured to a Target toy aisle this holiday season in search of adventure. And I think I found it…in the form of a plastic capsule holding what looks like an aggravated cucumber.
Enter the TREASURE X ALIEN.
This dude cost me $12.99. They have two other alien designs you can slice into, but I chose this one because I wanted the rare opportunity to own something that looks like someone pickled The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Some research (scrolling through Amazon while eating a damp corndog) revealed that Treasure X is a line excavation toys that involve slime, sand, scalpels, skeletons, and serpents. Digging deeper revealed boards games, expansion packs, and promises of REAL (?) gold and meteorite treasure. Feeling overwhelmed and confused I longed for the simple days of baking a tray of insects using a low wattage light bulb. And using my recollection of Creepy Crawlers as a palate cleanser, I decided to (literally) dig into my discounted alien creature. You’ve come this far. You might as well finish the article.
Long story short: You cut open a slimy alien to retrieve a smaller slimier alien.
After struggling with insanely intricate packaging, I removed my oozing phallic space monster as well as several accessories needed to dissect it. The “directions” given were really creative, overall looking/reading less like directions and more like a special top secret assignment. I do not feel as ridiculous as I should I thought to myself standing in my living room dressed in Ninja Turtle pajamas holding a plastic toy scalpel.
I began to cut into the creature, eventually removing it’s rubbery skin plate revealing a bright yellow ribcage. I proceeded to snap it out because I watched The Autopsy of Jane Doe 5 times and that is what you do. That led me to discovering the alien’s slimy yellow egg-like gut sac. Gut sacs normally don’t intrigue me but I was lost in my playtime imagination and proceeded with the autopsy as directed by my top secret government files from Target.
Using my scalpel to slice open the egg-sac, it began to overflow with what I can only describe as thick dank green ooze. Feeling in the moment, I quietly exclaimed “My god…” to myself as my mutant cucumber’s innards dramatically dripped on the paper towel I laid down out of fear of my girlfriend’s wrath. I then dug my scalpel inside the snot-like region and “rescued” our dear alien adventurer. To the right of the gut-sac squeezed in tight was a “heart” bag containing more strange alien treasure. I put that to the side as I tended to the little mucus soaked creature I had just removed.
After a quick cleanup I examined the little ninja alien guy. He was a pretty cool little action figure complete with moving limbs and a blaster. I also discovered a stretchy and sticky little pink slug monster within the gut-sac. If I was a child I would have ate that for sure because even as an adult I was debating doing so. Cutting open the creature’s heart-bag revealed this a small plastic accessory that looked like a late 90s pocket planner. Kind of a let down, but I made up the story that my alien devoured some sort of Michael Douglas-esque businessman during rush hour. So it had that going for it.
That pretty much sums up the autopsy process. Think of this as those little “blind box” figures you see at the store checkout, but instead of ripping up some cardboard you have to cut into a large rubber alien to reveal your character. It’s a very creative and fun way to go about it and isn’t that what buying toys is all about? So let’s breakdown the positives and negatives of this Treasure X Alien.
–Creative and fun. From the directions to the packaging to the actual dissection. It all comes together well. I took my time and the whole process took me about 15-20 minutes.
–Affordable. For $13 you get a cool little action figure, accessories, rubber alien, slime, and a really awesome experience to retrieve it all. I could also see why Target has these dudes all over the store for the Christmas season: They are perfectly sized for CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS. Duh. Solid marketing there.
–Gross with Variety. There’s 2 other types of aliens to slice open. And about a dozen different little alien adventurer guys to “save”. And in an age terrified of gender labeling, it’s refreshing to see something that is so clearly a “Boy’s Toy”. Though anybody can dig this, honestly.
–Messy. I don’t mind gettin’ down and dirty with my alien cucumber, but the toy scalpel isn’t very sharp and it may take some scissors to cleanly open/dig into things. I understand it’s for safety reasons, but at times I felt like my alien was like cutting a Dollar Tree steak using a glorified spork. And, obviously, slime is involved. And kids, probably. So take that as you will.
–No Story. Is my alien dead? Who are these little guys I’m digging out? What are their names? Why is their treasure and why am I getting it? Imagination is a great tool but so is direction. I love that this isn’t some sort of tie in an existing property, but having some fun backstory is nice too.
–One and done. You can’t “re-dissect” the alien. And if you somehow spend too much time reassembling it, the autopsy still won’t be as fun. The whole point of these being so cheap is to buy more and “discover” more aliens. So it’s understood. It’s just kinda sad that your big oozing alien has a huge permanent hole in his chest.
Overall this is an awesome little toy for an affordable price. It took me back to the days of Creepy Crawlers and Dr. Dreadful’s Lab. It’s original, it’s gross, and mysterious. I hope these gross dudes end up in some Christmas stockings this year, because I’d love for this line to continue and even expand into more intricate sets of gross slimy dissection.
Plus when you’re done dissecting, you can jam as much goop into your alien’s head as possible, squeeze it, and watch him ooze from his eyes, nose, and mouth! Yum!
So are toys as fun as they used to be? While the innovation and creativity may have taken a backseat to collectability and intellectual properties, fun original and interactive toys are still in the aisles. You just might have to dig a little deeper to find them than, say, 20 years ago. The best thing about toys is the ability to pretend and imagine. And these types of toys are perfect for that. Like I mentioned earlier, these are toys that beg to be played with. Would I buy another one? Not for myself, but they’d make an excellent gift for kiddos on Christmas.
I hope you enjoyed reading my college thesis on pointless future trash that you don’t even care about. The thought “Why are you even doing this?” popped up several times when I was writing this article and photographing my toy. Then I seen green slime ooze out of my new rubber alien’s toy face and that’s when I knew the answer. It was all worth it in the end, folks.