8 Deceased Cereals Immortalized

There is something to be said for being a child or the eighties and nineties. I know that has been stated to oblivion on blogs much like this one, but it’s true. It’s as if all the designers of toys, makers of snacks, writers of cartoons completely understood what a kid thought and what was conducive for the young palate. Before the modern concern of childhood obesity and over bearing parents forcing Ronald McDonald to shoot the Fry-Guys and take up marathon running, we had it pretty good. And there is no better example than what we had for breakfast every morning.

I scoured Amazon and eBay looking for forgotten cereals for this post but paying $89 for an empty box of Dinersaurs would make me look ridiculous and this post would be short. One reason being, I have never tried Dinersaurs. That makes me incredibly sad admitting that. So, I opted to collect refrigerator magnets immortalizing the boxes of the eight most memorable cereals of the eighties and nineties to me. Let the stupidity begin!

Kellogg’s OJ’s cereal had a prominent spot in the pantry for a short time back in elementary school. Boasting to have the same vitamin C amount as a really small glass of orange juice and “ready-sweetened” goodness, it was tough for a hypochondriac mother to pass up. This was back in the stage when mom was convinced I had an allergy to my own hair and the sky so any little nutritional help was welcomed. I, myself, thought the orange-wrangling cowboy was great so the fact that I didn’t have to drink a glass of orange juice AND eat my cereal was kinda lost on me.

Looking back on this it seems pretty gross to think of orange and milk. Sure there is fruit flavored cereal like Trix and Fruit Loops, but this was a single fruit. It was like having a lemon cereal. It all seemed a bit wrong. But there are a dedicated few (566 to be exact) that have signed an ongoing online petition for the return of this 30-year-old cereal. I signed it too because I can’t pass on an opportunity to resurrect 1985 gold.

And what the Hell is a Starbot? I need one and that sucks because I never will have one.

Donkey Kong cereal is one of the novelty cereals that if taken out of the box and tossed into a Cap’n Crunch box, none would be the wiser if you convinced the person eating that it’s a new large-size Cap’n Crunch. It’s the same sweetened corn cereal that was in the shape of barrels that Kong would toss at Mario (known then as “Jumpman”) hoping to kill him. Kill him dead. If I was left to control Mario’s fate it would happen often. I suck at that game.

This cereal is actually before my time even though I have a vague memory of the box in or house. I think it was a diversion snack during church so I wouldn’t make X-Wing engine sounds during the homily. I really wish I could cut my gums on some huge barrels again.

Back photo from X-Entertainment.com Click the photo to go there.

Ever want to eat a bowl full of really sweetened corn and oat T’s? Is that a question no one has asked you before? Well, you want to. Back in the early eighties the A-Team was a hit on Saturday nights and out of that hit spawned a spinoff cartoon from one of the most iconic characters of that era; Mr.T. I can’t remember the cartoon very well other than it was like Captain Planet but instead of a blue guy we had Mr.T leading a pack of do-gooding teens to stop crime. These sort of things passed back then and we ate them up, both figuratively and literally.

I wrote the entire paragraph just for that sentence. I need to write more.

I ate this cereal often because my Dad loved the character Clubber Lang and had no idea who Mr. T was. He thought the character in Rocky 3 inspired a cartoon and a cereal. Man, what a world my Dad lives in. Did he even pay attention while watching Rocky?

Another X-Entertainment backdrop. Click for the actual article.

Nerds!  Woohoo boy I have some history with Nerds Cereal. This exact flavor combo to be exact. Way back in the mid-eighties Nerds candy came to rule roost of the school yard. They were the tangy little fruit flavored clusters that came in two flavors separated by a barrier in the box. Back in the day these boxes were pretty large and were the choice to sneak-eat in class. It was a common practice to share these unless the one asshole who was my friend put his mouth on the box and gummed up the opening. He was also the guy who farted in morning homeroom and tried to cough his way out of it. The teacher said he was in need of a breath mint. But I digress.

It wasn’t long before Ralston saw a goldmine in the cereal world for the first two flavored cereal that was separated in the same box. That sounded less complex when I say it aloud. Thus, Nerds Cereal was born and even though I tried and tried to like it, it tasted like total dog shit.

My elementary school pal, Nicky, was the kid who legitimately was allergic to everything. He had a wheat allergy and couldn’t eat much of anything. I didn’t really think of it at the time but during a sleep over I brought out this magnificent box to show off the new breakfast fad and he just could no longer take it. He had to try it and like a good friend, I set him up with a big bowl of death. In what seemed minutes he puked up the strawberry/grape combo on our porch and stained it red. I am not kidding you, Dad hosed it and scrubbed it and finally went to Ace Hardware to by paint and repainted the spot. The cereal was never seen again.

Nintendo Cereal System came along a bit late in comparison to the birth of the actual Nintendo gaming system. But really, I don’t think the Nintendo culture was at its peak until 1988 so then it was right on time! I forget, to be honest. I do remember the bags being separate and the flavor choices were “Fruity” and “Berry”. Both pretty similar. The best part of this cereal was the shapes. Very identifiable except for the main characters.

Um…nooooo. But I can’t rail on the people who made the cereal. They came as close as they could and to by honest, no kid ever bought this cereal based on likeness. It was a culture necessity and I was no different. I ate this cereal to be cool. I ate it in purple and pink Jams with a yellow Body Glove t-shirt while watching Maya the Bee. Cool, man.

If there ever was a king among cereals, it always has to go to the wacky Cap’n Crunch. I may not have been a big fan of the original and even though Crunch Berries almost swayed me closer, the deciding factor for my heart and soul always lies in Halloween Crunch. I know this is relatively new in comparison to the other extinct cereal and I also know this one isn’t necessarily deceased either, I couldn’t leave it out. A Halloween themed anything gets a hug from me.

This is what I am talking about. WWF Superstars cereal from 1991. I was a huge Wrestlemania fan much to the constant taunting of my peers and family but I didn’t care. I was an avid Ultimate Warrior fan who used to secretly put on my “sticks of thunder” arms and walk around my room ranting about the Gods preconceived victory over Hulk Hogan as I then body slam my imaginary foe in to the floor. I think we all did this as young fans. And that’s why I had to eat the cereal.

There really isn’t much to brag about other than the sharp star shapes and it boasted to have 9 vitamins instead of the normal 8 of other corn and grain cereals. I ate this often even though I never let anyone know about it. At that time, Michael Keaton as Batman was a much more popular choice among the populous when it came to corn pop cereal.

Keeping to the fart convo from before, I totally forgot about the Kathy Lee and Regis interview with the Ultimate Warrior when he covers his farting by destroying the studio. I promise this fart theme will stop now. Turn up the volume and set your brain on low. It’s kinda funny.

Getting to the best tasting but absolute worst for you cereal of the bunch we land on another video game themed breakfast…cereal. Pac-Man ruled the arcade for years and branched to a brand name that is still around today. Like Lucky Charms, this cereal was a no-go in the Webster family home. But it didn’t mean it was off my diet entirely. I had my friends.

In the eighties it was still acceptable to have crushed lollipops mixed in the bag of cereals and look at the FDA with a straight face and boast to be apart of the daily nutritional value that a growing youth needed. It was a great time to be alive and I weep for the kids of today and their nanny state removing cartoon and TV themes from the breakfast table. They have no idea what they are missing.

You get the fuck out of here, Cabbage Patch Kids and your creepy potted smiling cereal bits!!! We don’t know you and nobody likes you. Be terrible somewhere else!!!

Where Did You Go? Part 14: FOOD

There are literally hundreds of retro food blogs out there that list every possible snack, soda, TV dinner, candy and fast food that has been discontinued in the history of ever. Some even track down the original item and have them in possession for pictures and possibly a daring taste test some 15 years after expiration. To those people who are that devoted to the dead sodas and snack crackers of the world, I commend you. I am not that devoted. But, I will write my own personal thoughts and memories of some of these deceased items so you can get a little taste of my opinions as I bitch and moan over why I have cognitive haunts about a drink I haven’t tasted in 20 years.

The Item: I was a lucky to be of the perfect age for the invention of the fruit snack. As a young kid, there was nothing better than to witness the combination of candy and snack. Fun Fruits and Fruit Rollups were about as amazing as fire to a caveman for a six-year-old. It was our heroine and we had to have it. Poor Mom was never allowed to go to the grocery store without bringing home a box and if we were with her on that chore, there was always a scene. “But they have vitamin C! THEY HAVE VITAMIN CEEEEEEEE!

Gone are the days when fruit snacks looked like deer shit and came in flavors like orange and cherry. No, nowadays they all have to have themes and familiar shapes to kids as if buying X-Men fruit snacks tasted any different from Barbie ones. These particular snacks have morphed into 3 feet long rolled up strips, snacks filled with goo, temporary tattoos for the tongue, stack-able cut outs, and formed into every Disney character ever created. I saw this coming in 1988 with the introduction of Shark Bites. I knew the simple days were through. The death of Fruit Corners died a quiet death, but I will still shed a tear.

The Item: Candilicious is not a stripper. I just wanted to make that clear because in search for the picture above, I was exposed to many of these dancers. That is a big distraction when waxing childhood nostalgia.

No, this was a great late 80’s candy that proved the mentality of my childhood was always bigger = better. Perhaps it was that my mandibular suck-hole was smaller but I remember almost choking every time I ate this. Imagine the taste of Starbusts, softer than Now and Laters and bigger than Laffy Taffy and you have Candilicious. It was a Bubbalicious product and in some ways it was the answer to my wish of swallowing my gum at the zenith point of it’s taste. I imagine 5 out of 5 dentists agree this candy should be not only discounted but wiped from all memory completely. But I remember. Nice try tooth nazis.

The Item: Burples might just be an item that history forgot. Perhaps it was the fact that the fruit drink was shockingly potent or maybe the futuristic attraction of the recently released Capri Sun, the Burples just never made a lasting impression. The bottle came collapsed with a powdered inside and all you needed to do was add water. If memory serves me right, it fizzed and expanded the accordion shaped bottle, but that might be in my head. The finished result meant a sugar high so intense, it will cause you to race around the house, slip on the linoleum and crack your head open on the kitchen counter.

The cool thing about these deceased drinks is that somewhere, buried deep in the two decade layered landfill, the non biodegradable containers still remain. A tribute to the 1980 consumer and our foresight beyond mutually assured destruction. Burples!

The Item: Five Alive was a staple in the house growing up and it was always in the condensed frozen can you see above. I can actually close my eyes and remember wrestling with the damn plastic strip that kept the metallic cap on. Then squeezing the can over the pitcher and watch it poop the orange/yellow concentrate in a slow sounding ‘schloooop’. There was a certain satisfaction of “making” juice, even if it just meant pouring in three cans of cold water and stirring. But there were a few times Dad would spit a large glop of frozen 5 Alive back into his glass. That’s what you get for putting a 7-year-old on juice duty.

I believe 5 Alive is still out there among the various juices and as an adult I am not sure if I would buy it. I remember not really liking it as a kid. Maybe it was the lime and grapefruit combination that had me wincing while watching ABC morning cartoons. What’s wrong with plain old O.J.?

The Item: The PB Max is..er…was amazing. Not only was it a brick of a candy bar but it would simultaneously enlarge your ass, give you type one diabetes and destroy the ability to whistle for a year. I heard a guy who had a peanut allergy one time walked into a gas station that sold PB Max’s and his lips, hands and feet exploded.

I can understand why PB Max’s died like Ryan White because eating half of a jar of peanut butter in one sitting is pretty amazing. Even for a candy bar. Plus it is a mess. It’s like a rapidly melting brownie filled with something that will smell up a minivan for years to come.

The Item: All the cereals of the 80′ and 90’s that had a link to either cartoons, video games or candy are pretty much dead. Long gone are the days when you could come out of the fort you built in the den and chow down on cereal with crushed lollipops and sugared marshmallow sugary sugars. No, the FDA says that they can’t use such marketing ploys to kill off kids, increase the medical insurance debacle, and cause adult depression linked to childhood obesity and repressed memories of mean skinny kids who sang “fatboy fatboy, why ya so fat? Cake on the lips, jelly in the gut, BIG BUTT!” Fuck you Sugar Bear. Look what you have done.

Now we have Grapenuts. With neither grapes nor nuts. I get no respect. Respect is niiiiice.

For real reviews of snacks and junk food you should… no… have to check out Matt’s articles.  These are classics. Peace and love.

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