Cereal Killer

My family refused to buy fun breakfast cereal when I was a kid. It was all Basic 4 and Kix (“Kid tested, Mother approved”. Even the slogan announced it was boring!) For a brief span of time my parents opened up to Cocoa Puffs, but we were never introduced to cereal marshmallows or Cheerios that were coated with anything other than Cheerio. So it wasn’t until college that I decided to “experiment” with breakfast cereals, thus discovering a world I had never fully known.

Looking back, I think that maybe my parents were simply shielding me from the pain that cereal lust can cause. As soon as a cereal enters your world, there’s a possibility that it won’t stick around for long. Here are a few that I’ve severely missed after they faced the terrible fate of discontinuation.

Oreo O’s.

Oreo O’s challenged Cookie Crisp in the “cookies for breakfast” field. While Cookie Crisp is shaped like cookies, Oreo O’s actually tasted like cookies. While they had nearly a ten year run (1998 to 2007), they’re now only available in South Korea. According to Wikipedia, the cereal ended its run after Kraft split ties with Post.

I remember being very skeptical about Oreo O’s, until I remembered that I didn’t necessarily have to eat it for breakfast. While it didn’t make you sick in the morning (if you eat it in reasonable portions, that is), it was also a great dessert alternative when you realized you ate all of the actual Oreos in your house.

Oreo O’s also wins due to the fact that they didn’t necessarily market towards kids with a kitschy mascot or a prize. The cereal was the prize! Cookie Crisp lost me the second that they replaced the Cookie Crook and Chip the Dog with a wolf (also named Chip) in 2008. It was bad enough when they downsized by acting as if the Cookie Crook never existed, thus giving sole responsibility of cookie hijinks to the dog. But to change animals completely? Harsh, Cookie Crisp.

Rice Krispies Treats Cereal

My heart sank when I realized this was no longer available. Let me review it for you in one simple sentence: This cereal was awesome. Honestly, I’m not even a huge fan of Rice Krispies Squares. I’ll politely eat one if you made a batch for a social gathering, but I’ve never craved them the way I’ve craved their cereal counterpart.

While the cereal has never been  listed as being discontinued, it’s been insanely hard to find. I figured that maybe it was just my luck, but according to reviews on Amazon, other people have been having the same predicament. Yes – Amazon.com carries it! And I’ve been dangerously close to taking the plunge and ordering it but the thought just makes me giggle. How would I explain the purchase? What if they aren’t as good as I remember? Why is it available on the internet and not my grocery store? Shouldn’t I pay my real bills first?

Croonchy Stars

Now, I can’t fully get behind this cereal because I never had it. However, I feel like I’ve seen the commercial a billion times because we taped Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation on TV once and this commercial (as well as one for the Purr-Tenders) was featured during one of the commercial breaks. Pretty soon, the Croonchy Stars commercial became part of the movie-watching experience for me.

Of course this is the cereal endorsed by the Swedish Chef. He was probably trying to roast up Big Bird, and accidentally ended up making star-shaped cereal. What does it taste like? I have no idea. Created in 1988 and discontinued after about a year, the box itself looks like a wild Muppet party, with “cinnamonamony” promises. I’m including it in the list because I’m hoping someone can fill me in on what I missed when I was 4 years old.

You can check out the commercial here – make sure to take note on how for a brief second, the Swedish Chef has human hands. Hopefully this condition is not a side effect of the cereal.

Peanut Butter Toast Crunch

I self-published a not-very-good book in 2009 and included an entire chapter on Peanut Butter Toast Crunch. “PBTC” – as I’ll refer to it -was an experiment from the people who brought you Cinnamon Toast Crunch and French Toast Crunch. Perhaps it’s like the distant, Care Bear Cousin of cereal relatives. That or the outcast, black-sheep sibling. Not only was I an early adopter but I tried pushing the cereal onto my friends, in the hope of starting a PBTC revolution. Unfortunately, this conquest failed.

PBTC is everything you’d expect from a cereal called Peanut Butter Toast Crunch. On the side of the box, Wendell the chef asked customers to give him a call in order to provide feedback on this recent invention. I called… and nobody responded. To this day, I’m filled with guilt – if only I had tried harder to connect with that chef, the world may not be deprived of Peanut Butter Toast Crunch.

This cereal was great with or without milk – and if I remember correctly, your hands weren’t covered in sugar, like with Cinnamon Toast Crunch, if you decided to eat them like a toddler (which I did).

Oatmeal Swirlers

I need to end on the otherwise-boring side of breakfast cereal – Oatmeal. One might not think oatmeal should count, but Oatmeal Swirlers were in a world of their own. After you made the oatmeal, you were given a pack of goop that allowed you to write, draw or play a game of tic-tac-toe, prior to eating it! The goop came in a couple flavors but I was set on trying out “red”. For some reason, this concept was extremely appealing as a child and I begged my parents to pick some of it up. Since oatmeal is typically viewed as a healthy alternative, my parents complied.

I remember sitting impatiently for the oatmeal to be done – 3 minutes seemed like 3 days. Finally, it was time. What should I draw first?

Something I should have remembered was that I was approximately 5 years old when this all went down. In other words, I didn’t have the steady hands of a true oatmeal artist. My smiley face – which I figured was an easy, fool-proof first design – looked like a circle that got hit by a truck. I had such instant disappointment with the first attempt that all of the magic was simply gone.

Part of me still longs for Oatmeal Swirlers. If I had another shot at it, years later, I’m sure my smashed circle would have improved a bit. Surely I could figure out my own in-home combination to obtain the joy of the original, but I don’t want to “MacGyver” myself up a disaster. I trust the good folk at General Mills who tested, researched and sampled Oatmeal Swirlers to the masses in order to get the gel-to-oatmeal ratio just right. Even if the concept was great and the execution was shaky, it’s still a win in my book.

Now it’s your turn: What cereals do you miss? Is there anything you wish had a slightly longer in-store shelf life? Were you a master at Oatmeal Swirlers? (If so, I sure hope you took pictures.)

Photo Credits: bestuff.com, crossroads-market.com, muppets.wikia.com, cerealoftheday.tumblr.com, humor.gunaxin.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=531096967 Ali Beischer

    They just started carrying Rice Krispie treat cereal here in SC at Wal-Mart. I had eaten as a kid and was really sad when they discontinued it but now it’s back and still great!

  • http://www.facebook.com/leahahaha Leah Lopez

    I’m from California and grew up loving Rice Krispie Treat cereal! My mom would have to hide it from us so that we all only had one bowl a day. I can’t find it anywhere here either, but when I was in Texas last fall I found it at Walmart!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=700111521 Lalitha Kristipati

    French Toast Crunch! They were shaped like little mini toast and flavored like pancake syrup. Yum =)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=43600617 Liz Jacobus

      A couple of months ago I was craving French Toast Crunch. I did some research and apparently you can still get it in Canada. The site I found back then was $8 a box and shipping was $20. $30 for a box of cereal hum

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000100711596 Drake Birkner

    You perfectly described PBTC and I love it and miss it as well. Cinnamon Toast Crunch was always my favorite cereal and I only put peanut butter on everything. One day, my mom brought home PBTC and I was in heaven. Top seven childhood memories, no doubt.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sherigraham Sheri Graham

    you can order Rice Krispie Treat cereal online (no, I didn’t order 8 boxes a few months ago, and no, they’re not gone already).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1346626935 Clementine Constantinople

    I miss REAL Alphabits cereal, they took away the sugary coating and now it just tastes like plain Cheerios. :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/rachelh18 Rachel Herman

    I miss french toast crunch (so cute!) and waffle crisp (ALWAYS picked this as my “birthday cereal choice”)! I just also need to comment on the fact that I miss the days when Trix was shaped like fruit… those little watermelons were adorable!

    • http://www.facebook.com/whatchamacarcass Karen Belz

      I also appreciate cereal cuteness. I wish I liked French Toast Crunch more, since they were so detailed! I must disagree with you on Trix though – I’m happy they switched back to original “round” shape. From the few times I had them, I remember distinctly noticing a taste change when they changed to fruit shapes. (And for awhile, they brought back the round shapes for a sugar free version! Unless that was just in some dream I had.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/JannaSWong Janna Wong

    i LOVED PBTC!

  • http://www.facebook.com/chickenwing84 Becky Spaulding

    I did just discover that this still exists – but Waffle Crisp was seriously one of my fav cereals (right up there with Oreo-Os). I loved the teensy tiny little waffles that tasted like they had just a dab of maple syrup on them. Ah, childhood. PBTC was also one of the best cereals ever. Oh so good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=6026150 Marielle Te

    http://www.x-entertainment.com/cerealprizeproject/group007/1.jpg

    DUNK A BALLS CEREAL! They were shaped and striped like mini basketballs. The back of the box even folded into a makeshift basketball hoop that you can throw the cereal into & have them fall in your bowl of milk!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/whatchamacarcass Karen Belz

      I like how they at least warn you on the box that they’re temporary. Limited Time Only = “Don’t get used to this, kids.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/groovytimes Frankie LaRusso

    Pbtc was the best. Of course I might be saying that because of my new found sadness that I can’t have it after blocking it from my memories. Now I hear the possibility of some cereals that are still on the market reaching their demise. Like Honey smacks and dare I say Corn Pops. If I lose either, i might not be able to walk down a cereal aisle again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1418582717 Becky Hermann

    So earlier this week I was lusting after Rice Krispies Treats cereal. Delicious. And I loved the Croonchy Stars. They were nothing to write home about—like cinnamon Cheerios–but they were Muppet-related so they had to be amazing. A side Muppet nerd note: The Swedish Chef always had human hands. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/whatchamacarcass Karen Belz

      He did?! Man. I think I need a “The More You Know” star to soar in the background right now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=7942588 Kim Arenas

    smurfs cereal. it was blue and delicious. only 15% of my friends polled remember this existing. please tell me you do. it even had a distinct scent that i can still recall and makes me crave it soooo bad!

    • http://www.facebook.com/Pmm32183 Pete Muzichuk

      My father always seems to bring up the story of how when my sister, brother and I were younger and we ate this stuff, and it’s “side effect”. He always mentions the unique rainbowing effect of our… *cough cough* waste.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=7942588 Kim Arenas

      haha. i must have blocked out any memories of the side effect, but even still: WORTH IT.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Pmm32183 Pete Muzichuk

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve tried telling multiple people about Rice Krispies Square Cereal, and they all look at me like I have 10 heads! That stuff was mighty tasty!

    One that you neglected to post however, was Waffle Crisp. Anybody remember that stuff?… While a great concept, I would equate the taste to being like drinking a bottle of maple syrup. They had those crazy commercials with the “old ladies” that were actually girls in costumes trying to steal the cereal….

  • http://www.facebook.com/cookie915 Maricruz Valtierra

    ha thats what went dpwn in my childhood kixs and kellogs lol

  • http://www.facebook.com/candle882 Marie Cartwright

    while my mom would buy us any cereal, i was “that kid” who preferred plain cheerios and hated marshmellow cereal. boring, i know. i do however miss getting toys in my cereal.

  • Sarah Heyward

    Yes! I am a cereal addict – Walmart is the best (and only?) place to buy Rice Krispies Treats Cereal these days. Check out all these amazing discontinued ones – I wish we still had Ice Cream Cone Cereal SO BAD! http://twitlink.ws/7Ux

  • http://www.facebook.com/eliza524 Danielle Keel

    I’ve been a lover of ‘old people’ cereal from an early age. I loved Basic 4 with the yogurt covered raisins and Granola with Raisins, neither of which I can find anymore. But my mother had to always buy 2 boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. My little brother and I would get into fights, we love the stuff so much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Amanda.Smiles Amanda Hari

    I loved the berry berry kix that were shaped like bunches of grapes. They were soooo much better then regular kix.

  • http://www.facebook.com/liz.haebe Liz Haebe

    Does anyone remember the Nintendo cereal? I think it was Super Mario Bros., but it came in two parts, and you could mix them up? That was amazing. I was, and still am, a proponent of any cereal that turns my milk pink!

Need more Giggles?
Like us on Facebook!

Want more Giggles?
Sign up for our newsletter!