Hey guys. I’d like to tell you about some of my all-time favorite cereal marshmallows. It’s one of the few subjects that I’m extremely passionate about it. Really, the only other one is that weird couch the Romans used to eat on.
TMNT Cereal (1991)
I love how Ralston was careful to call them “pizza-SHAPED marshmallows,” lest anyone believe that they’d worked tomato and mozzarella flavors into every bowl of TMNT Cereal.
The limited edition pizza-shaped marshmallows were way more artful than the cereal’s original batch. The saucy speckling meant that no two were exactly alike, and in a pinch, they doubled nicely as action figure accessories. (I have little doubt that some kids picked this cereal specifically for the chance to let their 4” plastic Donatellos eat pizza.)
Ralston gave these marshmallows a royal introduction, right down to a custom TV commercial, wherein the Shredder hid about four billion pizza-shaped marshmallows in a secret warehouse. On storyline alone, that commercial was at least as good as any episode from any iteration of TMNT.
Swirled Whale Marshmallows!
Lucky Charms (1987)
Back in 1987, there was a long string of episodic Lucky Charms commercials, mostly about Lucky befriending a whale. Those commercials had various impacts on the real life cereal, but the best of them involved putting SWIRLED WHALE MARSHMALLOWS into every bowl of Lucky Charms.
That Swirled Whale remains my favorite cereal marshmallow ever, even if it was a total you-had-to-be-there sort of thing. The series of commercials in which said whale appeared was absolutely outstanding, to the point where I looked forward to the next thirty-second chapter way more than any “real” cartoon.
I was so disappointed when General Mills ended the Swirled Whale’s run. I still think it was a mistake. It was jussst esoteric enough to double as a “lucky token,” and I don’t think it would’ve seemed at all incongruous to leave Swirled Whales in Lucky Charms forever.
If you believe that there is an infinite number of universes, then there must exist one where Swirled Whale marshmallows are still inside boxes of Lucky Charms. In that universe, I bet I smile in pictures.
Note: Swirled Whales box photo property of the awesome CerealTimeTV. Used without permission, so I hope Gabe doesn’t kill me.
Super Pac-Man Marshmallows!
Pac-Man Cereal (1985)
In 1985, General Mills temporarily added “Super Pac-Man” marshmallows to Pac-Man Cereal. It was glorious. They looked the same as the regular Pac-Man marshmallows, but they were roughly twice the size.
To this day, I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a larger cereal marshmallow. The things were downright obscene, but in a good way. Having marshmallows that big totally changed the mouthfeel of the cereal, too. It’s only a small exaggeration to call it “marshmallow cereal with crunchy sweetened corn.”
Oh, and bonus points to General Mills for leaving the regular Pac-Man marshmallows in the boxes even after they added the super-sized versions. I liked to pretend that the big ones belonged to a different species that fed exclusively on normal-sized Pac-Men, who in turn fed on the ghost marshmallows. Every bowl was my own personal ecosystem.
Ghostbusters Cereal (1990)
What I’m simply calling “Ghostbusters Cereal” is technically a series of cereals produced by Ralston over the course of several years. (Later editions included The Real Ghostbusters Cereal, Ghostbusters II Cereal and Slimer and The Real Ghostbusters Cereal. A literal and figurative mouthful; I never want to write that sentence again.)
Somewhere along the way, Ralston added Slimer marshmallows, which I suppose were more of a “late” edition than a limited one. Even considering the fact that the marshmallows more closely resembled sheet ghosts than Slimer, they really should’ve been in there from the start.
I’ve joked about Ralston’s cereals being all about theme and nothing about flavor, but this was an example of them doing both things right. Every version of Ghostbusters Cereal was great, but having those slimy monster mallows in the mix just pushed it over the top.
Swirled Ghost Marshmallows!
Count Chocula (1996)
Swirled Ghost marshmallows are still an on-and-off part of Count Chocula cereal, but these days, they’re just sorta there and General Mills doesn’t make any fuss over them.
Back in 1996, though, Swirled Ghosts were brand new, and General Mills treated them fabulously. While there was no discernible chocolate/vanilla flavor to them, they looked enough like “swirly” Jell-O Pudding Pops to let me fake out my tastebuds.
The neat thing was how the Swirled Ghost became a mascot in of himself. In various TV commercials, he was depicted as a zebra-striped supernatural mud monster with yellow eyes and a Hershey’s tongue. Most kid-targeted cereals have a mascot, but at least for a while, Count Chocula had two.
Thank you for reading about five great cereal marshmallows. Feel feel to name your own favorites in the comments. Really, please, do it. Comment so much that this dumbass article seems peculiarly popular. It’ll fuck with the skimmers’ heads.