We tried Nintendo’s Pikmin gummies, and they’re distressingly good

Featuring Matt Cook from the Destructoid.com website

There is a terrifying, morbid curiosity that envelopes someone when they discover Pikmin gummy candies exist.

In her brilliant review of Pikmin 2, Destructoid’s Zoey “Stromboli” Handley discusses the empathic approach some take to the Pikmin series. Sure, the plant creatures in Nintendo’s franchise are disposable to an extent. But their tiny dying sounds and the little ghosts that fly away upon death fill me with deep sorrow. I planted those Pikmin. I plucked those Pikmin from the earth. And if I can’t keep them safe from the jaws of bizarre ladybug monsters, then did I even deserve their companionship to begin with? Every lost unit hurts my soul.

So you can imagine my reaction when I saw that certain retailers in Japan were stocking gummy candies based on the Pikmin franchise. Titled “Pikmin Can Be Eaten” gummies, there is no ambiguity that you are, in fact, playing the role of the monster by purchasing them. Fortunately, these candies are Japan-exclusive, so I shouldn’t even feel tempted to eat them. I mean, living in the United States, I would have to pay an exorbitant markup to import a pack of these. Or, even more extreme, we’d have to get someone to travel to Japan to try these gummies.

Surely that would be a silly amount of time and money to spend just to tell you how some Pikmin gummy candies taste, right?

Stock photo of Tokyo
Image by Christian from Pixabay

Two writers spend a silly amount of time and money to tell you how Pikmin gummy candies taste

Honestly, I can’t even summarize the series of events that turned eating Pikmin into an intensive journalistic feat. All I know is that it ended with me spending money to have these candies shipped across the world to me. Meanwhile, our own Matt “Quack Attack” Cook visited Japan to give us an exclusive look at where one could buy these firsthand.

To be fair, Matt was already in Japan when I started planning this story. However, I like to imagine Matt preemptively knew we’d want to run a story about these and visited strictly for that reason. I have a wild imagination, okay?

For context about our subject, the Pikmin Can Be Eaten gummies originally debuted all the way back in 2021. While these attracted buzz at the time, the release of the critically acclaimed Pikmin 4 has naturally reinvigorated the Pikmin brand. As a result, select stores in Japan have gone all-in on not only restocking these candies, but a ton of related merchandise as well. I’d explain more, but fortunately, I don’t have to.

I’ll turn it over now to Matt “Kersplat” Cook, coming to us with on-scene coverage from Japan. I don’t know why I’m introducing him like the weather segment on the local news.

Tokyo Nintendo Pikmin promotion
Photo by Destructoid.

Hunting for Pikmin in Tokyo

Matt: When I went to Japan earlier this month, I had it on my list to find all of the Pikmin 4 launch tie-ins that I could. One of the best things about any big game launch in Japan is how thoroughly it’s embraced across the country. Even if you have no idea what a Pikmin is, you’d find it difficult to be completely unaware of the Pikmin 4 launch.

One of the first things I did when I got to Tokyo was go to a Family Mart convenience store by my hotel. Convenience stores are pretty much everywhere you look in Japan, and Family Mart is one of the biggest chains. It was there, at the very first stop, that I noticed a big Pikmin 4 poster in the window. Family Mart was selling download cards for the game and Pikmin-themed Nintendo gift cards. It also had a lottery where Family Mart members could win limited-time goodies and, most impressively, Pikmin-themed food for the month of July.

Given the level of promotion, I thought I’d found the Pikmin gummies at my very first stop. But alas, the gummies were nowhere to be found. Over the next few days, I checked every convenience store, Family Mart or not, for the gummies. However, I couldn’t find them anywhere. It wasn’t until I went to the Tokyo Nintendo store that my luck changed.

Tokyo Nintendo Pikmin products
Photo by Destructoid.

Pikmin celebration at Tokyo Nintendo

Predictably, the Nintendo store celebrated the launch of Pikmin 4 in a big way with shelves upon shelves of adorable merch. They had everything that any Pikmin fan’s heart could desire, from plushies, dolls, and socks, to, yes, the gummies.

The massive variety was somewhat overwhelming. With limited suitcase space, I bought three packs of the gummies and entered the Pikmin 4 raffle hosted at the store. Raffles often accompany big game launches. You pay a fee – in this case, 700 yen ($5) – and you’re guaranteed a prize which ranges from something small like a keyring up to some really cool plushies or even the game itself. I won a purple Pikmin keyring which I was pretty happy with since the purple Pikmin is obviously the best one.

As for the gummies, they’re predictably delicious. Each one tastes, rather morbidly, how you may expect a Pikmin to taste. Purple is a very good grape flavor, red is apple, yellow is orange, and blue is blueberry. If there’s one complaint I have about the gummies, it’s about the rare strawberry and lemon white Pikmin. This one, as it says on the pack, is a rare sour gummy that you can only find if you’re lucky. Unfortunately, as with many of life’s rarities, it’s far and away the best one! I was supremely disappointed after trying it to find that there was only one in the pack. When I found four of the rare sour gummies in my next pack, I felt like I won the Pikmin candy lottery.

If we get sequel gummies, I hope they release some all-sour options. I’d eat those every day on my next trip to Japan.

Pikmin Gummy bottom crease
Photo by Destructoid

Back to Tim as he tests his gummy luck

Tim: Thanks Matt for the exclusive look! Had I known you would be in Japan, I might have reconsidered importing these things for myself. Not that I would have expected you to think “I should really let Destructoid Guide Editor Timothy Monbleau know I’m in Japan in case he’s interested in an extremely specific Japanese candy review on this video game website.”

Also, Matt probably does not call me “Destructoid Guide Editor Timothy Monbleau” in his internal dialogue, but I digress.

Anyway, after placing an order with a friendly eBay seller, I received a pack of Pikmin gummies in about ten days. It’s, appropriately, a tiny pack of candy. That said, the packaging illustrations look elaborate compared to the usual promotional candies we get in the States. The front obviously looks pretty cute, but even the bottom crease has a ton of… words about each Pikmin (pictured above). We probably should have chosen someone with even a cursory knowledge of Japanese for this assignment.

Opening my own package after reading Matt’s thoughts, I… okay, let me put it this way. Have you ever played a gacha or loot-based game where you get absolutely nothing but garbage, but your friend is rolling .01% luck odds? Because guess how many rare sour candies I got in my bag? Literally zero.

Pikmin Gummy lineup
Photo by Destructoid

My full distribution of gummies was five blue, three red, two yellow, and one purple. The fact that I didn’t get any of the best-tasting gummy was a real bummer. Meanwhile, Matt, can you remind me how many sour gummies you walked away with?

Matt: I found two more in the third pack.

Sour Pikmin Gummies
Photo by Destructoid

Tim: Either you have an amazing luck stat or mine is a negative number.

All this means is that the Pikmin gummies have a lot to prove because it’s time for –

Pikmin Gummy normal variety
Photo by Destructoid

The official Destructoid Pikmin gummy candy review

What you gotta know about me is that I’m no slouch when it comes to gummy candies. Since I was a kid, gummy candies have been my favorite variety of sweets. My palate has tasted many snacks, so the Pikmin Can Be Eaten gummies really need to impress if I can’t even taste the best flavor.

That’s why I’m here to tell you that after trying these gummies, my cynical verdict is they…they taste really good.

The first thing I noticed about the gummies was, weirdly, the smell. These things have a strong juice scent to them that candy generally lacks in the United States. Considering my sense of smell is – to use the clinical word – terrible, I can’t stress enough how unique this is. I can smell them now as I type this, even though the gummies sit on a table next to my desk.

As for the taste, they’re just plain pleasant. Even after flying across the world, they have a soft, chewy consistency that really lets you savor the flavor. They’re honestly both sweeter and less abrasive than many gummies I’ve had. The word “clean” came to my mind as I ate them, even without any context of its ingredients.

I will say each Pikmin didn’t taste particularly different from each other. They all do look different, which is fun. Sorting them out to grab pictures reminded me of how I used to play with animal crackers and Pokemon gummy candies as a kid. But if you put a blindfold over my eyes, I wouldn’t be able to identify which flavors I consumed. I do think I liked the purple one the best, but probably only because that was my rarest gummy. It’s like only getting the guaranteed SR unit in a gacha ten-pull.

Pikmin 4 Pre-order Bonuses
Screenshot via Nintendo

We have become monsters

So overall, what have we learned from this experience?

First, obviously, is to let Matt “Luckinator” Cook buy lottery tickets.

Second, the Pikmin Can Be Eaten gummies are so good that they straight-up spark an existential crisis. I think Pikmin are precious and must be protected. However, now that I know they taste good, I understand the enemies that consume them. If I were hungry, struggling to survive, and saw a bunch of innocent yet delicious creatures approaching me, would I eat them? For the sake of my sanity, I can’t ponder the question any further. I’m afraid of the answer.

I should note that I’m not an expert on Japanese candy. These could taste no different than the usual snack, I just lack that context. Regardless, I must admit these gummies surprised me. Would I pay a 600% markup to have them shipped to me again? Probably not. But if there wasn’t a price disparity and I saw them at my local convenience store, would I choose these over other gummies? Definitely yes.

So overall, I must admit that, while thematically horrifying, the Pikmin Can Be Eaten gummies were a smash hit. The question is, on a scale of A Link Between Worlds to ten, how would I rate them? Well, it is my pleasure to award these candies a score of 9.5/10. That’s right, they’re better than Pikmin 1, better than Pikmin 2, and arguably better than Pikmin 4. Geoff Keighley, I hope you’re taking notes for The Game Awards because I’m willing to bet Tears of the Kingdom doesn’t taste nearly as good as these.

And I didn’t even try the sour ones.

About The Author
Timothy Monbleau
Guide Editor - Timothy started writing community blogs for Destructoid in 2012. He liked it so much he decided to write articles for the site professionally. His love for RPGs and the Ys series will endure forever.
More Stories by Timothy Monbleau