Five Great Old Cereals.

I own many ancient cereal boxes. Most of them live in plastic bins on a high shelf, trapped in cramped quarters with nothing to do except barely breathe. I believe it was the Dino Pebbles, or maybe the Smurfberry Crunch, that contacted me telepathically. “Brother, we need air.”

While I was obliging, I took some photos. Here are five old cereal boxes from my personal collection.

dinopebs

Dino Pebbles Cereal!
(1991)

This was the first time Post tried something other than the standard “Fruity” or “Cocoa” Pebbles, and they didn’t mess around. As if giving Dino his own brand wasn’t enough of an irresistible novelty, the cereal came loaded with Dino-shaped marshmallows!

The multicolored marshmallows looked enough like Dino, but if you wanted to imagine them as music notes or super evolved Peeps, it wasn’t hard to do.

I especially like how the box shows Fred and Barney hiding behind a giant bowl. It’s as if they’re saying, “Dino, this is your moment.” Those proud papas.

More memorable than the cereal were its TV commercials. To see the flavor of the early ’90s completely captured in thirty seconds, just look at this one. It has everything from skating dinosaurs to an improvised rap!

ghost

Ghostbusters Cereal!
(1986)

Like most of Ralston’s “big license” brands, Ghostbusters Cereal was more about the theme than the taste. Mixing fruity symbols with chalky marshmallow ghosts, the cereal was an absolute event. If you were of the right age in the mid ‘80s, choosing another brand felt borderline criminal.

right-ghostMost tie-in cereals come and go in a flash, but this one lasted for years. Ralston continually remodeled to stay on pace with the franchise’s evolution. There were eventual versions for Ghostbusters II, The Real Ghostbusters, and even Slimer and The Real Ghostbusters. The version shown here is the original, so it sadly lacks the green Slimer marshmallows that would soon become standard.

Why am I suddenly writing as if this was a term paper on American history? Faaaack.

The neat thing about this particular box is the big hologram on the front. Several of Ralston’s tie-in cereals had the same gimmick, but eerie, semi-blurry holograms suited the Ghostbusters better than the Ninja Turtles.

smurf

Smurfberry Crunch!
(1983)

If memory serves, this controversial cereal shocked parents by dyeing their kids’ shit. I’m not speaking metaphorically, even if I must wonder how “dyeing kids’ shit” could possibly work in a metaphorical sense.

As the story went, eating Smurfberry Crunch turned your excrement blue. It’s probably for that reason that Post reintroduced it as Smurf Magic Berries a short time later, free of the blue-dyed corn and oats. I am utterly thrilled by the notion that cobalt cow plop sent Post’s mad scientists back to the drawing board.

The fact that it made your business look like octopus tentacles notwithstanding, this was a must-buy. In the realm of cartoon foodstuffs that we would’ve done anything to try, Smurfberries were right up there with Gummiberry Juice.

Just look at those Smurfs, happily harvesting with their “come hither” eyes. They knew what we wanted.

Fun fact: This is Jay’s favorite cereal.

cornpops

Candy Corn Pops!
(2001)

I only learned about this one during X-E’s 2008 Halloween Countdown, but even without the direct nostalgia, it’s still one of my favorite “Halloween cereals” ever.

Mixing yellow and orange pieces that were said to taste like candy corn, the real thrill was the box. Specifically, that crazy lab guy with the pink bouffant and the torn paper teeth. With the right mix of despondence and Drambuie, I’d have my next tattoo.

tinytoons

Tiny Toon Adventures Cereal!
(1990)

Tiny Toon Adventures debuted when I was in the sixth grade. Everyone at school watched it, but nobody was supposed to talk about it. It didn’t matter how hip Buster and Babs acted. We were in junior high, now.

That was the climate at my school, where any admission to liking things that were okay to like just three months prior was met with the immediate scorn of everyone within earshot.

And so, with that setup, here’s a story.

Sixth grade. Typing class. F, F, F, space, G, G, G, space. Since I hugged a typewriter all throughout childhood, that class was a cakewalk for me. (Well, it was and it wasn’t. I taught myself to type, so my “form” wasn’t at all what the teacher wanted. To get around this, I’d just type really fast when she wasn’t looking.)

One day, our assignment was to type the fifty states. The teacher read them off, one after another, and I think we had to type each of them ten times or something.

She gets up to “Montana,” and we’re all thinking it. Yes, we’re all thinking it, but it took the unfortunate courage of Jessie, sort of the inadvertent class clown, to give voice to our thoughts.

“MONTANA MAX!”

maxOh, no. How could she say that?! If you’re unfamiliar with Tiny Toons, Montana Max was one of its few human characters, and I guess one of the antagonists. We all knew who Montana Max was, and we were all thinking about him the second our teacher said “Montana.” Only Jessie was brave enough to actually say it. Loudly. And with so much gusto.

The groans were immediate. The dirty looks came from all directions. Jessie slunk down, mortified. Had she stood up and projectile vomited on the entire class, the reaction would’ve been less severe.

Of course, the great irony is that every kid who blasted her also watched the show. Tiny Toons was brand new; how else would we know what a “Montana Max” was? Poor Jessie. I doubt that stain ever came off.

Jessie, if you’re out there: You weren’t alone. For music appreciation class, we all had to bring in one of our favorite albums. I brought the goddamned Star Wars soundtrack. The teacher played it for the whole class. The whole first song. The twenty thousand minute main title music. I barely made it out alive. I still get the shakes, two and a half decades later.

Anyway, Tiny Toon Adventures cereal. They were essentially Alpha-Bits, but oversized.

To end this article, I’d like to direct you to Mummy Shark. Someone who goes by the name of “Puppy Blob” made a fantastic mockup of Dinosaur Dracula cereal. I am blessed. Ab queck zenick fesi.

  • http://www.worldofbong.com Dr Bong

    GoTG: Any movie with a talking raccoon and Steve Brule, set in outer space and tied to Marvel comics no less, is easily movie of the year for me.

  • Whalley Range

    In a world without DinoDrac, I discover things like Birthday Cake M&M’s on my own, as I did today at Target.

    And while the surprise is kind of fun, I still prefer Matt’s wry and astute reviews of such discoveries.

    I think there was a printing error of some kind, by the way, because they should have been called Birthday Cake ICING M&M’s. I predict a short lifespan.

  • Ryane

    Woo, I totally forgotten that I posted that question about Yuan Jing. Thanks for reminding me of the name, guys! I would’ve never remembered that.

    Matt is skipping spring? Well I want to skip spring too! In fact, I want to skip summer as well. Hate summer… I want to fast forward to September with the anticipation of October. I wish I could go into spring/summer hibernation, because I want nothing to do with it. Blech!

    I also want to see Godzilla pretty bad, but Maleficent comes out soon, and it’s a bit higher on the “want” chart. Since my boyfriend and I aren’t rich by any means, I’m *hoping* we can go see Maleficent before we just have to rent it at Redbox.

  • http://stuntzombies.blogspot.com Stunt Zombie

    I shared it with Matt already, but there are Reese’s peanut butter cup Oreo’s out now. Only available at WalMart, and for a limited time.

    I need to go stock up before they disappear.

  • http://www.tinyurl.com/darkentriesradio DJ D

    Stunt Zombie, this is the first I’m hearing about these Oreos, but if what you say is true, they may very well be the death of me.

    In other news, Molly Ringwald and Juliette Lewis have both been cast in the Jem and the Holograms movie. That news makes me way more excited than it probably should, but I am so incredibly jazzed about it.

    Also, the new game play trailer for Batman: Arkham Knight looks fan-fucking-tastic. October can’t get here fast enough.

  • Whalley Range

    @Ryane — thank you for saying that! I live in a very touristy city and it’s really starting to pick up with everyone around here seemingly having endless amounts of fun. I liked summer as a kid, but now I can hardly stand it for some reason. I guess I have little interest in the traditional activities of summer and need to find some of my own. But fall will still always rule.

    @DJ D – that game looks incredible. A PS4 is a bit out of my wallet’s comfort zone right now though. Are PS3′s going to be selling cheap now? (I still have a PS2…)

  • http://www.tinyurl.com/darkentriesradio DJ D

    Stunt Zombie — I imagine there will be a pretty significant price drop on PS3′s once the PS4 comes out, which won’t be till October, so I’ve got a little time to save up for it. I told myself I would probably wait around a year or so before I bothered to get one because there are still too many PS3 games I want to catch up on, but for an amazing Batman game, I don’t know that I can wait that long.

    In PS3 news though, I just found out today that the new Transformers game comes out on June 24th, just around the corner and it will be on the PS3. Looking forward to that one too. The last few of those have been a lot of fun.

  • http://www.tinyurl.com/darkentriesradio DJ D

    Correction: I’m an idiot. I didn’t mean to say that. The Batman game comes out in October, not the PS4. That’s obviously already out. I don’t know what I’m talking about.

  • http://stuntzombies.blogspot.com Stunt Zombie

    DJ D,

    Now that you’ve mentioned it, did the PS3 get a price drop after the release of the PS4? The newest system I have is an Xbox 360, so I’m out of the loop these days.

  • http://www.tinyurl.com/darkentriesradio DJ D

    Yeah, I believe they did. I think you can get it for around $200-300 now.

  • http://stuntzombies.blogspot.com Stunt Zombie

    If I had the money and the inclination, I would be tempted to pick up a PS3. Alas, I am poor, and I refuse to buy anymore games or systems that may require updates before I can actually play them.

  • Lone Star 76

    Man, what a lousy 24 hours it has been. My house is under attack from flies. So far, we have killed 12 of them. If I see one with Jeff Goldblum’s face, I won’t be surprised.

  • Spectre

    Lol@ Lone Star: it has been a rough 24 hours, or a rough 24×7 hours (my math is poor). Im just glad to be home for the next three days, watch the Indy 500 and MAYBE get a little work done around the house etc. Anyone have any big plans this weekend?

  • King JLA
  • http://veggiemacabre.wordpress.com Bill

    Hello! Just popping my head in to say hi.

  • http://rghome.proboards.com Rein Engel

    Oops! All Berries dyes my shit a putrid green color.

    I’m available, ladies!