Old-School Breakfast Cereals
Being a kid in the 80s was awesome. When else could you wake up early (because it wasn’t a school day), watch 4-6 hours of cartoons and mow down on two or more bowls of your favourite sugar-filled breakfast cereal (WITH A FREE TOY OR TREAT INSIDE!)I still eat cereal, but I’m in that point in my life where it’s a bowl of Multi-Grain Cheerios with almond milk. That doesn’t mean I don’t buy the junk cereal anymore, I just do it here and there. I’ll usually pick up a box of Count Chocula or Reese Peanut Butter Puffs cereal if I want to treat myself to something that’s not a part of a healthy breakfast and eat it over a two week period.
These days, I don’t pay attention too much to what else is in the cereal aisle. Around Halloween, they’ll put out Frankenberry and/or Boo Berry cereal again here in Ontario, Canada, so I’ll be on the lookout for that. I think the usual staples for kid directed cereals are still there: Sugar Crisp, Fruity Pebbles, Coca Puffs, Froot Loops (ugh), Golden Grahams and Cap’n Crunch. But what happened to some of those awesome cereals from the 80s? As far as I know, most were discontinued.
I have fond memories of some breakfast cereals that you may remember. I know some other blogs have done this reflection in the past, but I hope for those that haven’t read one, but are following me, you can experience my take on these. Let’s take a look at some of my favourites, and some duds, from the past.
Ice Cream Cones Cereal
For some reason, this cereal’s commercial jingle still pops into my head. If it had that effect on more people, perhaps this deliciousness would still be made. This cereal is definitely one of my favourites that I miss a lot. I would buy this weekly if it came back. There was never another cereal that came close to tasting like this one. The chocolate and vanilla mix of flavours was perfect.
There was also version of this cereal existed with “chocolate chips” in the mix as well, and that was the version I usually had. You can see the little chocolate specks on the vanilla scoops in the commercial below. Don’t listen to the jingle too much because you’ll be humming the song to work tomorrow!
ROCKY ROAD CEREAL
This cereal came and went in my life, but I would pay a lot of money to be able to buy and eat this again. The combination of chocolate covered marshmallows, and crispy vanilla and chocolate balls made this something special. If there was any justice in the world, this cereal would continue to be made and damn awful Froot Loops would have been cancelled.
Those glow in the dark stickers (an excellent prize for any kid) from this cereal ended up in one of my old school sticker books AND all over workbooks from school. Even a year later, I swear you could still smell the cereal on these stickers even though they were wrapped in thin plastic.
Mr. T Cereal
Mr. T was an 80s icon. He co-starred in the insanely popular The A-Team and had numerous guest appearances. From the Alvin and the Chipmunks cartoon and the late-night talk circuit, all the way to Wrestlemania 1 and 2, you couldn’t go a week for a few years without hearing about or seeing Mr. T in the media.
The man got his own Saturday morning cartoon, for fuckssakes, so I’m sure his marketing team (or maybe just him in one of his random diatribes) decided that he should conquer the cereal aisle. Why not? He would pity the fool who wasn’t watching his cartoon without his cereal.
I really don’t remember the taste of the cereal too much and I wasn’t the biggest fan. I think we only had it in our house 3 or 4 times. It was still cool to have on the table, but my preferences would be any other cereal in this article over this. I also wasn’t a big Mr. T fan growing up. The other characters on The A-Team interested me more.
Here’s a cereal I have a love/hate relationship with. I love Star Wars, and I loved it even as a small child. I loved breakfast cereals. I loved the idea of a Star Wars cereal! So why didn’t I love this even though I was having breakfast staring at a Star Wars cereal box? The taste. I hated it. I downed the cereal because I thought I owed it to C-3P0 to down the cereal. I’m sure any metal part that fell off C-3P0 would have tasted better than this crap.
I always thought the people behind the cereal took the cheap way out. Why? Many other cereals had toys or stickers (or another sugary treat to consume). This cereal didn’t offer any of that. Instead, we got a cut-out mask. Yep. A cheap cardboard mask. Can you imagine the Star Wars merch that they could have given us as a toy in this cereal? It infuriated me as a kid and I’ve never let that grudge against Kellogg’s go. Just lazy!
I knew that there were C-3P0 and Luke Skywalker cut-out masks on the back of the box, but I didn’t know the others in the picture below existed until doing a little more sleuthing for this article. While there were six characters to collect and potentially role-play as, I STILL think it was a lazy cereal “prize.”
S’mores Crunch Cereal
I love Golden Grahams and those brilliant bastards over at General Mills probably thought, “how can we make Golden Grahams even more addictive for people like Peter ?” Their answer was adding a cocoa/chocolate flavour to the graham crackers and also throw in marshmallows to make the cereal taste like you’re eating s’mores.
I’d eat like three bowls of this stuff every Saturday morning and witness it change the milk in my bowl into a darker, chocolatey drink. This cereal hit all the sweet spots on my limited palate and I would eat numerous bowls of this today, with a black coffee for an exquisite pairing.
I could go on about a few more cereals, but to make this piece more digestible, I’ll finish off with the BEST breakfast cereal ever made. I would give up one of my favourite foods (maybe even cheese) forever if this could go back into production: PAC-MAN CEREAL.
I always found that the size of the marshmallows and the corn balls were perfect. With every spoonful, you’d get the perfect amount of cereal and marshmallow. And it all tasted amazing all together.
I really liked how this cereal evolved during time it existed. Initially the cereal just featured the corn cereal balls with multi-coloured ghost marshmallows and marshmallows shaped as our favourite arcade hero himself. Down the line, they added Mrs. Pac-Man marshmallows, followed up by Super Pac-Man (large) marshmallows.
As a side note: the toy offer that you see on the box above? I had one. I think I had almost five of them, seeing how much of this stuff I ate and how much I played with that Wacky Whipper.
How can we forget the commercial? DO the Pac-Man. DO IT NOW!
Do you have any fond memories of cereals from days gone by? Feel free to add your thoughts about these or others in the comment section below.