When I was a child, I remember a commercial which showed a gorilla tossing around Samsonite luggage as a way of demonstrating how tough it was. Though I doubt gorillas tossed my ZenPop box around, it did encounter some sort of trauma in shipping. The boxes themselves are quite sturdy and this is the first time I've ever received one which took on any damage at all. Perhaps a gorilla did get to it to do such damage.
Whether or not the box is a beat up is not the question. The question is how the contents fared despite the hard knocks it took. Fortunately, not one item in the box was harmed despite the licking it took. It may have helped that many of the items were cheese-related and in puffy bags with air.
I am especially delighted with this box since the theme is cheese. I once told my husband that, if I had to eat one type of food and only one type of food for the rest of my life, it would be cheese. He even got me a cheese of the month club membership for Christmas. While not everything in the box is cheese themed, the overwhelming majority is.
There are more savory items, of course, because that's what one would expect from cheese.
Super Kari-Kari Cheese Pretz: This is supposed to be super crunchy because it's very thin.
Bourbon Petit Cheese Crackers: These are like tiny Ritz-style crackers with a cheese filling. They're a little like the Lance sandwich crackers that are so common in vending machines, except they are tiny.
Umai-Wa Cheese (corn snack rings): This is a ring version of the famous "umai bo" sticks. I'm guessing this will be little different than the sticks, but it'll likely be less messy.
Ura-Caramel Corn Double Cheese (corn snack curls): The information in the ZenPop box says these aren't "caramel" at all despite the name. Caramel corn is a brand in Japan as much as a flavor so I'm guessing that's why there is a misleading name.
Cheese Rice Crackers: These are small, hard crunchy rice snacks called "arare" (which I think means "hail", but it's been awhile and my Japanese is fading away). I loved this style of snack in Japan, though the did tend to be the least healthy version of sembei.
Horo Buono Cheddar Cheese (balls): I've never heard of anything like these, but they sound and look a lot like Planter's cheese balls.
Calbee Black Pepper and Cheese Potato Chips: Calbee makes the thinnest and crisipiest chips so I think these are going to be amazing.
Dagashi Cheese Snack: This is the funniest little thing because it is so tiny. It's supposed to be Camembert-flavored cheese with fish paste, but I'll have to take the tiniest of bites to get a sense of it considering it's smaller than the top half of my pinky finger.
Crunky Baked Cheese Tart: This is a weird one because it's a chocolate bar which is made with gouda. Most sweets that are made with cheese in America are made with cream cheese. This is a little like the baked KitKat though and is can be toasted to bring out a unique experience.
Asahi Cheese Tart Bar: This is a "healthy" bar fortified with vitamins. It is supposed to be a dough/cheesecake type of center with a cookie wrapped around it (much like a tart with cheese filling).
Choco-ball Chocolate Banana Flavor: This is supposed to be a chocolate biscuit covered with banana-flavored chocolate. It sounds terrible actually because banana-flavored anything tends to be disappointing.
Strawberry Chocolate: These are dagashi, or kid's snacks. They're strawberry chocolates on a stick (like a lollipop). I'm guessing these will be super sweet and artificially flavored.
Pikachu Ramune Candy: This is another dagashi with a ball that is strawberry outside and melon inside. Despite the name, it doesn't seem from the description like there is any ramune (Japanese soda) flavor.
Anpanman Ball Chocolate: The center of this is a cookie and the outside is chocolate. It's like a malted milk ball with a cookie center instead of malted milk.
Tirol Kinako Mochi Chocolate: This is the only item that I've reviewed before and it is super tasty. Previously, I reviewed the "premium" version (larger piece) and this appears to be the smaller version, but it tastes the same.
I've said before that I believe that ZenPop's package has the best value for a snack pack and this box continues to convince me of that. There is a decent mix of sweet and savory as well as dagashi (children's snacks) and snacks designed for adults. If you'd like to consider ZenPop's box, you can buy one or subscribe by going to their site. Note that I was given this box for review at no cost. Hopefully, I'll do better reviewing the contents than I did with the previous box. ;-)