Cereal companies used to have a genius way of transforming pop-culture trends into sugary, artificially colored, totally ridiculous breakfast foods. We miss those days, and we'd trade our whole-grain puffs in a second for one of these retro cereals. Bring them back—please?
1. Mr. T
2. Crazy Cow
The cartoon commercials for Crazy Cow were captivating, not only because the Crazy Cow was an astronaut coming out of a spaceship (why?), but because his cereal claimed to flavor your milk right in the bowl. It was available in strawberry and chocolate flavors, but we desperately need the strawberry to come back; Fruity Pebbles just ain’t cutting it.
3. Fruit Brute
Kids who grew up in the ‘80s have fond memories of General Mills’ monster cereals like Count Chocula, Boo-Berry and Franken-Berry, all of which still haunt shelves to this day. But Fruit Brute, a fruit-flavored cereal with “vitamin-charged” marshmallows represented by a howling wolf, didn’t make it out of the era for long. The cereal was actually resurrected briefly in 2013 with a modern CGI-inspired look, but it disappeared quickly. Vitamin-charged marshmallows, we want you back.
Quangaroos' parent cereal, Quisp, made a cultlike comeback in 2012 thanks to the power of the Internet, but the same fate has not yet befallen its crispy orange-flavored offspring, Quangaroos. Despite having an adorable kangaroo mascot, the cereal was killed off by public vote in favor of Quisp in 1974 (just as parent company Quaker had done with another related cereal, Quake, two years earlier). Orange cereals may not be in vogue anymore, but that Creamsicle flavor combo deserves to be revisited.
Yes, we have Waffle Crisp today, but the early-‘80s generation would swear that Waffleos (and their sister cereal Blueberry Waffleos) had a much more delicious fake-maple flavor. Plus Waffleos had the beloved Waffleo Bill as its trusty mascot; Waffle Crisp doesn’t even have a mascot.
In what may have been the first overt diet cereal in all the land, Halfsies' corn and rice C-shaped bites contained half the sugar of other leading brands at the time. They were also loaded with NutraSweet (aka aspartame), which was just emerging as the “it” sweetener of the '80s. Commercials for Halfsies were animated by Jay Ward Studios of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame and showed a land where everything was cut in half. In our health-crazed era, the time just might be ripe for Halfsies to return. But hold the NutraSweet, please. Agave nectar, we're looking at you.
7. Rocky Road
After the cereal companies got over the artificial diet sweetener craze, by the beginning of the mid-’80s, it was time to tumble back down the Rocky Road of sweets, this time with a triple threat of chocolate and vanilla puffs and chocolate nut-covered marshmallows. Rock stars Choco, Van and Marsha came armed with guitars and microphones for the commercial. No reasonable mother would let her child eat this at the time, which is why it died quickly and needs to come back. Because we're grownups now.
Nerdy Steve Urkel (played by actor Jaleel White) was the accidental star of the sitcom Family Matters, which had a huge run from 1989 to 1998. Ralston branded him with his own strawberry and banana flavored cereal in 1991—but according to MrBreakfast.com, some people thought it tasted “weird and artificial” and just bought it for the cool box. Clueing into this, Ralston fictionally ran him for president on the box in a memorable campaign. Bring back the boxes, at least?
9. Nickelodeon Green Slime Cereal
You Can't Do That on Television, the legendary show on the children’s cable network Nickelodeon, had already been dousing people in green slime for decades before Green Slime cereal made a brief cameo in 2003. Luckily, the green-colored cereal itself wasn't slimy but rather shaped like a slime splatter and mixed with orange Nickelodeon-logo marshmallows. How did this ever get greenlighted? Unclear, but we'd totally go for it now.
10. Rainbow Brite
Rainbow Brite was a super-girlie cartoon series that ran from 1984-1986, and her namesake cereal was studded with colorful, fruit-flavored rainbow bites. Forget the cartoon; can't we just have the cereal back to brighten our multigrain (yawwwwn) mornings?
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