For decades, foods that were kid-oriented have had the potential to be serious gold mines, with breakfast cereals at the top of the heap. But for every Golden Grahams and Lucky Charms, there have been dozens that have been forgotten to history, many with good reason. Some of these cereals were just plain bizarre, even bordering on disturbing, and we’ve tracked down 13 of them.
There was once a time when there were multiple grape-flavored cereals on the market for some reason, and this one differentiated itself by being named after a fictional knighted gentleman who enjoyed flying airplanes with no hands. The most intriguing part of the whole thing is this supposed “air car.”
How does eating what’s basically a bowl of Cheerios with some “K”s added to it amount to a super-jacked Scottish man (apparently named Big Otis)? Either way, we have a feeling that this cereal was just OK.
We’re wondering how much they paid this guy to don a crown of spoons and smile at the camera. Whatever he’s selling, we’re not buying.
Hey kids, Mr. Wonderfull has a surprise for you! And he’s wearing a polka dot jacket and a periscope on his head! Thanks, but we'll pass.
We’re not sure if freeze-drying bananas makes them “instant,” but either way, we’d much rather just slice up a banana and add it to our cereal. Also, why is the banana's nose made out of the top of his head?
Mmmm, doesn’t a nice crunchy “logg” sound appetizing? We’ll save these for the beavers.
“It takes funny people to make funny cereal,” was the tagline for this sad, oddball relic of the hippie era that debuted in 1975. The cereal’s “storyline” was about four characters (named Grins, Smiles, Giggles and Laughs, naturally) who had to make a robot laugh before it could pop out a box of cereal. Weird.
Yes, 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner had its very own promotional tie-in cereal, even though the character on the box didn’t even bear a passing resemblance to Costner. Shaped (more or less) like arrows, this vaguely citrus-flavored cereal has gone down in history as one of the most bizarre, and pointless, ever sold.
For some reason, in the early ‘90s, the Family Matters character Steve Urkel ruled the airwaves and Ralston Foods decided to give him his own cereal. The cereal was basically just yellow and red Froot Loops, and didn’t even have anything to do with Urkel himself.
In 1998, the people at Ralston also decided that what America needed was a cereal with fruit-flavored dinosaurs. For the box, they decided to turn four of the dinosaurs into diner employees and one dinosaur into the diner itself. That’s stretching it a little.
Introduced in 1973, this was a cereal where the marketing campaign was arguably more important than the cereal itself: “Freakies” by the name of Snorkeldorf, Cowmumble, Hamhose, BossMoss, Goody-Goody, Gargle, and Grumble, each with its own distinct personality, were the subject of 10 commercials from 1974 to 1975, becoming somewhat of a pop culture curiosity. As for the cereal itself, it was just sweetened light brown rings.
Breakfast With Barbie was one of a handful of Ralston Foods cereals based on licensed characters (others included Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Gremlins, and Batman). Making its debut in 1988, it just might be the most ‘80s-looking cereal box of all time.
As an aside, the brand Ralston Foods was founded in 1902, named after a minor social movement at the time called Ralstonism. The motto was "Regime, Activity, Light, Strength, Temperation, Oxygen, and Nature," whose first letters spelled RALSTON. It advocated a very strict diet, attention to personal hygiene, and, oddly enough, castration of all non-Caucasian males. Best known for introducing Chex and Cookie Crisp, the brand was sold to General Mills in 1994.