I love crossovers.
Jetsons meet the Flintstones? Great. Scooby-Doo meets the Harlem Globetrotters? Awesome. Peanut butter meets jelly? Bodacious! Two different groups of my friends meet in the same bar and I respond by anxiously escaping to the bathroom? Fantas—wait, wait, no.
Okay, maybe Egon was right and some streams aren’t meant to cross. But that didn’t stop General Mills from capitalizing on Kellogg’s inability to trademark the too-vague term “Frosted Flakes,” pouncing on those two words like an enraged Tony the Tiger on a gazelle and making these Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes.
Seriously, I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but this has to be a deliberate move to incite a little friendly cereal competition. I fully expect Kellogg’s to fire back with “Cinnabon Toast Munch” within the month.
But regardless of why General Mills did this, Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes are here. The lion of sugar-coated corn flakes has laid down with the technicolor sugar nugget lamb, and now our dental health’s reckoning must begin.
The marshmallows in Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes are the same snappy, delightfully sweet and dense marbits you’ve known and loved for years, or perhaps millennia if you’re the presumably ageless Lucky himself. So I won’t waste time waxing nostalgic about their mildly waxed and chalky goodness.
It’s time to see if this cereal’s flakes earn their stripes.
The good news is that Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes’ frosted flakes (I love repetitive redundancy) are pretty different from Tony’s—and in my opinion, tastier, too. While Kellogg’s flakes have the tinkling fragility of balsa shrapnel, Lucky’s more rounded fare is curvaceous and thicker, crisply crunching in your mouth instead of disintegrating into vaguely toasted sugar paste.
And even though Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes are less-frosted, this works to their advantage, because this lets them actually taste like frosted flakes of corn, with all the latter vegetable’s golden-browned, caramelized starch notes instead of just a miniature fructose continent. There are even surprisingly notes of near honey-roastedness that make them all the more compelling.
Of course, Lucky’s flakes have their fair share of vanilla-tinged, near-cloying sweetness—it almost feels like they’re glazed with marshmallow flavor, not just sugar, if that makes sense—but at least it doesn’t leave me picturing my future self in a Sea-Bond commercial.
But while the flakes stand pretty solidly alone, the introduction of marshmallows to the mix complicates things. While the crunchy–chewy contrast in normal Lucky Charms was compelling, the crispy–chewy dynamic here is slightly more off-putting, just like it was in the similarly excessive Frosted Flakes with Marshmallows. Many mouthfuls end up feeling too mealy, leaving me considering the dental pros and cons of throwing a little gravel in my bowl for a solid crunch.
Yet surprisingly, the marshmallows don’t add much noticeable sweetness. I guess there is a terminal velocity for saccharinity, so if your sweet tooth can tolerate normal Frosted Flakes, you shouldn’t have a problem going this fluffy extra mile.
Milk doesn’t make the textural problem any better, as the flakes soggify far quicker than the older oat pieces. On the plus side, milk adds a creaminess that emphasizes the buttery-frosting subtleties of the flakes’ glaze, but unless you plan to suck your bowl up with the ferocity of Kirby clutching a Kirby vacuum, you might be better off pacing yourself with dry heaves (of cereal directly into your mouth).
So while Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes have some tasty perks, I ultimately feel like they were obsolete the second they were created. The flakes still can’t hold a candle to the oatmeal-y classic charms, so though it’s a worthwhile one-try novelty, I can’t see this cereal earning a cult following like its legendary ancestor. It’s like if Nintendo released the regular Game Boy Advance after the Game Boy Advance SP.
I need my crunchy oat backlight, people!
The Bowl: Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes Cereal
The Breakdown: Novelly crispy, cratered, and modestly glazed flakes are a plus, but this ultimately hyper-sweet stuff can’t escape the kibble-shaped shadow of its parent brand, as it left me on the precipice of a sugar crash—with grit in my teeth.
The Bottom Line: 6 Kirby² inhales out of 10