Did I Eat That?

This post is part of a balanced breakfast.

This post is part of a balanced breakfast.

friday tvCereal has long been a staple at the breakfast table here in America, helping give our children the fuel they need in order to survive all the shit they’ll have to put up with at school.  And ever since Cracker Jack invented the concept of boosting sales by including some cheap ass toy buried miles deep under its inedible product, cereal manufacturers have been resorting to every desperate trick in the book in an attempt to prod kids into making Mommy buy more of their sugar coated dingleberries.  One of the most popular ways the oat blob consortium has cashed in on the gullible minds of little children who have their parents by the purse strings is by riding the most popular trends of the time via the goldmine of licensed cereal.  If you were in any way, shape or form a well known pop culture figure during the 80’s, it’s a good bet you had a cereal with your name on the box.

Made with real rainbows!  Just add unicorn milk...

Made with real rainbows! Just add unicorn milk…

The creative genius behind the latest fad made money, the cereal companies made money, and kids everywhere got to eat something that only reminded them of the cartoon they so loved if they happened to have the box handy to know exactly what the soggy garbage floating in their bowl was supposed to be representing.  For example, if all you could see was the contents in the bowl, that Rainbow Brite cereal could very well be Rainbow Macaroni or Colored Maggots.  Oaty clumps were molded and colored and sprinkled with fruity jizz until they sorta, kinda looked like whatever characters were getting paid to appear on the box.

Even Mr. Rogers can't resist the lure of video game cereal.

Even Mr. Rogers can’t resist the lure of video game cereal.

Outside of The Flintstones, no licensed character cereal has managed to have staying power past the expiration of its 15 minutes of fad fame… which shouldn’t be surprising since cereal companies will abandon a dying fad for the next big thing before all of the corresponding toys have even been thrown onto the roof by pesky big brothers everywhere.  It should also not be shocking that with so much greed and disposable characters out there that the market kicked out a number of truly awful licensed cereals that were fucked up even by the low standards of breakfast whoring.  Why, it was just 30 years ago that you could have poured yourself a delicious bowl of cardboard that was endorsed by…

Mr. T:

Mr. T supports more than just cereal for breakfast.  Just be careful about what's in that milk...

Mr. T supports more than just cereal for breakfast. Just be careful about what’s in that milk…

Thanks to the success of “The A Team,” Mr. T managed to transform himself from a human pawn shop into a living legend who even three decades later has never quite fallen out of the public adoration.  Unfortunately, that fame also meant he got a shitty Saturday morning cartoon, which spawned an even shittier breakfast cereal…

Mr. T is just like Alpha Bits, only with 25 fewer letters.  And the mind-numbing redundancy of eating a bowl full of hundreds of clumps of the exact same shape is driven home in that classic retro ad that could have been edited down to a five second spot without losing anything important.  How many images of Mr. T and his gang of four demographically diverse kids doing gymnastics and high fiving each other is really necessary to get the point across that Mr. T cereal is the most uncreative part of your balanced breakfast?  “It’s cool!” Mr. T reminds us over and over again…

Oh, go fuck yourself, Mr. T.

Oh, go fuck yourself, Mr. T.

If Mr. T cereal is too exciting for your taste buds, or perhaps it was just hard to eat with such a badass staring you in the face making sure you drank your orange juice, perhaps you’d be interested in a cereal centered around…

C3PO:

No no no!  I'm only endorsing the cereal, I'm not supposed to be made into it!  What are you doing?  Unhand me at once!

No no no! I’m only endorsing the cereal, I’m not supposed to be made into it! What are you doing? Unhand me at once!

George Lucas is like the godfather of licensed merchandise.  When the original Star Wars trilogy hit movie theaters in the late 70’s and early 80’s, the world was flooded with Luke Skywalker figurines, lightsabre toys, and cute little fuzzy Ewoks.  Naturally, there would have to be a Star Wars themed breakfast cereal.  Perhaps Darth Vader Sugar Coated Death Stars… or Jedi Force Flakes… or perhaps hungry you were for some Yoda-O’s?

Nope, the master of making money off of fictional charcters came out with this shit instead…

With an entire universe full of some of the most awesome intergalactic characters you can imagine, Lucasfilm gave the honors of sponsoring the cereal to the droid.  And not the one who looked like a cute little whirring trash can, but the dipshitted, gold plated douchebag that spent a third of one of the films as a wookiee’s backpack.  At least he knows six million ways to say how much C3PO’s fucking sucked ass.

We'll call them C3PO's.  Yes, I was programmed to be an egotistical asshole.  Why don't you shove that up your hard drive and process it!

We’ll call them C3PO’s. Yes, I was programmed to be an egotistical asshole. Why don’t you shove that up your hard drive and process it!

C3PO turns out to be just as useless in the kitchen as he is aboard the Millennium Falcon, as his cereal he so humbly named after himself is just a bunch of funky looking figure eights that have as much to do with droids or the Star Wars universe itself as a pile of possum puke.  And speaking of puke, at the dawn of the 90’s, there was actually a cereal with an even worse licensed character than a droid or a bouncer…

Steve Urkel:

Eat me, Laura!

Eat me, Laura!

Steve Urkel and Arthur Fonzarelli may be polar opposites in personality, but they have two things in common.  They were both throwaway characters who became so popular that they managed to hijack their respective sitcoms after the first season, and they’re both experts at jumping sharks.  Jaleel White’s character Urkel was one of the biggest things going in the early 90’s when everyone was wearing Simpsons T-shirts, tuning in to the Scud Stud and parodying Edith Fore.  But there were some things of which we just would not put up with…

It must have strained the brain of some of Ralston’s finest culinary creators to figure out how to best portray America’s favorite annoying nerd in a breakfast cereal.  In fact, it seems like they just picked a random formula they were already working on and stuck Urkel’s image on the box.  Urkel O’s were strawberry and banana fruit flavored blobs, which might have actually been developed into a successful, marketable product if they wouldn’t have randomly wasted it on Steve fucking Urkel.  Now it’s beginning to make sense why Mr. T and C3PO’s cereal formulas were just throwaway garbage…

Anyone who bought this box should have been shot at the checkout counter.

Anyone who bought this box should have been shot at the checkout counter.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day… not only for you, but for the thousands of licensed character rights holders out there who are counting on you to buy their cereals so they can eat too.  Today The Nest raises our plastic spoons and salutes these short-sighted licensed cereals that fed the children of America a steady diet of greedy capitalism while washing it down with a glass of rancid milk straight from the udders of the cash cow.  Sure, the pop icon in your brand names may have expired before the date on the box… but the memories of mornings spent with something that vaguely resembled our favorite flashes in the pan will never go bad….. no way!

Yes way!!!

Yes way!!!

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About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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31 Responses to Did I Eat That?

  1. I don’t like cereals… I only ate it once to get the ring what makes me invisible, the ring was a total rip off it didn’t work… and the worst was that I had to eat the rest of this crap, because my mother was strict with food wasters :o(

    • I wonder how many boxes of cereal went to waste back in the day by kids who only wanted the prize and not the nasty stuff that it was packaged with. There are starving kids in China who don’t have non-working invisibility rings…

  2. markbialczak says:

    What kid in America didn’t want some short and screaming cartoon icon staring at you that was always after ye Lucky Charms, Bill? Talk about a cereal killer! Life is pretty easy eating Store Brand wheat flakes, I tell ya.

    • I had to partake of some of that store brand stuff when I was a kid… the generic puffed wheat wasn’t bad. One of my favorite cereals is the un-mascotted Product 19, but despite not having to pay a penny in licensing fees, it’s also one of the more expensive cereals out there… and also hard to find these days.

      • markbialczak says:

        Where did Kellogg’s take Product 19? I wonder, Bill, if it just got too expensive because of all those vitamins and nobody was buying it anymore? Or the organic brands overtook it?

      • Beats me… I saw it before not all that long ago on some store shelf, but it’s been a rare find for years. Doing a search, I see a FB group with an online petition to bring back the cereal, so maybe they did stop making it. Too bad, because it was one of the few healthy cereals I actually liked.

  3. PigLove says:

    Mom said she was raised on Flintstones and Captain Crunch – neither which I have tried due to the sugar intake – I don’t get that. Dad said he loved Cookie Crunch? Again, I have tried that one either. These days, there are no prizes in our cereal boxes. We eat Cheerios (this piggies favorite – I gotta stay heart smart) and Special K. I feel cheated. I want a prize in my Cheerios – snorts and oinks. XOXO – Bacon

    • Cookie Crisp is awesome… plus, it seems to have a new mascot every few years. I can handle the blandness of Cheerios. They can keep those prizes too… I don’t remember any cereal prize I got as a kid ever being anything cool.

      • PigLove says:

        Snorts! I think I need to try some of this Cookie Crisp. I’m sure it would be a lot better tasting than my Cheerios!… unless it’s my Peanut Butter Cheerios. I love them. XOXO – Bacon

  4. Ally Bean says:

    Corn Flakes or Cheerios for me. Always. When I was a kid I tried one spoonful of Lucky Charms– and thought it was the nastiest thing I’d ever eaten. That experience set me on a path of cereal purity. No weird flavors or cartoon characters will start my day. Bleech.

    • I never cared for the cereals that had too many “marshmallows”, and I use that word in quotes because those pieces of cereal foam were only marshmallows in the loosest sense of the word. When Count Chocula started putting too many marshmallow bats in their cereal, I quit eating it. The rare cereals I’ll eat these days are all straightforward and non-flavored…

  5. The Cutter says:

    Ralston basically does nothing but produce licensed cereals.

    As a child, I wasn’t allowed to eat sugary cereals usually, but I did get C-3PO’s. One of classmates correctly summed them up by saying, “It’s just two Cheerios stuck together.”

    And I’m really excited that Buc Wheats are in that Mr. Rogers picture.

    • Ralston actually made some real cereals before they went nuts for the flavor of the week. They had Cookie Crisp and Chex before selling all of their brands off to General Mills in 1994. I actually had no idea they’d gotten out of the cereal business, which is sad since they’re a local company. They also were the company behind Twinkies before they sold them off as well…

  6. NotAPunkRocker says:

    This is just making me miss the day of cool toys in the cereal boxes. :/

  7. Merbear74 says:

    Why am I suddenly craving some fruity jizz?

  8. Anxious Mom says:

    Omg, Steve Urkel cereal?!?!?! I had no idea.

    • Neither did I… yet when I found the commercial, I knew I had my retro ad post. That’s just insane to have cereal based on one of the most annoying characters in TV history…

  9. fanrosa says:

    Ralston? Like in Ralston-Purina? That would put me off my feed right then and there….

    I like a good trend as much as the next person, but I’m a boring cereal person. The only two cold cereals I’ve eaten ever since I was a kid is Raisin Bran and Life. I even eschew Cinnamon Life as being too “hip”.

    What can I say? I think as a young child I had my heart broken when they discontinued Freakies and vowed to never be hurt like that again….

    • You didn’t know Ralston Purina made cereal? They even used to put the checkerboard logo on the boxes back in the day. I’m sure there’d never be an accident and they’d get the Chex mixed up with the Dog Chow…

      Speaking of… look what else Ralston Purina made…

  10. Trisha says:

    My brother was such a big Star Wars fan that I’m sure we had at least one box of C3P0s go through our house. I, of course, would have hated it because I always hated any cereal my brother liked, mostly just because he liked it but also because he liked boring things like Kix and I liked fake-fruity flavored things like Smurfberry Crunch. There was never another cereal like Smurfberry Crunch…unless they rebranded it with a character my brother liked, in which case I never would have tried it, no matter how much it looked and smelled like Smurfberry Crunch.

    I must not have been a cereal buyer in the days of Urkel-Os. I would remember something that lame!

    • I’ll bet a lot of cereals got branded and rebranded countless times. Smurfberry would have probably been to fruity for me… in fact, I don’t think we even had any of the fruit flavored cereals at our house. Count Chocula and Cookie Crisp was about as away from vanilla as we ever got.

      I watched a lot of cartoons in the early 90’s and saw a ton of cereal ads, but somehow Urkel O’s escaped me too. When I accidentally found the ad on YouTube, I had to do some further checking to make sure it wasn’t just a gag!

  11. draliman says:

    You can’t speak to Mr T like that! He’ll be after you 😦
    I don’t eat cereal because I don’t drink milk (it makes me sick). I’ve missed so much.

    • I don’t drink milk either, but I do occasionally eat cereal, and I’ve always eaten it straight out of the box. I’m pretty sure I was still in grade school the last time I ate cereal from a bowl (and even then, no milk…. yuck!)

      Mr. T will have to find me first… and get past my squirrel army!

  12. Have you recently w atched “Spaceballs”? Mel does a whole spiel on stuff you can market to go with the movie.

    Mr. T has never been described as perfectly as you have described him here. I laughed so hard i started to cry, especially when I thought of how much money I wasted over the years on “dry cereal” probably made from wood chips and glue.

    GREAT POST.

    • I haven’t seen Spaceballs in a looooong time, but it’s one of my favorite movies of all time, so I remember most of the gags quite well. Even did a post about the movie way back in my ancient days. One of my readers once suggested I should market a Rainbow Donkey the Flame Thrower!

      This is my fifth ever retro ad post on cereal… there’s just something about that breakfast food that makes it such a sitting duck for my snark…

  13. herdthinner says:

    HOW DID I MISS BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT CEREAL???

    What I also can’t figure out is how Child Me went from scorning all but the mostest sugary-est cereals, to Current Me, who eats Kashi Twigs ‘n’ Dirt ‘n’ Dried Up Shit, when I eat any cereal at all. With Soy Juice instead of milk.

    SOY JUICE.

    Do you remember Kellogg’s Bigg Mixx? It was basically just whatever they could find, tossed into the same box. Its mascot was a “big mix” of a bunch of different animals, like a pig, rooster, … cow, maybe? Panther? Armadillo? Anyway, it didn’t last long (the cereal or the mascot) because both probably reminded people of The Beast of Revelation.

    But the best part is that I used to work for Kellogg right around the time of that cereal’s brief life-span, and scored an OFFICIAL, PLUSH BIGG MIXX. Alas, I can no longer find it. I think it may have escaped to terrorize unsuspecting villagers.

    • Ewwwww,anything that even remotely sounds healthy makes me wretch. Twigs and soy milk would probably be the death of me…

      I’ve never heard of Bigg Mixx (or its redundant lettering before), but that hybrid critter sounds so awesome! That would have been the treasure of my collection. As it is, I’ll have to settle for the Snuggle Bear…

  14. Mental Mama says:

    The Bill & Ted cereal looks an awful lot like dog food to me.

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