As TMNT Week continues here on The Holidaze, we discuss our final Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle in the Crush soda collection - Raphael! Known for his signature red eye band and rude attitude, Raphael is the loose cannon of the bunch. He's hot-headed with a quick temper, but is loyal to his family regardless of their differing opinions at times. While he may not be the leader, he's second in command and strives to be the best in his own way. He's certainly the yin to Leonardo's yang and, together, they balance each other and the group perfectly. So while Raph wouldn't like that he's the last Turtle to be reviewed, he may feel better once he hears how extremely difficult his flavor was to find in stores!
Raphael's Strawberry Crush can was the first one I discovered on Instagram. I was shocked to see it existed and even after it was proven to be a reality, you still could have fooled me because I couldn't find Raph anywhere. Maybe that's symbolic of who Raph is as a character. While he's loyal to his family and defends his brothers, he's still very much a loner who would protect New York City as a solo vigilante if he could, but knows he's 4x less than what his brothers are as a team. Maybe Raph was so hard to find because he was out on his own but, in the end, he came to his senses and finally joined forces with me at my local Path Mark. It took me long enough, but Raphael is home, whether he likes it or not.
Like all Ninja Turtle cans, Raphael's is designed perfectly and, again, the colors contrast very well. Usually, whenever you bring green and red together, it's hard to not think of Christmas, but Crush managed to avoid that trap. Between the splatter logo, fruit slice and turtle shell, the can stands on it's own as something different; something special. Of course, Raphael's eyes and brows are especially aggressive along the rim. Since the first animated series, Raph has gone from funny sarcasm to a true bad ass. His eyes say a lot and I'm sure the new film will back up that sentiment.
As a kid, I always wanted to be Michelangelo. He's always been my favorite and I wanted to relate to him, but the truth is I'm much more like Raphael than any other turtle. Sure, a nerdy blog that focuses on holidays and nostalgia probably doesn't back that up but, in real life, I'm the guy that loves to lead but lets my emotion get in the way of sound decisions. Thankfully, much like Raph, I'm able to make the best of those decisions and have an awesome family to rally behind me, making me better than I could ever be on my own. I think the majority of us can relate to Raph, but I'm nowhere near the bad ass he is. For example, as I was taking photos outside on my deck, I had to run inside like a chicken because a swarm of wasps decided to make their Summer debut on a 90 degree day. Unlike my wimp ass, they refused to leave the area, but I found my courage, got back out there and rushed these photos for your viewing enjoyment. That's T-U-R-T-L-E Power!
I know Strawberry Crush has been around for some time, but I've never experienced the flavor. I knew it would be delicious because I've read rave reviews in the past, but I was excited to finally form my own opinion. It's awesome, but very sweet. The best comparison I can make is to "Crazy Hair" candy. Oh man, when I was a kid, Crazy Hair was available at the Corner Store and my cousin and I bought one every day. They were sooo sweet and sugary that the rush was inevitable. For an 8-year-old, the amount of sugar we took in was probably comparable to a drug, but we used the high to play wiffle ball. We were like little A-Rod's on the block thanks to our Crazy Hair. Well this Strawberry Crush flavor tastes exactly the same and it instantly brought back a wave of nostalgia and a retro rush of memories. For that alone, Raphael Strawberry Crush is a great success, but even if you have no attachment to the flavor, I can almost guarantee you'll enjoy this variety of TMNT Crush. What I can't guarantee is that you'll be able to find any bottles or cans.