In 2009, Jones Soda Co. of Seattle introduced a special edition case of their namesake beverages in a special co-branding deal with Wizards of the Coast to push the Dungeons and Dragons line.
Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble
Jones Soda is known primarily in North America for its pure cane sugar concoctions in a rainbow of fruit and cola flavors. They’re found in grocery stores and convenience shops there, Central America, South Africa and the EU. However, anyone who wants to can order cases of drinks from their online store – pre-labeled with a variety of quirky photographs or with pics you upload yourself.
Beyond the traditional fizzy drink fare, they have been known for their… true to life Thanksgiving Dinner pack – a set of bottles meant to recreate the traditional American holiday meal – from buttery mashed potato soda to roast turkey… flavored… *gag* soda.
So through ’09 and ’10, you could order the D&D soda packs in cases of 6 for $10.99USD or 12 for $18.99USD. As Castles and Cooks discovered when they ordered a case of the drinks, rather than being strange or outright weird flavors like the holiday pack, this product consisted of six flavors plucked from Jones’ everyday line and re-named with D&D themed titles and appropriate artwork:
Illithid Brain Juice: Grape; Eldritch Blast: Green Apple; Dwarven Draught: Root Beer; Healing Potion: Sugar-Free Black Cherry; Sneak Attack: Cream Soda; Bigby’s Crushing Thirst Destroyer: Cola
A Bitter Taste?
Depending on who you ask, the D&D soda line was a toss-up. Some reviews found online focused on the taste – if you were a fan of the sodas to begin with, you were likely to approve of these drinks as nothing changed with regard to the recipe. Others, like Castles, were disappointed that there weren’t original flavors included in the mix, primarily when you were paying a premium to get the case to begin with. (For a six-pack, the cost averaged $1.83 per bottle, which is on par with the price you’d pay at the store, however shipping could potentially double the overall cost.)
For what it’s worth, I have paid and will continue to pay more than something might potentially be worth for a brand loyalty tie-in. If Jones were to re-release a D&D soda line (with traditional flavors or not) I would happily pony up the cash.
And, your intrepid reporter has reached out to Jones to see if that could potentially happen. I’ll report back if I hear from them!