Monday, April 30, 2007

Vertigo Pops

Vertigo PopsI’m not quite sure what’s going on here. I first saw these at the 99 Cent Only Store (but only in Strawberry). They’re billed as “candy and chocolate flavored pops” which I thought sounded kind of fun. Like a chocolate toffee lollipop.

The commercials aren’t really helpful, they call it half-crazy. And they have freaky & disturbing animation. Who are they aiming these at?

So maybe the wrapper will be helpful. There’s a little drawing of the candy on the package. But I don’t know what I’m looking at. Smacking the candy on the corner of the table reveals that one side is hard and the other isn’t. How about a look what they use to make them.

Ingredients: Sugar, Corn Syrup, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Cocoa, Dry Whey, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Cocoa Processed with Alkalai, Skim Milk Powder, Buffered Lactic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Salt and Artificial Colors


Well, after opening up the little packet it’s much more obvious what this is. One third of the pop is a swirl of hard candy with a boat of mockolate stuck to it.

Cookies and Cream - this has nothing to do with cookies and cream. Things can’t be cookie flavored. What makes cookies cookies is the texture, not the flavor. The mockolate boat here is mild and cool on the tongue. Sweet and not very chocolatey, it tastes more tropical, a little like coconut and a little like fudge. The sliver of candy is rather nice. Super smooth and a little tangy like yogurt. It’s sweet and bland but perhaps a little creamy.

Chocolate Caramel - well, this is not caramel flavored. The mockolate is the same on all of them. The candy part is tangy and sweet but missing all the caramel notes I would expect. I’m getting tangy, I’m getting maple or pecan, but definitely not caramel.

Chocolate Strawberry - finally the tangy bite works with the flavor. The strong and fake strawberry flavor completely overshadows the mockolate.

imageThe long narrow shape is pleasant for a pop, it certainly fits in the mouth better. The candy part is actually really good. It’s superdense so it’s great for a pleasant and smooth feeling on the tongue and if you’re a cruncher it’s also really easy to chew.

The quality is apparent here with just about every element. They’re nicely packaged, the metallic plastic wrapper protects and is easy to open. The sassy plastic stick means that the stick doesn’t dissolve while you’re still eating the pop. Even the name is pretty good, the swirly colors support the name Vertigo (which is a fancy way of saying dizzy).

But the candy quality goes astray with the mockolate. It’s just ghastly. I ate it, but I’m certainly not happy about it.

I would certainly buy this if it was just a hard toffee pop, like the See’s Pops (except these are actually smoother). But as a mostly mockolate product, I just can’t get behind it.

Note: Topps is an American company, but these candies were made in China.

Name: Vertigo Pops
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Topps
Place Purchased: samples from Topps
Price: retail $.50 each
Size: .6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 133
Categories: Mockolate, Hard Candy, United States, Topps

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:46 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. I tried the caramel yesterday. It most certainly does not taste anything like caramel, just very artificial. And I found the tangy, almost fruity, taste quite offputting. The hard candy part is smooth, but that’s about all that recommends it. I preferred the mockolate part, and that’s not saying much.
    Disappointing. But pretty to look at.
    And I couldn’t agree more about the ads. Creepy!!!

    Comment by Kate on 4/30/07 at 7:06 am #
  2. the folks at love these
    but I guess when you’re dieting anything chocolate that you get to eat is a good thing?

    Comment by spit on 4/30/07 at 7:58 am #
  3. I’m surprised you bought/ate these since they have hydrogenated oil in the ingredient list.

    Comment by Mrs. Jones on 4/30/07 at 9:57 am #
  4. YES- I am glad we agree on this product. I was equally disappointed.

    Comment by liz on 4/30/07 at 1:05 pm #
  5. p.s. love the photos-so awesome

    Comment by liz on 4/30/07 at 1:05 pm #
  6. “Things can?t be cookie flavored. What makes cookies cookies is the texture, not the flavor.”

    Preach on, Sister Cybele!

    Comment by good enough cook on 4/30/07 at 4:12 pm #
  7. I bought these for my children to try. Not one of the three liked them.  At all.  Not even when the Tootsie Pops ran out.  Next time I’ll check the ingredients, not just go by the design.

    Comment by Janelle on 4/30/07 at 6:39 pm #
  8. They look really pretty, at least. Like maybe some kind of posh tiles, or maybe fancy kitchen countertops.

    I understand the cookie thing. So many times I’ve have “cookies and cream” things and wondered why I was unsatisfied. Now I know.

    Comment by Kai on 4/30/07 at 8:08 pm #
  9. I liked them and bought a bunch. My toddler enjoyed them more than I did. There’s worse things out there.

    Comment by Gwen on 5/01/07 at 5:35 am #
  10. If they are from Topps, the hard candy part should be good—Topps does good hard candy. But people need to be aware that if the new FDA guidelines go through, this is what all ‘chocolate’ will become—at least all cheaper ‘chocolate.’

    Comment by Jim Kosmicki on 5/01/07 at 6:05 am #
  11. They’re aiming them at meee, despite the bad reviews i still want to try them :oP

    Comment by A on 5/01/07 at 6:32 am #
  12. I tried the two that you gave me (caramel and cookies ‘n cream)and have to agree with your rating. On top of that, once the side with the crap chocolate was gone I had no interest in pursing the rest and pitched ‘em both.

    Comment by Will Campbell on 5/01/07 at 6:59 am #
  13. What a shame they taste so bad because they look pretty darn cool.

    Comment by fightin' mad mary on 5/01/07 at 11:14 am #
  14. Who are they aiming these at?

    Comment by Jeanna on 5/01/07 at 7:37 pm #
  15. You were right on. These things are weird and yucky, and pricey, too- the same as a candy bar.
    The candy is awful. Tangy and strange. The chocolate tastes totally greasy.
    They need to change the candy flavor to something resembling caramel, strawberry or whatever cookies and cream would probably taste like.

    Comment by Sarah on 5/02/07 at 5:15 pm #
  16. Cybele's avatar

    Kate - yeah, I kept thinking of yogurt when I ate the hard candy part.

    spit - it’s so sad that dieters are eating something so unsatisfying (and probably unhealthy). There are far better things out there for less than a hundred calories. (I’d probably go for Tootsie Pops myself.)

    Mrs. Jones - Topps sent me the samples ... though I admit that I was curious before they suggested it. Since the whole mockolate/FDA thing erupted and Kirk Saville of Hershey’s keep saying that mockolate can actually be better, I thought it was my obligation to give these things a fair shake. (Well, at least to save others from a loss of fifty cents.)

    liz - Thanks! I have a LOT of them, so I went to town on the photos.

    good enough cook - thanks for your support on this controversial issue in the 2008 debates! (hee!)

    Janelle - I think it’s great your kids have self control. As a child without other candy, I probably would have eaten these.

    Kai & Fightin’ Mad Mary - oh yeah, I think they’d make a really pretty cuff bracelet.

    Gwen - I would probably buy them if they didn’t have the mockolate on them. I think the shape is probably better for kids than those big round pops.

    Jim - that’s kind of what made me do the review, to give this mockolate stuff a real test.

    A - pop back in and let me know what you think. Hey, they’re only 50 cents ... how wrong could they be?

    Will - I hope you liked the real chocolate bar better!

    Jeanna - you may be onto something there ... especially with the price point.

    Sarah - yours was the same as a candy bar? That’s just wrong ...

    Comment by Cybele on 5/03/07 at 7:46 pm #
  17. Where can I get these?  I saw them at Walmart once but now I cant find them anywhere.

    Comment by Soap on 5/07/07 at 5:27 pm #

    Comment by elizue on 5/20/07 at 5:55 am #
  19. I work at a magazine and they sent us these pops months ago, and i was so psyched because i thought they looked great. i hung onto one, saving it for when i wanted something really chocolatey and rich, because thats what i thought it would be like. i finally ate it then came straight here to see if you had reviewed it. it was disgusting. waxy and nasty and NOT chocolate. the candy part was alright, reminded me of cremesavers. but i only gave it a couple licks. once i realized how bad the chocolate was i chucked it. too bad because it is a great idea.

    Comment by M on 5/21/07 at 10:16 am #
  20. Oh, I’m so glad I checked here first before I bought them. My kids saw the commercial on Nickelodeon today and were begging me to buy them. (I thought the commercial was kind of cool - creepy, but cool). They really look good in the ad. Thanks for the review - now I know not to waste my time. Who needs fake chocolate when you can get real chocolate!

    Comment by Restaurant Mom on 5/23/07 at 2:46 pm #
  21. Theyd be good if the chocolate didnt taste like the chocolate laxatives :(

    Comment by laura on 5/29/07 at 6:39 pm #
  22. I think the commercials are really funny and the graphics of the heads are hilarious.  ‘Oh my gosh! oh my gosh! oh my gosh!’  I bought a pop for my son because we laugh so hard at the TV when the commercials are on.  He’s nine; he might not like the pop, but the commercials (and that’s part of the draw here by the kids.. hello?) are querky and different.

    Comment by ramona on 5/31/07 at 2:19 pm #
  23. When I was eating this the chocolate part fell off before I was even half way finished.

    Comment by Val on 6/18/07 at 5:25 pm #
  24. Tried Cookies and Cream and after the chocolate part was gone the hard candy part had no discernible flavor, so I trashed the rest of it.

    Comment by Fat Fudge on 8/08/07 at 8:08 am #
  25. I liked these- I’ve only tried two of the three- strawberry and caramel. I like strawberry a lot. I agree that the mockolate had a vaguely disturbing texture, but once you get past that, the hard candy’s really good. I read about these first at Candy Addict and the reviewer there liked them.

    Comment by Trish on 8/11/07 at 6:20 am #
  26. I actually love these.. The chocolate really isn’t that bad when you don’t bite it.. It does taste like the “Dollar store Easter candy”, But that really doesn’t bother me. Our Wal-Mart is about to discontinue them.. Apparently I’m one of the few who actually buy them, considering they’re now selling for 20 cents on the soon-to-be-gone candy shelf.

    Comment by Savvi on 5/26/08 at 12:54 pm #
  27. I’ve seen those around and meant to try them, but now I can’t find them anywhere! I’m surprised that they got such a low rating. I’ll still pick one up if I see them around, though, probably strawberry.

    Comment by Jeni on 2/26/09 at 4:57 am #
  28. I remember trying the strawberry in a Alco store close by when I was younger, and liking it, but when I got more money, later on, I couldn’t remember their names but they weren’t in the same spot I remembered for them.  So all these years, (3?) I have been trying to remember.
    And finally remembering a little, found your blog post, and well… wishing I could try them again.  If I had to decide to try them or try tootsie pops, I think I would try them…

    Comment by postopialucy on 9/30/11 at 5:07 pm #
  29. Where can I get them??? My family & I love them but can find them any more!!!

    Comment by Stacie on 5/10/15 at 10:06 pm #
  30. Where can I purchase these pops? Chocolate & sucker candy awesome!

    Comment by Vickylynn talazs on 7/30/16 at 10:09 am #
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