Because Valentine’s Day is awesome and deserves some blog love, I’m unleashing a load of Valentine’s Day reviews as my personal Valentine to you.
Let’s do it.
A Peep doing an impersonation of a chocolate-covered strawberry? Oh yes, I’ll take it.
These are Strawberry Creme marshmallow Peeps dipped in milk chocolate. They are new to 2012 and also come in a dark chocolate variety. After learning these existed on the Internet, I knew I had to find them, and I had a hard time, too. I finally found the them at Target, and it was the very last pack!
The Peeps are a cornea-burning shade of red, and their marshmallow bellies inside are a fluffy shade of pink. The strawberry scent is fruity and sugary that’s apparent as soon as you open the bag. It reminds me a scratch-n-sniff sticker in the scent of strawberry. These things could double as strawberry air fresheners. The chocolate dip part is a crisp outer shell. They taste delicious, in a fake strawberry/sugar rush kind of way.
Here’s a tip. If you do manage to find them, do not tell your significant other or spouse. Just eat all three of them and hide the evidence. They’re delicious and you won’t want to share.
You may remember a post I wrote over the summer about the day I found over three hundred Pez dispensers at the flea market and bought the entire lot for twenty bucks. I kept nearly two hundred of them for myself and gave away the doubles as place settings at our wedding.
Since then, I’ve continued buying new Pez dispensers to add to my collection. Since Pez collecting can get out of hand quickly, I’ve learned it’s best not to buy any and all dispensers, but rather to focus on particular types. I focus on iconic characters, classic Pez, and holidays. So that’s how I ended up with a heart-hugging love-proclaiming teddy bear. Don’t judge me. I needed it since it fit into one of my Pez focuses. Needed.
In fact, I’ve learned through browsing the various Pez forums that the bear is scarce this year and hard to find. A set of four of them even sold on eBay recently for $45. The bear is hot, yo. So even though the wife assured me she would get me the bear as part of my Valentine gift, I sort of freaked out and jumped the gun and bought it for myself last week. You know, just in case she couldn’t find it. This is the saddest paragraph I have ever typed.
3. DARTH VADER!
Darth Vader on a Valentine probably shouldn’t exist. It’s inherently lame and I just contributed another dollar to the further dilution of the Star Wars brand. But admittedly, the Vader-shaped gummys are pretty cool. And so is the fact that the front of the Valentine says “You Will Be My Valentine,” and that’s just plain bad ass. There should be more declarative statement Valentines.
4. BRIDE BEAR!
This bear isn’t really a Valentine thing, but if this isn’t a love story, I don’t know what is. I won her in a claw machine. I was depressed that day. My wife says I don’t know how to distinguish between depression and having a bad day, but she’s also a therapist and says I shouldn’t use the word depression unless I meet the clinical definition of a two-week period of having an episode everyday. Anyhow, I ALWAYS win claw machine prizes when I’m depressed. And this is the most hilarious prize I have ever won.
There’s a mystery behind this bride all dressed up in her wedding dress and veil, only to be found tattered and dirty in a claw machine at the local burger joint.
She’s oddly detailed for a claw machine prize, from the pink rouge dabbled on her cheeks to the glamour eyelashes, right down to her carefully-chosen wedding jewelry and matching slippers. She definitely wasn’t born to be a novelty arcade prize. She was born to be a collectible, sitting on some rocking chair in a grandmother’s house. But somewhere along the line she got a bit tattered, her face smudged with dirt, and her wedding slippers torn.
What’s her story?
I think she ran away, which is why her slippers are ragged and ripped. Or perhaps she was stood up at the alter? Is her heart broken? I’ll never know. She’s a lady who doesn’t reveal her secrets. She’s been living on the hutch in our living room for the last two weeks. My wife keeps saying “get that thing out of here, she’s really freaking me out,” but she’s just jealous.
The old-fashioned pastel sugar hearts with conversations just got a new variation. Now they dazzle, which is exactly what the world has needed. I was most excited to review these. I mean, look at the box. Any rational person would expect these things to be mixed with finely-ground shards of glass the way they’re sparkling. And that’s fine by me because I think I speak for most people when I say this: I will gladly risk my esophageal lining to eat glittery, sparkling candy.
Except they don’t sparkle. At all. They look exactly like every other conversation heart I’ve ever seen. What the hell? I feel ripped off. Apparently by “dazzled” they mean sassy sayings. They’re trying to appeal to hip teenagers with relatable sayings such as “JK,” “LOL,” “HOTTIE,” “CRAZY FUN,” and spelling girls as “girlz.” Also the flavors are hipper, too, like “Sour Strawberry” and “Blue Raspberry.” The colors are just a tad bolder.
I know what this is. We’re witnessing the New England Confectionary Company, a 145-year-old company, trying to be in-the-know and hip. I can’t be too hard on that.
6. PAPER PLANE VALENTINES!
While I was perusing the Valentines at Target looking for things to review, I noticed that all the boxed Valentines today had something gimmicky and fancy. They remind me of pouncing puppies in the pound, all screaming “pick me!” Back in my day, Valentines were plain and simple with pictures of my favorite characters and punny sayings. Today, it’s like Valentines on steroids. They come with erasers, holograms, stickers, magnets, candy, and more. It’s a new breed of Valentines, which can cost an upwards of twelve dollars a box. Hell, if you’re a kid today and you don’t give out one of these Gucci Valentines with a 3D holograhic card and adjoining lollypop, you’ll be shamed and humiliated.
But then I went to the Dollar Tree, where I found a lovely selection of old-fashioned Valentines, including these charming paper plane ones. I love the simple three color scheme of the sheets of paper, which smell pulpy and inky like construction paper. And there’s punny sayings galore! “You make my heart soar!” “You’re PLANE AWESOME!” “I’ll Dive At The Chance to be Your Valentine!”
They’re relatively easy at folding into planes that fly well. The paper is just the right weight and the directions are easy to follow even for easily-frustrated and impatient first-born children like me. So yeah, I FOLDED THIS PLANE ALL ON MY OWN! I should get a sticker for that.
7. NINJA TURTLES VALENTINES
Finally, these Ninja Turtle Valentines. To recap, the wife gave these to me as my “big gift” at Christmas. She was all excited because it was her first year using eBay. She spent hours mulling over a cute username, exploring the world of possible gifts, and getting into pretend bidding wars in her mind. In this fury of excitement and discovery, she somehow found this vintage 1994 Ninja Turtles Valentines kit, which for some reason, she just thought was the greatest eBay find OF ALL TIME.
I’m particularly fond of the cardboard pail for collecting other Valentines. It’s a sweet, if painfully dorky touch. Which is how I’d describe these Valentines in general. And how I’d describe myself at thirteen, the year these Valentines came out. But you know what? We’ve aged well. Now I’m totally awesome and cool, and that’s what these Valentines are, too.
I think my favorite is the “slice of heaven” one, but I also have a special place in my heart for the Splinter teacher card.
8. HEART-SHAPED PIZZA AND CINNAPIE
Papa John’s is selling a special heart-shaped pizza for $15 today with a free cinnapie. They do it every year. It’s silly, but it’s kind of our tradition to get it. I mean, a heart-shaped pizza is something really special. Throw in a free gloppy, sticky pizza-joint dessert, and I’m all over that. The wife is, too. We can go out to fancy dinners anytime we want, but a heart-shaped pizza only happens once a year.
Alright, happy Valentine’s Day!