Ninety-nine percent of children were so obsessed with these that they still remember their favorite flavor (mine's blue!), but for the one-percenters out there, here's a brief intro. F-V-I are long plastic chutes filled with water, high-fructose corn syrup, and less than 2% juice concentrate. They're sold unfrozen, packaged in cardboard cases of up to 200, and strung together like rainbow bandoliers of anti-summer ammunition. The six original flavors (grape, lemon lime, tropical punch, orange, berry punch, strawberry) were recently joined by a new class of tropical options that I haven't tried, but I can say with confidence taste like your fondest memory of Kool-Aid.
When you're a kid, your eyes are always bigger than your stomach, so just like with Kool-Aid, the color is half the flavor. The neon hues burn their way straight from retina to taste buds. The drop of berry-flavor additive in the 1.5oz sticks is probably no larger than a pinhead, but to this day the vibrancy of the artificial flavoring still blows my mind. It's like if a robot recreated a fruit flavor based solely on factory-issued descriptors. And it was an especially astute robot.