My 11-year-old is the Steven Universe fan in our house. In fact, he’s brought our whole family into enjoying the show together, and my husband and I have had numerous conversations about some of the social commentary that is going on behind the scenes. Rebecca Sugar has done a great job bringing such inclusiveness into children’s programming.
Our son enjoys Steven cosplay as well, and when he heard about Cartoon Network selling an authentic Cheeseburger Backpack, modeled after the one featured in Season 1, Episode 3, “Cheeseburger Backpack”, he decreed that it will be his new official bag of holding for school, not just for cosplay. He was so excited to receive a review sample to put to the test at his new middle school.
The IRL backpack is modeled to be as authentic as possible compared to how it’s described and drawn in the cartoon episode, from the spacious sizing to the placement of the zippered compartments (the bun, the cheese, and between the tomato and burger).
The Cartoon Network Cheeseburger Backpack measures 20″ in diameter and 9″ deep, making it large enough for a pre-teen to use for middle school, and perhaps even for a teen to use in high school, assuming he/she isn’t carrying every book in his/her inventory at once. It seems to fit my son’s 2″ language arts binder perfectly well, along with numerous spiral notebooks, folders, and one to two textbooks. There’s also space for his soft-sided lunchbox, pencil case, umbrella, a hoodie jacket, and house key. We filled it up pretty well just to get an idea of its full capacity: it’s comparable to his original L.L. Bean Deluxe Book Pack.
As mentioned before, this backpack is divided into three zippered compartments: the tomato, cheese, and bun. The hamburger patty and lettuce are decorative. There are numerous fabrics making up the components of the “sandwich”, giving it an authentic look: polyurethane for the bun, cheese, and tomato, nylon for the lettuce and interior pockets, and soft polyester fleece for the burger. The outermost pocket divides into two compartments, with extra pockets for pencils, money, school ID, and house keys.
The part of the backpack closest to the wearer’s back is padded for extra comfort, as are the two pink straps. The straps are only 2″ thick, unfortunately; most other backpacks of this side have 2.5″ straps. An excessively heavy load could present some discomfort.
We like how each of the three compartments’ zippers cover half of that compartment’s circumference (tomato, bun) or perimeter (square cheese). That makes things very easy to access.
I need to warn users of the strong odor of the polyurethane when you first receive the backpack. The smell will be strong; it didn’t bother my son and after 2 weeks, the smell is almost gone.
The interior of the compartments is black vinyl. While I admit that the color will hide dirt, ink, and loose pencil markings well, it also hid my son’s black pens and black mini-umbrella. He didn’t think he had his umbrella one rainy day, when indeed he did…the vinyl chameleon-ed very well with the interior fabric.
Finally, I noticed that the pack doesn’t have any reinforcement on the bottom. So far that hasn’t been a problem but he only has been using the backpack two weeks. I’m particularly concerned with how square corners of textbooks, notebooks, and binders will wear on the rounded bottom (yes, the base is completely rounded). We’ll see how long that lasts: my youngest son is a pretty rough-and-tumble kid.
In summary, the Cheeseburger Backpack is a great gift for the Steven Universe fan in your life. The backpacks have started shipping this month (after several months of pre-order). It retails for $54.95 at CartoonNetwork.com but is being found for less at other retailers.
GeekMom was provided a complimentary sample of this product for review purposes.