One thing that I was always appreciative of when I was a kid was that I didn't have the kind of parents that only let their kids eat the boring non-cartoon cereal. When I was a kid, breakfast cereal selection was based on one thing...and one thing only...what prize was in the box. And you can ask my wife, things haven't changed much to this day! Since I was never loyal to one brand of cereal, I've sampled so many over the years. Here's a look back at a few short lived, but loved cereals that I shared my childhood mornings with.
The key to a good "tie-in" cereal is how well the shape of the cereal fits into the world of the license its based on. In the video game, Donkey Kong threw barrels at Mario, so what a perfect shape for the cereal that little crunchy sweet barrels of corn. Man, those things were good! They were kind of like Capt. Crunch but I think they had twice as much sugar so they could compete with the ol' Capt. There was a game on the back of the box that looked like the video game, and you would use to cereal pieces to go through a maze. Awesome!
See, when you bought a Nintendo you got a cartridge that came with the system that had Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt on it. So the cereal based on the video game system had two kind of cereal in it! You could pick out just the one box of cereal, but you actually had two different choices each morning. Then after a week or so, you'd just go for it and pour BOTH flavors into the same bowl! It was like creating your own cereal! I don't think the cereal was really that good...but it was just cool that it came in two flavors!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Crisp is still around today, and they just added Peanut Butter flavor too. But when Cookie Crisp was first introduced I was partial to the Vanilla Wafer flavor. My brother liked the Chocolate Chip kind, and would always pick that as his cereal and that I would get the Vanilla Waffer box and we thought it was pretty cool that we had two boxes of Cookie Crisp in the cupboard. ( We were obviously easily entertained.) The vanilla flavor didn't last long, and I always resented the chocolate chip flavor surviving all these years! By the way, Jarvis the wizard could kick the crap out of the Cookie Crook and the Cookie Dog thing!
I couldn't possibly find a smaller picture of this cereal if I tried, however I also couldn't find a bigger picture. I don't remember which came first: Nerds Cereal or the Nintendo Cereal, but either way one of them was just created to get more use out of the "two sided box" machine at the Ralston plant. These were really good...they looked like the Nerds Candy and the box was just like the candy box. Execpt after using the complicated two sided box top for a week, the whole top of the box was so beat up you couldn't close either side! That's when you just poured them both into the same bowl! (That was power!) I don't think there were too many other Orange flavored cereals out there!
I can't believe I couldn't find a decent picture of Gremlins brand cereal anywhere on the internet. I did however find this scan of a coupon that never expires, so if one year my birthday wish comes true and Gremlins cereal finds it's way back onto our grocers shelves, we all save fifteen cents! Whoo-hoo! Seriously, this cereal and I were a match made in heaven! I was obsessed with Gremlins in the summer of 1984! I ate a big ol' bowl of these bad boys every morning before I put on my Gremlins painters cap and went outside to trade Gremlins trading cards with the girl across the street. The cereal was shaped like little Gizmos. It would have been cool if you only had to put one piece of cereal in your bowl and then add milk and the cereal would multiply...but it didn't work out that way! Still, a great cereal and If I recall correctly they kept making it long after the popularity of the movie fizzled out. Because it was so damn good!
Comment on some of your favorite childhood cereals!