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Milking It: My Friends Tigger & Pooh Corn Puffs

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My Friends Tigger & Pooh Corn Puffs General Mills Rating: A half spoon out of four

Cereal description: Not much innovation here. The enclosed corn puffs are, quite simply, corn puffs, as generic as they can be. Their hue is similar to to the color of Winnie the Pooh's fur, but don't give the product development team at General Mills any extra credit for it. Plenty of corn puffs have been this color for years. Way to break a sweat, guys.

Box description: Pooh and Tigger are on the cover, with Tigger embracing Winnie from behind -- but the artists have left a gap between their trunks and pointed the space where Tigger's junk would be found if he hadn't already been neutered away from the bear, and toward the diner, to eliminate any possibility of daybreak delight. As for the logo, the tails of the two gs in the name "Tigger" sport stripes, while the h in "Pooh" is dripping with honey, implying that something notably sugary is inside. Unfortunately, this indication is undercut by the first couple of wimpy adjectives in the adjacent description: "Lightly sweetened corn puff cereal." Also on the cover is the slogan "With Whole Grain Guaranteed," accompanied by a jumbo checkmark and "Nutrition Highlights" -- which, given the modesty of the 120 calorie count, qualify as lowlights by my standards. One side panel boasts more nutrition facts, while the other invites breakfast connoisseurs to "Try other family favorites from General Mills and Disney," including Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Berry Crunk and Little Einsteins Fruity Stars. No doubt I will, but with little enthusiasm, thanks to this effort. The back, meanwhile, features "Fun Games," including "Pooh's Sequence," which asks kids to find patterns among "hunny pots" and apples -- apples? When was the last time Pooh ate an apple? He doesn't even have teeth -- and trace a line to a cereal bowl in the ultra-dull "Tigger's Maze." But below and above these items is more nutrition information. Enough already!

Taste: "Lightly sweetened" doesn't begin to describe it. There's a slight hint of sweetness at the outset that disappears almost instantly, leaving a mostly flavorless crunch. Chewing on the plastic bag that contains the cereal would be more exciting.

Conclusion: The cartoon characters on the box are meant to suggest to kids of all varieties and ages that the puffs inside will contain more kick than Kix, another General Mills item that My Friends Tigger & Pooh resembles so closely as to make comparisons unnecessary. But you're being suckered, junior. Tut, tut, it tastes so lame. -- Michael Roberts

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