The Grocery Aisle of long forgotten breakfast cereals Pt I

Cereal Boxes potpourriMy good friend Steve emailed me a few weeks ago and asked me to write an article on a subject he and his wife had recently been discussing.  He wanted me to talk about breakfast cereal.  More specifically, he wanted me to talk about some of his favorite breakfast cereals he remembers when he was a kid.  Now, Steve and I have known each other since first grade, but I won’t know all of his favorite breakfast cereals.  So, I thought I’d take the general topic of cereal, and look at it from the nostalgia perspective.

There is a surprising amount of cereal box enthusiasts out there.  If you go to Flickr, there are two main groups dedicated to cereal from the ’50s up through the ’90s.  There are more groups than these two, but the two I’m talking about contain the majority of the images.  So, scanning these groups, I thought I’d discuss some forgotten and long discontinued cereals that we may all remember.  So, let’s head on over to your local Western Supermarket or Safeway, and walk down the Nostalgia aisle (Aisle 7c) and see what we all used to eat when we were kids.  FYI…There were so many awesome, awesome cereals that I found that I decided to split this article into two parts.  Come back later this week to see Part II. For any of the pictures below, click them to go to a bigger version (most likely on Flickr).

All set, then let’s begin with the first batch…

No talk about breakfast cereals is complete without talking about Capt. Horatio Magellan Crunch (aka Cap’n Crunch for the noobs).   And if we are talking about the Cap’n, I’m going to have to talk about the elephant in the room.  It is a harsh truth that all cereal enthusiasts are aware of.  Cap’n Crunch is an incurable media whore.  Currently, there’s like five versions of Cap’n Crunch on the shelves.  That alone is enough, but if you look into the past, and include special editions, we are looking at a number north of 17 versions of Cap’n Crunch.  Seriously.  He will pimp his image/cereal out to any idea that comes across the table.  Here are 9 versions of Cap”n Crunch you may have never seen.

Choco CrunchVanilly CrunchCinnamon CrunchPunch CrunchDeep Sea CrunchHalloween CrunchXmas CrunchHome Run CrunchPolar Crunch
Deep Sea Crunch? Vanilly Crunch?  Seriously? And that’s not all of the images. How about Treasure Hunt Crunch? Or maybe you would prefer Choco-Donuts Crunch? This never ending parade of Crunch madness has got to end. The Cap’n is sick, he needs help.

Speaking of being sick and needing help, here’s a tiny nugget of weirdness you may not have noticed on store shelves. Urkel-O’s: the cereal you never asked for. Released in the ’90s to capitalize on the baffling popularity of Steve Urkel from the show Family Matters. The insanity inducing commercial for this cereal can be seen here. Be careful, once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it. The only thing more evil than this, would be if Steve Urkel had made an appearance on Full House. Oh wait, he did. Armageddon is upon us, people.  We are at DEFCON 1!!!!!!!
Urkel-O's

Not surprisingly, there have been several cereals based on cartoon shows. But, Transformers cereal? The whole gimmick of the Transformers can’t be passed onto cereal.  I don’t remember boxes of Transformers cereal that could change into a giant robot or bad ass jet.  That would have made it the greatest cereal ever created.  Instead, they just transform into a soggy mess after 2 minutes in milk.  The Ghost Busters cereal is actually based on the Real Ghost Busters cartoon show and not the movie. You can see two commercials for the Ghostbusters cereal here. You can see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hocking their cereal in this commercial. Obviously the Smurfs would get their own cereal and annoying commercial. There were actually two Smurf cereals, the other was called Smurf Berry Crunch, which was pretty much Cap’n Crunch Berries gayed up for 9 year old girls.
TransformersGhostbustersTMNT cerealSmurf cereal

After TV shows, it’s not surprising that several video games were made into cereals. The first pic below is Pac-Man, the most obvious choice to get a cereal. I’ve already written an article detailing the copious amounts of swag you can buy with Pac’s face on it. Why not a cereal? When I first started watching this Pac-Man cereal commercial I thought it was horrible. But by the end, I was actually singing along to the theme, “Do the Pac-Man”. What is wrong with me? The Nintendo cereal has two cereals in one box, Super Mario and Zelda. And the commercial for it is HORRIBLE the entire way through.  I remember Donkey Kong, and the commercial is fun with the Elvis-like song as the theme, but I’m surprised that Donkey Kong Jr got a cereal.  I don’t believe the video game was that popular, but I love the graphics on the box, even if the commercial is LAME.
Pac-ManNintendoDonkey KongDonkey Kong Jr

Now let’s look at some forgotten flavor extensions to already existing cereals. Anyone else remember Banana Frosted Flakes? I don’t. I love this box if only for Tony the Tiger dressed as a migrant worker picking bananas. WTF?! The commercial for this is rife with straw hats and reggae.  I was waiting for one of the kids to turn to the camera and say, “Legalize it, mon!”   I always loved Super Sugar Crisp but I do not remember this next Super Orange Crisp.  Looks weird.  I also loved Fruity Marshmallow Krispies, especially the commercial with the tribal chant; “FRUITY. MARSHAMALLOW. KRISP-IES!!” You know the basic Chocolate Chip Cookie Crisp, but do you remember Vanilla Wafer or Oatmeal Cookie Cookie Crisp (in the middle and on the left of the pic)?

Banana Frosted FlakesSuper Orange CrispFM KrispiesCookie Crisp flavors

Well, I think that’s good enough for this first batch. I’m working on compiling the second batch of cereals, so check back in a few days for the exciting conclusion to my look at long forgotten breakfast cereals.

UPDATE!!  — Go to Part II of this article here

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37 Responses to “The Grocery Aisle of long forgotten breakfast cereals Pt I”

  1. Pax – this is AWESOME! I don’t remember a lot of these, but this was fun to read!

  2. Excellent article! I loved the commercials! General Mills seems to create cereals at will! Pac Man forever!

  3. I’m a big fan of breakfast serials. But I am kinda scared of Cap’n Crunch, whenever I’d eat some, it freaking hurts…lol.
    Oh my gosh, I didnt know Steve Urkel had his own cereal 😦
    I remember the PacMan and Smurf Berry Crunch cereals! thanks for the trip down memory lane. Nice touch linking to the commercial clips.

  4. Steve – Yeah, GM threw out a lot of cereals, but Ralston-Purina (or just Ralston) released cereals on whatever property they thought would sell a box. You’ll see more Ralston in Part II.

    bookworm – Yeah, I vaguely remember the week Urkel-Os came out in the ’90s. You are totally right about Cap’n Crunch hurting. I love Crunch Berries, but if you aren’t careful, you wind up with bloody gums.

  5. Love cereal but there just isn’t as much good stuff as there used to be! I’ve had Christmas Crunch but the rest of these Crunch’s are unfamiliar. Loved watching the old commercials though! Ew! Urkel-O’s? Loved him on that show as a kid but I wouldn’t eat the cereal- it doesn’t even look appetizing! *You can do it, you can do the Pac-Man* Guess what’s going to be stuck in my head for the day?! Miss the old cookie crisp commercials 😦

  6. None of these “special edition” Crunch cereals are ever available in the stores by me. It sucks. Everyone in the world gets Xmas crunch but the majority of New Jersey gets the shaft.

  7. Could I have permission to use the image of the Ghostbuster box in a marketing report and would it be possible for you to re-photograph the box to show the hologram image lit up?

    Many thanks,

    David

  8. Is there anyway we can get a campaign going to get Deep Sea Crunch back? I know not many people know about it, but it was probably the greatest cereal ever made. PLEASE someone back me up on this!

    • I never had it so I can’t confirm. It is a wacky idea, though.

    • They have. It is the limited edition Sea World Crunch…load up while you can! 🙂

      • WHERE DID YOU FIND IT? I HAVE NOT SEEN THIS BUT I WILL CERTAINLY BUY A PALETTE OF IT! PLEASE ADVISE! Note: All caps were used on purpose as this is a very urgent matter.

      • Well, it’s not EXACTLY the same.

        Here’s a pic of the Sea World limited edition Cap’n Crunch.

        However, I do think that if Cap’n Crunch is doing a Sea World promotion they may as well have brought back Deep Sea Crunch.

      • Paxton: I agree it is not exactly the same BUT it would appear if you were obsessed with the cereal, you may try to buy a couple of boxes, throw away all of the crunch pieces, and combine all of the fish to make a box of what would appear to be deep sea crunch. I am willing to give this a shot and will post my investigation with pictures online. I have not made it to a store recently to check and see if this is a possibility. Wal Mart should have it if anyone I would think.

  9. Idown Knowle Says:

    The best Cap N’ Crunch limited edition flavor was Choco Crunch. I didn’t care for Touchdown Crunch or Christmas Crunch. It was different colored crunchberries. Talk about a let down. They also recently discontinued Choco Crunch. CHOCOLATE! A basic but huge difference in taste and quality.

    This year, I’ve heard of Race Car Crunch and Home Run Crunch which looks like more of the same dyed crunchberries and Sea World Crunchberries with ‘sea shapes’. Again, more plain laziness on Quaker’s part. I want to try Halloween Crunch and its getting close to October. Quaker says these are only available at Wal-Mart but I have yet to see them around here in the greater local area or even on E-Bay yet.

  10. […] grocery aisle of long forgotten breakfast cereals Part I and Part […]

  11. Inta Rita Funk Says:

    Pax:

    A lovely stroll down memory lane. Good work.

  12. Great Article, I am subscribing to your RSS Feed so I can stay up to date with your writing.Although people have new consoles such as the PS3, a surprising amount of people still get their SNES Console out of the spare bedroom to play on it. I honestly think that you can never beat playing a game such as the original Super Mario Kart for hours on end!With the expensive prices of the Xbox 360 you can always pick up a Cheap SNES Console!

  13. […] 7 Time Machines that Would Suck if they existed in the Real World The Grocery Aisle of Long Forgotten Breakfast Cereals Part I […]

  14. I vaguely remember the Choco Crunch, and of course Christmas Crunch still comes around, or at least it did until not too long ago. Halloween Crunch is the only one I recognize, but I think the only one I had might have been Choco, and I don’t remember it being the best thing ever.

    Crunch Berries always got soggy on me. Why did the Soggies always topple Cap’n Crunch in my house?! Why?!

    Over the years, I’ve learned of the existence of a Transformers cereal, but never actually saw it that I can recall. Loved TMNT cereal, though, and I seem to recall liking Smurf cereal, too. Also loved Ghostbusters, even if I could never get the ghost marshmallow to fit through the cereal circle… except that one time my mind might have simply made up to make me stop.

    Never had either DK cereal, but I do have a somewhat-fond memory of the Nintendo Cereal System. Sadly, though I always preferred Mario to Zelda, it was the Zelda berry that won me over.

    I also recall the cereal (or was it Cookie Crisp? Both, maybe?) giving out one of two lenticular cards, featuring either Link or Mario. I always got Link, for some absurd, frustrating reason. I managed to trade something for a Mario one in school, but wound up losing it somehow. 😦

    Pac-Man cereal was great, but know what was better? SUPER Pac-Man cereal, with giant Super Pac-Man marshmallows the size of cookies. Well, it seemed like it when you were a kid… if you count those little mini-cookies as cookies.

    Speaking of cookies, can’t say I remember the other two flavors of Cookie Crisp. Always preferred the original, but they need to bring back the Cookie Cop and Cookie Crook (Cookie Crisp is what he took).

    Do they still even sell Cookie Crisp? Can’t find the stuff here.

    And now, on to part II…

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