Saturday Mornings: The Cereals
Nothing tastes better on a Saturday morning than a delicious bowl of sugary cereal. The two were made to go together! I was pouring my own cereal at a surprisingly young age, fending for myself and snuggling up to the TV with my bowl of technicolor sweetness. The flavors were fun, their commercials were every bit as exciting as the cartoons themselves, and so the pairing was perfect.
In this article, I would like to share some of my favorite cereals that I enjoyed as a kid, and these unfortunately, you cannot find these around anymore. Yeah, Berry Berry Kix and Apple Jacks are still holding strong, but what about those cereals that were great, but had too short of a shelf life?
Teddy Grahams Breakfast Bears - This was a no-brainer of a good idea for a cereal. Teddy Grahams snack crackers were introduced in 1988. Most kids i knew loved Teddy Grahams, and so with a slight tweak to the recipe two years later, a great cereal was born. This cereal came in honey, cinnamon and chocolate varieties, and all three flavors were delicious, just like their snack counterparts! When the cereal first appeared on shelves, each flavor had a different cut-out Breakfast Bear mask on the back, because that is what kids are buying cereals for! According to the television advertisements, they were "burstin' with wholesome graham goodness, an event I have yet to have witnessed.
Crispy Critters - I really liked this cereal and I did not know hit had such a storied history. Originally coming out in 1963, this sweetened cereal, made of oats, consisted of animal-shaped pieces akin to animal crackers. Commercials featured a cartoon lion, Linus the Lionhearted, who was spun off the next year into his own Saturday-morning cartoon show, which ran until 1969. After a decline in popularity, the cereal was discontinued. The cereal was revived in 1987, this time the commercials featured a puppet mascot named "Crispy", resembling a moose-lion hybrid. I remember loving the commercials as Crispy sang like Jimmy Durante, with little golden foam animal puppets all around. This was one of those cereals that was good in milk, but even better dry in a plastic baggie as a snack while on the go. The concept was great, the flavor was above average, so I do not know why this revived franchise went the way of the dodo cracker.
Smurfberry Crunch - While I was a little too old to ENJOY the Smurfs cartoon, that doesn't mean to say that I didn't tolerate it a good deal when it when it was my sister's turn to choose which show we watched. While the concept of a Smurfy cereal was not the super cool choice for a super cool dude like myself, the dang stuff looked delicious! So we got some, and it was a really tasty cereal. It was like a mix of Berry Berry Kix and Crunch Berries. The commercials were like mini episodes of the show. Over time Smurfberry Crunch was followed in later years by Smurf Magic Berries and the limited-edition Smurfs Cereal. And I thought it was all Smurfin' Smurfy.
Triples - This was a fairly decent but incredibly BORING cereal that I remember having when my mother started believing that breakfasts were supposed to be healthy! Produced in the early 1990s, Triples was similar to Rice Krispies, but it was instead made with rice, corn, and wheat. Slightly sweet, medium crunch, overall just a mediocre cereal, but the advertising for it was just as silly as the brightly colored cereals. In the commercials, people would eat the cereal and do a triple take with wacky sounds and slightly wackier responses from the people around them. I remember eating it, i remember liking it okay, but it was nothing special and you can even tell from the commercials that it was trying way too hard to compete with Rick Krispies.
In 1985 Nerds Cereal asked us, "Which side are you gonna eat first?" The concept that made the candy so unique was translated into a cereal, and it worked! The cereal box was divided into two separate compartments - each containing its own flavor of Nerds Cereal. Two dual varieties were offered: orange and cherry or strawberry and grape. Sometimes the cereal included small boxes of Nerds candy inside and they also featured a send-away offer for a "Two-Sided Nerds Bowl". I remember getting this cereal only once or twice, probably strawberry/grape and I don't remember thinking it was the best cereal ever. We didn't get it much after that as it's novelty didn't appeal to anyone else in my family. To this day, I wish i had been able to send away for that Two-Sided Nerds Bowl.
Cröonchy Stars - This was one of my all time favorites! Cröonchy Stars was deliciously light, equal parts crunchy and fluffy, with just the right amount of cinnamon. The cereal was first released in 1988, discontinued about a year later, making a brief return in 1992. The mascot was The Muppet Show's lovable Sweedish Chef, and he would say his cereal was "cinnamonnamony". Commercials kept in closely with the Jim Henson Studios level of quality and humor, enhancing the brand and telling a story. The cereal box itself was loaded with fun features like ridiculous jokes, unsolvable puzzles, re-playable mini games, etc. You would want to read every inch of the box, and check it again for your next bowl to see what you might have missed the first time. The whole concept was silly but enjoyable, and it screamed fun!
Did you have a favorite cereal as a child that you cannot find now? Are there any fun memories that you connect to mornings with cartoon's and cereal? Please share your stories with us in the comments section!