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If you can't take a trip to Hawkins, Indiana, and join the gang at the Starcourt Mall (or have a time machine to the 1980s, for that matter), you can, luckily, head to Walmart (or Walmart.com) for a similar effect. If you're familiar with the third season of the hit show "Stranger Things," you may have wanted to join Robin and Steve at their summer job at Scoops Ahoy in the Starcourt Mall. Though they may have spent more time unfurling Russian plots happening in their mall than they did actually scooping ice cream, the screen time the ice cream got did make it seem delicious -- and it is. We got to try every flavor of the new "Stranger Things" ice cream available at Walmart, and whether you're looking for a new fun dessert, you're a "Stranger Things" superfan, or you're looking for the perfect photo-op accessory for your Scoops Ahoy Halloween costume, we think these ice cream pints are worth the try.
For less than $5 apiece, the pints are decorated with fun "Stranger Things" Easter eggs any fan will pick up on, and some flavors come in the classic Scoops Ahoy branding; other pints seem to have taken a trip to the Upside Down. And whether you're shopping in the Walmart in your hometown or in the Upside Down, you might as well pick up some frozen Eggos, too. We ranked the flavors while keeping in mind the saying Argyle preaches: "Try before you deny."
Read more: 25 Best Ice Cream Brands Ranked
Triple Decker Extravaganza
We did try before we denied. And though most of these flavors were pretty tasty, we have to admit the Triple Decker Extravaganza was not our favorite. Sorry, but friends don't lie, and we can't lie about the ultra-sweetness this flavor packs. If you've ever wanted to eat pure maple syrup, then you might like this one. It is saccharine to the max, though (spoiler alert) we think this flavor could resuscitate Max from her coma.
The official description of this flavor is that it's a vanilla and butter ice cream with a maple ribbon, waffle, and chocolate peanut butter candy. The only flavor we really could pick up was the maple, and though the chunks of "chocolate peanut butter candy" (ahem, off-brand Reese's pieces) were present, they didn't have a strong enough flavor to balance out all that maple. It wasn't the worst ice cream we've ever had, but we wouldn't be running up that road, or running up that hill, for it.
Pineapple Upside Down
The first flavor venturing into the Upside Down is Pineapple Upside Down, and if you don't get the pun, the name of this flavor is a play on pineapple upside-down cake. We think this is marketing genius, and we only wish the flavor was as impactful as its name. You'd think the chunks of pineapple, pieces of literal pound cake, and the caramel swirl in it would help to create a top-tier flavor, but it was honestly pretty bland. This is a theme we found with a lot of this line of ice cream flavors, and we wished that each had packed as big of a punch as the "Stranger Things" season finales do.
If you enjoy more mild ice cream flavors and want something a little fruity, this is a solid choice for you. The best part of this flavor was the caramel swirl, which was artfully mixed on top and throughout the pint. If you're not a caramel fan, perhaps you should skip this flavor. We'd say the Pineapple Upside Down flavor is like the La Croix of ice cream: The hint of flavor is there, but it's just not strong.
This flavor is the exact opposite of the U.S.S.R. experiment happening in the Starcourt Mall in Season 3: it's straightforward. There's no need to decode Russian radio code in order to know what this flavor tastes like. We found this to be the most uncomplicated of the flavors, and even though we aren't the biggest fans of traditional butterscotch, we have to give credit where credit is due. There won't be any confusion about what you're buying with this one. The official description notes it contains butterscotch ice cream, a salted caramel ribbon, and salted caramel chocolate. So it does go a bit further than traditional butterscotch, but not so far that it's unrecognizable, like the transformation of One to Vecna.
If you do happen to enjoy butterscotch ice cream, you're going to love this flavor. And since you're the type of person who appreciates the classics, you'll definitely be singing "Never Ending Story" while eating it (though no one will be able to sing it better than Suzie and Dustin).
Cinnamon Bun Bytes
As one of our taste testers noted, the "Stranger Things" Cinnamon Bun Bytes flavor is perfect if you want vanilla with a kick. A small kick, though. We actually enjoyed the Cinnamon Bun Bytes flavor enough to slot it in the top half of the ranking; in fact, it didn't place higher because of how much we enjoyed the top three flavors. If you're looking for a quality vanilla bean ice cream with a dash of cinnamon, this ice cream is it. The flavor includes cinnamon ice cream, a cinnamon cream cheese swirl, and cinnamon roll dough, but we found that all that cinnamon didn't overpower the vanilla base of the ice cream. That's okay, though -- it was still delicious.
We think that, out of all the characters, Will might enjoy this flavor the most. It's not one overtaken by the Upside Down, which he'd appreciate, and it's predictable yet enjoyable, which he would enjoy after all the recent changes in his life throughout the series. While we're at it, we think Dustin would most enjoy the Chocolate Pudding flavor (duh), Erica would devour the U.S.S. Butterscotch (as seen in the third season), Suzie would love her "Dusty Bun" Cinnamon Bun Bytes flavor, Hopper and El would obviously enjoy their Triple Decker Extravaganza creation, and Argyle would dig the Pineapple Upside Down (try before you deny).
The Mind Flayer -- ahem, Mint Flare flavor earned the third spot in our ranking. We found this flavor to be a combination of a few things we love -- mint chocolate chip ice cream and rainbow jimmies, and also a nod to Joyce's festive Christmas lights in the first season and a spin on the word Mind Flayer. It's clever and delicious, our favorite type of dessert. We're not sure why more mint chocolate chip ice creams don't feature rainbow sprinkles in them, but they should. The sugar of the sprinkles, the bite of the chocolate chunks, and the power of the mint came together in a memorable flavor.
However, the level of mint in this definitely couldn't distract a demi-dog, much less our tastebuds. We enjoyed the concept of this flavor but found the actual base mint ice cream to be a bit bland. Maybe our taste buds have just been ruined by the stronger mint chocolate chip ice creams out there, but we really do think the mint could've been more pronounced in this. We weren't looking for an artificial mint flavor, per se, but that relative blandness capped how high this one could go.
Now we're really getting down to business. The Void — as inspired by, duh, the place El can go to in her mind in order to connect with the Upside Down — was so good that it easily earned the second spot in our ranking. And just like how the Upside Down can leave some pretty nasty black goo on you, The Void ice cream flavor can leave your teeth, lips, and mouth stained black. We're not complaining, though -- it reminded us of having a good cherry slushy. It's worth every stained-tooth bite.
The Void is described as a "black" vanilla mixed with vanilla creme cookies (off-brand Oreos), and we love it. This ice cream — essentially cookies and creme — is deliciously sweet, and we enjoyed how the bits of the cookies broke up an otherwise monotonous ice cream bite. Just don't eat this one before going anywhere in public -- you might get the shady scientists at Hawkins National Laboratory called on you.
Would it really be a "Stranger Things" ice cream line if it didn't feature a flavor called Chocolate Pudding? Of course not. Dustin would fawn over this flavor like he did the chocolate pudding in the first season of the show, and we're as enamored with this flavor as he would be. What made this ice cream flavor stand out among all the others was more than its chocolate base -- though that was a welcome flavor amongst the many butter and vanilla-based pints. This flavor had a chocolate ice cream base, chocolate fudge, and vanilla wafers in it, making it the clear winner of first place in our ranking.
The bits of the wafer in it broke up the texture throughout the pint, and the chocolate fudge added a rich decadence that we could really get behind. This flavor the most out of all of them happily surprised us -- we were worried it was going to be a basic, boring, plain chocolate ice cream. Thankfully, it's anything but that. Every bite is chocolatey heaven, and if you're anything like the chocolate fiend Dustin is, you're going to love it.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.