Due to popular demand and the fact that we love trying weird foods and candies, The A.V. Club will now regularly feature "Taste Tests." Feel free to suggest disgusting and/or delicious new edibles for future installments: E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Candy. It's delicious. With the possible exception of black-hearted Nazi robots, everyone loves it. But who needs a good old-fashioned sugar rush when the Red Bull merchants of today offer a more extreme form of kick? Whether bungee-jumping, skydiving, or having unprotected sex with highway hookers, the extreme sports buff of today demands something more than just the giddy high that comes with free-basing a bag of sugar or injecting Pixie Stix intravenously.
Now the sugar rush of sweet, sweet candy and the caffeine/taurine energy onslaught of sports drinks have been united in two new consumer products: Snickers Charged and the Maxxed Energy Pop. Why the extra "x"? Because spelling it with but a single "x" is insufficiently extreme. Besides, everyone knows "x" is the most extreme letter in the alphabet, followed closely by "q," "l," and "d." The Maxxed Energy Pop even comes in a Red-Bull-like can for an additional mega-blast of extremeosity.
But don't let Maxxed's candy-like taste, texture, and appearance fool you. According to its hyperventilating promotional material, Maxxed is "an alternative energy source (like solar power!) not candy." So maybe someday soon we'll all be driving around in Maxxed-powered cars and heating our homes with Maxx pops. Furthermore, the Maxxed lollipop pimps insist that, "Energy product users are trendsetters and hyped to try new things." Of course they're hyped. They've got all that caffeine and taurine coursing through them. They're a goddamned heart attack waiting to happen.
Pointless autobiographical aside: When A.V. Club writer Nathan Rabin was in sixth grade he did a science project measuring the effects high doses of caffeine would have on hamsters purchased from Woolworths. Though no reputable science journal would print his revolutionary findings, he learned that giving hamsters crushed-up No Doz in their drinking water makes them really fucking crazy and psychotic. Also, the hamsters tried to tear each other's limbs off. Then they escaped from their Habitrail prison and mated with the local rodent population.
Would exposure to high levels of caffeine produce the same results in the A.V. Club staff? No. No, they would not.
Taste: Respondents agreed that Snickers Charged tasted like good old dependable Snickers going down but finished with a weird, taurine-y/Red Bull aftertaste.
The Maxxed Pops, meanwhile are remarkable less for their Exxtreme Lime taste than their bumpy, coarse texture and longevity. These sour little fuckers last a good 30 minutes. As for the energy blast respondents agreed that Maxxed packed a more potent punch, though the combination of sugar and caffeine found in both items scared away at least a few potential taste testers. Pussies.
Snickers Charged office reactions:
"It tastes exactly like Snickers."
"With the first piece not so much but with the second there's definitely a nasty aftertaste."
"You normally associate caffeine and taurine with fruit flavors so it's weird to taste it with chocolate and nuts."
"The nut and taurine aftertaste is really kind of jarring and weird."
"It really doesn't taste any different until after you're done. Then it has a lingering aftertaste that the non-extreme Snickers lacks. And it's not an altogether pleasant aftertaste. Also, I felt a minor uptick in energy, but maybe it's the sugar."
Maxxed Energy Pops office reactions:
"It tore the shit out of my mouth last time. I couldn't even finish it."
"It tastes nasty."
"I don't mind the taste. I'd probably finish it if it didn't bore me so much."
This thing has the texture of a cat's tongue. It's like sandpaper. It's taking the top layer of skin off my tongue. The flavor isn't bad, though. Like limeaid. Not too sweet, not too sour. I do not feel X-TREEM or jazzed all to hell, however. [3 hours later] Okay, hours after eating that lollipop, I am UNCOMFORTABLY WIRED. TO THE EXTREME. I feel like running around the block six times. Or throwing up.
"It lasts forever."
"I feel like staying awake all night vacuuming my floors and my apartment doesn't even have carpeting."
"It doesn't have that much caffeine but because there's no soda or coffee to dilute it, it feels a lot more potent."
"It's semi sensory-altering."
"I feel like I'm trapped in that Very Special Episode of Family Ties where Alex P. Keaton gets addicted to pep pills while cramming for finals."
"Unless you're Telly Savalas or Ving Rhames it's impossible to look cool or maintain your dignity while sucking on a lollipop."
Where To Get It:
Snickers Charged: 7/11, convenience stores
Maxxed Energy Pops: Lollies Galore, online merchants, your local extreme emporium