In the vein of similar made-up holidays like “National Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day,” today we celebrate National Cereal Day. As a child of the ’80s, I consider myself somewhat of a cereal aficionado and have been known to have anywhere between five to seven different cereals in my cabinet at one time to offer a variety of tastes and textures to satisfy my palate. Granted, my tastes have changed over time since my days of plopping in front of the television on Saturday morning to rot my brain and my teeth, but I still have a special place in my heart for many different cereals. In honor of National Cereal Day, let’s take a look and remember five geeky cereals that are no longer found on the supermarket shelves.
1. C-3PO’s (Kellogg’s)
They may have come from a galaxy far, far, away, but they were in almost every Star Wars geek’s cupboard in the ’80s. The advertising boasted “twin rings fused together for two crunches in every double ‘o,'” but all I cared about was that it was Star Wars-themed. If the sweetened crunch of the cereal wasn’t enough for you, many boxes boasted cardboard cutouts for Luke, Han, Chewie, and, of course, C-3PO, to wear as masks. If I recall correctly, this is one of the few forgotten cereals that actually tasted good. With the new Episode VII movie coming out, perhaps we could petition Kellogg to bring back this classic breakfast cereal.
2. Batman (Ralston)
Holy riboflavin, Batman! General Mills may have cuddled up to sports enthusiasts with their “breakfast of champions” cereal Wheaties, but Ralston had the comic book geek on lock. When the Micheal Keaton Batman movie debuted in 1989, the tie-ins were everywhere: bedsheets, shampoo, and even cereal. Like most Ralston cereals, this cereal was nauseating (sorry, Ralston!), but at least you could enjoy the free Batman comic book offer from DC if you didn’t finish your bowl.
3. Ghostbusters (Ralston)
“I ain’t afraid of no high fructose corn syrup!” Ralston, always quick to capitalize on any media bandwagon, dared to cross the streams and bring the world Ghostbusters cereal. Unlike many other flash-in-pan cereal tie-ins, Ghostbusters captured enough ghostly fans to feed America’s youth from 1985-1988, and then again in 1989 with Ghostbusters II before passing on into the afterlife.
4. Pac-Man (General Mills)
Arcades were gobbling up quarters left and right in 1980, and kids were gobbling up anything arcade-related, including Pac-Man cereal. Though several other video games have held the honor of having cereals named after them (Donkey Kong, Nintendo Cereal System, etc), Pac-Man was the one that lasted the longest and had the biggest cultural impact. I mean, just try to get that jingle out of your head after watching the commercial.
5. Urkel-O’s (Ralston)
There’s plenty of cereals that we want to remember, but here’s one that we’d rather forget. Ralston, quick to cash-in on any media juggernaut, decided the world needed a Family Matters-related cereal. Though kids watched Jaleel White’s Urkel character as part of the TGIF Friday night lineup, presumably those same kids weren’t spending their Saturdays with him as well since this breakfast disaster was fairly short-lived.