Kellogg's, LEGO team up to train kids to choke

File under "What Could They Possibly Have Been Thinking?"

There's really not a much gentler way to phrase it: The biggest name in breakfast foods and among the most iconic names in toys have put their ingenuity and marketing genius together to create a fruit-flavored treat -- LEGO Fun Snacks -- that is so mind-numbingly irresponsible that at first I presumed it was a joke.

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We're talking about a children's snack shaped like the tiny plastic building blocks that every kid fortunate enough to have toys has put in his or her mouth at one time or another -- or a hundred. (The only thing my kids like better than LEGOS is watching videos of "Star Wars" characters made out of LEGOS.)

The Web site Penny Arcade threw the penalty flag yesterday:

I would love to know what sick (person) at Kellogg's came up with this genius idea. I just spent the first three years of my son's life trying to get him not to eat blocks, and now you're telling him they taste like strawberries. Thanks a lot. Seriously, how in the hell did this ever get past their legal department? You can't tell me that this isn't a lawsuit just waiting to happen. I can only assume that their next product is fruit flavored thumbtacks.

My initial thought was that it had to be some kind of hoax or Onion story, but a jump over to the Kellogg's Web site showed that's not the case.

The mere idea of a LEGO-shaped snack reminded me of this hilariously effective 2004 Super Bowl commercial that pilloried the tobacco industry.

When I sent the Penny Arcade link around the office this morning, other parents were quick to offer their own ideas for killer snacks: Paint Chip Flakes and Chewable Barbie Shoes being my favorites.

There's a wide-ranging discussion of the matter over at Reddit.

And, if training children to eat plastic blocks isn't enough to rile you, there's another major flaw with this LEGO/Kellogg's product: The gelatinous blocks do not stack, a design flaw highlighted in this video by a couple of foul-mouthed grownups.

While a little Googling shows that the two companies have been taking relatively mild flack about this product since at least last year, here's a prediction: LEGO Fun Snacks won't be on grocery shelves for much longer.

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