Their habitats, markings, and behaviors. On Twitter @RevoltingSnacks.

Snoballimus Optimus Prime

Description. Various colleagues alerted us to the presence of the Snoballimus in the field, including Drs. Ariano and Barkenbush — the latter of whom risked life and limb to collect a mid-Atlantic specimen to send to B.A.R.F. headquarters.

The Snoballimus is a Transformers-branded version of the Hostess Glo-Ball, which itself is an unnatural variation on the already-artificial Sno-Ball…or Lucky Puff…or Hopper…or whichever name the Sno-Ball elects to go by depending on the time of year. The Transformers version, of course, offers even more synthetic horror for the snack-cake buck: a Smurf-hued coconut coating, over a rubbery and resistant layer of marshmallow, which in turn overlays a dry pale chunk of devil’s food cake that surrounds a luridly red crème filling. Said filling brought to mind notorious scenes from the horror-film genre — Sissy Spacek, sticky and staring. Janet Leigh in the throes. The head on the dance floor in Prom Night.

The color scheme is not only toxic but baffling also. Is it intended to create patriotic feeling? If so, whither the brown layer?

Packaging/Branding. Cynical franchising aside, the packaging is rather clever vis-à-vis protecting individual Snoballimi from getting squished. Each one is perched on a cardboard platter with a short lip, and wrapped in cellophane.

The box also promised rewards at the Hostess website, via the Transform Your Treat game. The code we tested garnered us nothing but irritation, as the landing page is the same aggressively crunchy aural assault we have come to expect from the films.

Flavor Profile. Quite a bit less than the sum of its parts. The coconut, probably sapped of its strength by the bluing rinse, scarcely registers; the marshmallow is notably repellent in texture — the effect is that of chewing a cheap polyester bedspread — but comparatively bland in flavor. We almost admire the saliva-wicking properties of the cake layer, and suggest that Hostess repurpose it in athletic-clothing form, but it offered only a hint of chocolate. The gory center is grainy and sticky simultaneously and gives the impression of homemade frosting mixed too hastily.

Habitat. Quarterly marketing reports; test screenings; overstock warehouses; the Comedy Central roast of Shia LaBeouf.

Field Notes. The box notes that the Snoballimus is “best by: OCT 13.” It does not specify a year, and need not, as this snack will join cockroaches and plastic six-pack rings as the few survivors of the end times.

Revulsion Scale: 10

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