The Grocery Aisle of long forgotten breakfast cereals Part III
Last year I wrote a two part article talking about long defunct breakfast cereals. They were both a very big hit. Dark Roasted Blend and The National Review Online picked them up and it exploded onto a bunch of other blogs after that. If you missed the first two parts of this article:
A big thanks to my friends Jackie and Steve for actually suggesting this topic to begin with. Now, let’s take another stroll down Grocery Aisle 7c and examine a bunch more extinct breakfast cereals.
Freakies cereal was created in 1971 by Ralston-Purina and lasted until about 1977. However, despite most of the general public not really remembering it, the sloppy man-love for this cereal among cereal box enthusiasts is insane. These boxes are traded heavily amongst collectors with the Cocoa Freakies box going for around $800. I honestly don’t remember it, but there are a lot of people who do and would shell out truckloads of dough for certain boxes. Here’s a commercial for Freakies.
Quisp and Quake were introduced back in 1965 by the Quaker Oats company. They were usually marketed together as rivals in much the same way as Baron Von Redberry and Sir Grapefellow. The characters and animation for the cereals and commercials were done by Jay Ward who also created Rocky & Bullwinkle. The commercial even uses some of the same voice talent as Rocky & Bullwinkle. Check out a Quisp commercial here (you see Quake at the very end). In 1970, Quaker ran a contest promotion to see which cereal was more popular. Quisp won and Quake quietly left the shelves. However Quake would resurface later in the even more queerly named Quake’s Orange Quangaroos. Quaker was totally committed to the whole ‘Q’ thing. See a Quangaroos commercial here. Retro boxes of both Quisp and Quake have been released to certain markets in the past few years.
Movie cereals! Batman Returns got its own cereal in 1992 just like its 1989 predecessor. So, apparently, did the Kevin Costner film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, yet they didn’t put a picture of Costner on the box nor did they label it Robin Hood (WTF?!). Bill and Ted got their own cereal, but it’s really based on the Bill and Ted cartoon and not the movie. See the commercial for the cereal here and the intro to the cartoon here. You may notice that Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter did the voices for the cartoons and the commercials. JJ Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek movie got it’s own branded cereal last year, and the box design was superb.
Cereals marketed to little girls are next. Big G released Strawberry Shortcake cereal in 1982. See the head exploding adorable-ness that is the Strawberry Shortcake TV commercial here. Rainbow Brite was released in 1984 by Ralston. Her cereal commercial will blow out your retinas with color here. Despite not being the most obvious cereal tie-in, Cabbage Patch Kids cereal was released in 1985, also by Ralston who is continuing to prove that no product/cereal tie-in is beneath their dignity. CPKs cereal commercial is here. Barbie has had several cereals, all of them garish and awful, but Breakfast With Barbie has that wonderful ’80s vibe. See the eye-bleedingly awful commercial here.
It’s the boy’s turn with these mostly boys cereals. We start off with the awesome GI Joe Action Stars cereal from 1985. See the pretty awesome TV commercial here. The idea of Cobra guarding your breakfast table like it’s Fort Knox is pretty bad ass. Next is the uber-masculine WWF Superstars cereal from 1991. Each box had a different superstar on it (this one shows Ultimate Warrior). Next is a wonderfully generic superhero cereal called Dynaman from 1969. And last but not least is Dinersaurs from 1988. Such a wonderfully odd pairing of dinosaurs and diners. I mean, kids love dinosaurs, right? Well, how much more would they love them if they worked and hung out in a diner? It’s like printing your own money. Oh, guess who made Dinersaurs cereal. You got it: Ralston.
Bigg Mixx was awesome. The mascot (and cereal) was a blending of all of Kellogg’s top selling cereals into a healthy trail mix-like cereal. It had a cinnamon-sugar taste and was offered with or without raisins. Check out the commercial here. Within the world of the commercials, Bigg Mixx was treated like a Bigfoot or Yheti. Very rarely seen.
Well, that’s Part III of this nostalgic look at forgotten breakfast cereals. I’m working on Part IV, so stay tuned!
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