I talked about my new Kool-Aid hobby during the Sharkleberry Fin tribute, and ever since then, my collection has seriously grown. While I wouldn't say tracking down fifteen-year-old packets of Kool-Aid is the easiest hobby in the world, it certainly bears its fruit. I've picked up dozens of flavor varieties that haven't been on the market in years, and in time, we'll be opening up a special section of the site to review each and every last one. It's all because of an article in a periodical I just read, stating that the fast track to big web traffic is writing about what old Kool-Aid tastes like. That'll come in due time, but there's one more flavor that deserves that extra bit of effort. I was hoping to surprise you with its identity, but Hell, you've seen the logo. Welcome back an old pal: Purplesaurus Rex!
Look, I've always been partial to Sharkleberry, but nobody can deny that this -- this! -- was the most popular entry of the modern era. "Purplesaurus Rex" is, casually speaking, the most-missed Kool-Aid flavor. It's the only one people seem to remember as was, and not with some imaginary trait or name nuance made up in their minds by the hands of Father Time, like "Shark Berry" or "Sunny Punch," neither of which existed but still manage to have several fansites. Everyone remembers Purplesaurus, even people who wouldn't care if Kraft pulled the plug on the Kool-Aid factory and sold it to the Germans. Taste aside, that stupid purple dinosaur predated an even more famous stupid purple dinosaur in joining Americana. Why? You'll understand once you've read the story.
See, these were different times. Kool-Aid had its established group of flavors, but instead of creating entire new sublines of Kool-Aid and promoting those, they just added more and more regular varieties and advertising them singularly. Thus, to kids, every Kool-Aid flavor had a story to tell, and every Kool-Aid flavor was important. When we saw "Mountain Berry Punch," we reflected upon the time Kool-Aid Man climbed up a wall of rock, using standard climbing equipment and wearing ripped khakis. When we saw "Great Bluedini," we dreamt of hentai and ordered fried gaaaalamah to go with it. Every packet had history, but only Purplesaurus Rex had giant claymation dinosaurs and shout-outs to the Jurassic era.
Still, while we would've bought Purplesaurus Rex sheerly on the merits of its mascot, this isn't to say it didn't have an addicting taste. Seemingly a combination of Kool-Aid's "Grape" and "Lemonade" varieties, it's important to note that despite Kool-Aid alchemy being a popular science amongst enthusiasts, there's no way to genuinely recreate the flavor at home. You can try, and you'll come close, but at the end of the night, you know the purple shit you're pissin' ain't Purplesaurus Rex. Considered one of the best tasting flavors (and certainly the #1 flavor amongst the so-called "character Kool-Aids"), this was the stuff of legend, picnics and trips to natural history museums.
If Purplesaurus Rex landed without the assistance of a television commercial, kids never would've known what to make of him. Friend or foe? Male or female? I tend to think it still would've sold well, being so unusual and all, but this spot totally sealed the deal. The Kool-Aid Man passes on breaking through any walls, thus illustrating how serious he was about making Purplesaurus Rex the next Pepsi or Coke, instead only narrating and letting the fruit-filled dragon assume center stage. The commercial was in all black-and-white, save for two things: Purplesaurus Rex the dinosaur, and Purplesaurus Rex the Kool-Aid. Well, Kool-Aid Man's still in color too, but we couldn't expect him to take that small a role. Once you set a precedent for playing second fiddle, you're screwed.
During the ad, all eighty-thousand stories of Purplesaurus Rex stalks the city streets, stopping only to pour Kool-Aid for nosy rich boys hanging out their penthouse windows. Only uttering a single word ("Purple!"), Purplesaurus Rex is established as slow-moving, lazy oaf who can kill you with one step without ever meaning any harm. Finally, a Kool-Aid character with some fucking nuance.
Expectedly, the ad did its job. The combined allure of this commercial and that terrific package art sent kids after Purplesaurus with more violent ferocity than three bears realizing the antelope they killed and had just clawed open was with children. It was the flavor of the month, a phrase I've always longed to use in a literal way. Go me. We were hooked, and we remained hooked for a pretty long time, comparatively speaking. Most Kool-Aid flavors were in and out of our small intestine within weeks. Purplesaurus Rex got to celebrate its God damned birthday. Go him.
If that wasn't enough, during the debut months of Purplesaurus Rex, the Kool-Aid point value on each packet was doubled. Not one point. Two! A truly inconceivable notion, this facet helped kids win stuffed plushies and tiny, AM-only radios in double-time. Next time you're about to slap someone for overreacting, remember what a fuss was made over a new Kool-Aid flavor. Everybody goes out of their mind sometime.
As said, I've been collecting old Kool-Aid packets. I suck, I know. Somehow managing to obtain four sealed packets of Purplesaurus Rex in the past few months, I've decided to give in to fruity destiny and do what you're all sitting there mentally begging and pleading with me to do: I'm gonna make myself some Purplesaurus Rex, baby.
Oh God, it's good, it's really, really good. Better than Sharkleberry Fin from a flavor perspective, the tart lemons perfectly annihilate everything I usually hate about grape-flavored stuff. One can only imagine the glories that could've been found in a fresh batch. I still consider plain old Cherry Kool-Aid the only flavor I can drink without first taking a moment to prepare my sensory organs for the rush, but this one comes really, really close. Being able to experience Purplesaurus again, it's become clear to me why so many remember it to a level of fondness much higher than that of other Kool-Aid flavors -- the scent. It's practically red sangria on the nose, so strong and pungent that I'd imagine a lot of you can almost smell it right now. It's so intense that even as the plastic glass full of Purplesaurus Rex Kool-Aid sits on the edge of my desk waiting to be accidentally knocked over, I can still smell its sweet, sugary dinosaur breath. Dunno what else to say, but I'm impressed.
In terms of color, it's a very striking royal purple, but admittedly not as cool as the more translucent example seen in the commercial. Either the Kool-Aid Man was lying, or I needed to add more water. In the moments before hatching the eggs, I noticed that the powder had more of a bluish tint than anything closer to purple. They didn't market this as one of those amazing color-changing Kool-Aid varieties, but they could've. Again, this only proves how strong the Purplesaurus Rex initiative was. They had the color-changing coup and they didn't even need it.
Overall, I'd give it 4.5 smiling pitchers out of 5, but confess that it would've only been four if I didn't so love seeing graphics of pitchers sliced in half. It's beautiful, beautiful purple stuff that helped shape a generation of sugar addicts and people who enjoy random acts of dinosaur trivia. The spinosaurus used the sail on its back to cool off.
Sharkleberry Fin is the only other Kool-Aid flavor to have an entire "Adventures of Kool-Aid Man" comic book devoted it, so Purplesaurus Rex is definitely of the elite. It's a pretty neat story for Kool-Aid fans, beginning deep within the sacred laboratories of the Wacky Warehouse and ending in times before Christ was born. I triple dare you to check each of these special sections, featuring scans from the only comic book I've ever read where the Kool-Aid Man travels through time. You won't see it in Spider-Man.
The Origin of Purplesaurus Comic: You won't believe what it took to have the Kool-Aid Man meet Purplesaurus Rex for the very first time, but it's all here in this twelve page comic. As the evil Scorch plans to ruin everyone's fun, Kool-Aid Man enlists the help of a certain one-of-a-kind prehistoric dinosaur to save the day. Guess. Click here!
Games & Advertisements: Kool-Aid comic books were always full of neat drink ads and puzzles, and Purplesaurus Rex's edition was no exception. Enjoy five pages of fruit punch promotions, lemony word searches and at least one sentient ice pop who identifies himself as "Mountain Berry." Click here!
The Wacky Warehouse: Yes! Wacky Warehouse fans, take note -- there was an all-Purplesaurus version in this particular comic, chock full of everything from Purplesaurus Rex boxer shorts to Purplesaurus Rex shirts to things that aren't necessarily related to Purplesaurus Rex but were purple all the same. Get your Kool-Aid points ready! Click here!
The Purplesaurus Rex Kool-Aid Commercial: Because they had to get the word out somehow, what better way than a combination of computer animation, claymation, live action and DINOSAURS POURIN' PUNCH?! It's one of the most unique of the many dozen Kool-Aid commercials, and snap, it's the only one featuring DINOSAURS POURIN' PUNCH. Quality of the video is shitty, but you'll get the point just like you always do. Click here!
I hope you've enjoyed this special tribute to Purplesaurus Rex, one the very few Kool-Aid flavors that totally deserved it and didn't need me having an off week to get one. For those curious, no, sadly, Purplesaurus Rex isn't around anymore and probably will never resurface. I'd call it extinct but hello obvious. Smack some "Grape" and "Lemonade" together for a nigh-placebo satiation, but your best times with Purplesaurus Rex lie in prehistoric times. Sorry.