Cereal is one of those iconic American breakfast foods that brings back all kinds of memories. The commercial jingles replayed in your head for hours. The cereal box might have even had a game or two to occupy you through breakfast. If you were lucky, your parents bought a box with a surprise toy inside! Yes, breakfast was the most important meal of the day, but what felt more important than fiber or whole grains were the whimsical shapes you poured into your bowl each morning. Marshmallows, dinosaurs, ice cream cones… Your breakfast table saw it all.
Breakfast sure has changed a lot since then. While now, you might rather opt for some low-sugar granola and yogurt, you probably remember eating cereal before it got healthy (or at least before your parents fully understood what “nutritional value” really meant). As a result, you got to pour sugary, fun snacks by the bowlful and call it a balanced breakfast. But as you got older, some of the most beloved mascots and brands mysteriously disappeared from the shelves. Every once in a while, a long-forgotten cereal will get resurrected (who wasn’t thrilled to see Pop-Tarts Cereal again?). Here are some of the greatest breakfast cereals we wish they’d bring back next.
This magically delicious General Mills cereal has been sold in many forms, from Chocolate Lucky Charms to Halloween’s Spooky Lucky Charms. But one of the most beloved Lucky Charms products will likely never be seen again. Berry Lucky Charms, which vanished after debuting in 2006, contained berry-flavored cereal pieces mixed with the usual eight marshmallow charms (before they added the unicorn in 2018): hearts, shooting stars, horseshoes, clovers, blue moons, pots of gold, rainbows and red balloons.
Post’s Honeycomb cereal has always been shaped like little honeycombs and contained real honey. However, the brand took things to another level in 2006 when they debuted the offshoot Chocolate Honeycomb (made with even bigger pieces). Unfortunately, this spinoff hardly lasted the year.
This 1980s cereal was short-lived, but hard to forget. The marshmallows in Circus Fun were shaped like lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) as well as elephants and horses. These delightful little animals were intermixed with colorful spheres and loops of crunchy cereal. The mascot was a (thankfully not scary) clown who showed up in some very ‘80s commercials. At one point, the boxes came with Life Savers candy inside, which is still one of America’s favorites.
Nowadays, the term “crazy cow” might make you think more of mad cow disease than a wholesome breakfast, but that wasn’t always the case. Crazy Cow was a 1970s breakfast cereal that was immediately a hit. It came in both strawberry and chocolate flavors (just like milk) and was actually just regular Kix cereal covered in a powdery sugar coating. The powder would dissolve in milk, turning the liquid brown or pink depending on the flavor. Crazy!
The Flintstones still have their faces on some cereals today, but perhaps none as great as Dino Pebbles, which debuted in the 1980s and left shelves in the early 1990s. They were made of tiny rice cereals mixed with multicolored dinosaur-shaped marshmallows and had the nonsensical slogan “Marshmallow Dino-licious!” Six different types of dinosaurs were mixed in (resembling real species!), so really, this cereal delivered just as much education to kids as it did sugar.
This old-school cereal is similar to the now-popular cereals Krave and Fillows. Essentially, Hidden Treasures (introduced in 1993 and discontinued in 1995) were little pillow-shaped cereal squares stuffed with a frosting-like filling — only instead of chocolate or vanilla, these little guys were stuffed with a fruity filling. The filling resembled jelly in taste and texture, each filled piece either hiding grape, orange or cherry centers. But there was a catch: Only some of the cereal squares had any filling at all. So eating one felt like a real-life treasure hunt.
With this cereal, kids could have as much fun eating cereal as they did eating ice cream. Ice Cream Cones Cereal was made from a mix of either chocolate-, strawberry- or vanilla-flavored puffs and conical Chex-like pieces. The “scoops” of ice cream were intensely sweet, while the “cones” gave the crunch of an ice cream cone. Their mascot was Ice Cream Jones, a dude who was probably jonesing for some ice cream. This cereal both debuted and disappeared in 1987, tragically. If you’re dying to get your hands on this sugary breakfast today, there’s always the new Drumstick Cereal, which looks similar.
Introduced in 2015, Mini Trix are exactly what they sound like: miniature Trix. Those who adore the ever-popular breakfast cereal could get more fruity pieces in every bite. This product had the same colors as normal Trix, and the tiny pieces were adorable. They got soggy faster, though, because the pieces were so small.
Mr. Wonderfull’s Surprize, which came in both vanilla and chocolate varieties, was a cereal from 1970s made from balls of filled crisp cereal. The boxes came with surprise gifts inside such as puzzle cards and rulers. But the real “surprize” of this cereal was that at some point during production, many of the puffs burst, leaving bowls of milk filled instead with hollow, broken puff exterior alongside hardened balls of filling. Rest in peace, Mr. Wonderfull’s Surprize. You have been missed.
“The taste you can see” got an upgrade with Peanut Butter Toast Crunch, a sugar-dusted cereal that the box claimed had “real peanut butter in every bite.” It was introduced in 2004, removed from shelves, and brought back in 2013 before disappearing again. People were so nuts for this cereal that there’s currently an online petition circulating demanding that General Mills resurrect the fan favorite.
There was a time when rocky road was so much more than just an ice cream flavor. In the ‘80s, it was a cereal flavor, too. Chocolatey and nutty coated marshmallows were mixed in among vanilla and chocolate puff pieces. Rocky Road had three mascots: a friendly guitar-playing chocolate corn puff named Choco, a vanilla guitar-playing corn puff named Van, and a sexy chocolate-covered marshmallow singer named Marsha. The three made up a band that played in the cereal’s commercial.
Sir Grapefellow was a cereal from the ‘70s whose mascot was a World War I-era British pilot with a hankering for grapes and a German archnemesis called Baron von Redberry, who also had his own cereal. The history of conflict between the two fighters had little to do with international conflict and much to do with who had the better cereal. Who won the battle? Since both cereals disappeared from flight shortly after their debuts, no one will ever know.
If you grew up in the ‘80s, you probably remember this food. During the decade when the animated television show aired, the Smurfs had their own cereal called Smurf-Berry Crunch. The fruit-flavored cereal was (for some reason) colored bright red and purple, not blue. The box featured Papa Smurf about to eat a spoonful. In 1987, this cereal was replaced by the also discontinued Smurf Magic Berries, which was similar but included marshmallows.
Sprinkle Spangles were inspired by sugar cookies (which they basically were) with pieces reminiscent of vanilla shortbread covered in rainbow sprinkles. “Sprinkle Spangles taste so sweet... taste so crunchy. ‘Cause we spangle every angle with sprinkles,” boasted the commercial in 1994. The mascot of Sprinkle Spangles was a genie who granted children bowls of the crispy cereal. “You wish it, I dish it!” he promised. However, those wishes soon ran out, because Sprinkle Spangles could only be found from 1993 to 1995.
S’mores for breakfast? Sure, why not? Introduced in 1982, General Mills only sold this super-sweet cereal until 1988. It involved chocolate-coated graham cracker pieces mixed with (you guessed it) marshmallows. The idea has since been resurrected by Kellogg in their newer Smorz cereal, but perhaps will never live up to the first. “It’s S’more fun for breakfast!” the commercial said.
There were a few wacky things about this 1960s cereal. First, the marshmallows and pieces in Wackies were banana-flavored, looking like a monochromatic beige Lucky Charms. Second, the marshmallow pieces had all kinds of wacky shapes, which is why this cereal got its name. General Mills gave the shapes appropriately wacky names such as Zot, Glop and Gloop. Ah, to be a kid again… There’s a special place in your adult heart for all of these cereals, and probably these other fun but forgotten childhood breakfast foods.
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