Slideshow: Japanese Snacks: Pocky

Taste the Rainbow
Taste the Rainbow
OK, it's a very brown and beige-heavy rainbow with the token pink thrown in (there always has to be pink, right?), but it's a tasty one nonetheless. Click on through the slideshow for a meet and greet with every one of the cream-covered citizens of Pockyland, the most magical stick-populated land in the universe.
The Core Group
The Core Group
It all started with the basic chocolate cream-covered biscuit stick (second from the left). Over the years, he's gone under a few transformations, including a sweeter Milk Chocolate flavor, as well as skinny and GIANT incarnations. The skinny are about half as thin as the original (but with just as much chocolate), and the Giant is a good three or four times as large.
Flavored Pocky
Flavored Pocky
Strawberry has been around for awhile, but Pumpkin and Caramel Milk are new to me. Pumpkin's got a nice color and a cute logo, but not much in terms of pumpkin flavor. Caramel Milk is extremely sweet, bordering on cloying. I'll stick with the strawberry for now.
Chocolate-on-Chocolate
Chocolate-on-Chocolate
The flowing satin cloth behind the box art for the Chocolate-on-Chocolate Pocky makes me think these are geared towards the female contingent (where else do you see flowing satin except in feminine hygiene and yogurt commercials?). Their marketing may be Gillette Satin Care, but their flavor is all Mr. Bubble. Offered in Mild, Caramel, and Praline variants, all three have massive amounts of sweet chocolate that I could imagine my 8-year old self greedily sucking away on.
Creamy, Dreamy, and Romantic
Creamy, Dreamy, and Romantic
Winter Pocky is like the truffle of the family. With a slightly thicker coat of chocolate, less sugar, and a dusting of bitter cocoa powder, they're the kind of Pocky you can give your wife on mildly important dates like when she finishes a research project or on your anniversary.

The white chocolate-coated chocolate biscuit version is the only such role reversal we see in the entire extended line.

The Imposters
The Imposters
Lucky (they're like Pocky, but more chocolate), Pepero (a blatant knckoff), Thomas the Tank Engine and Hello Kitty-themed cookie sticks (also blatant knockoffs), Toppo (like Pocky, but inside out with the cream in the center), and Fran Meltykiss. None of them are the original, but honestly, taste'em side-by-side, and there's not much difference. Still, we like to keep loyal.