We were a big cereal family, the type of people who if you looked at us you would probably say, “those Bilancinis look like a big cereal family.” And you’d be right! My mom let us have free rein when it came to choosing breakfast cereals Since we were active children, she gave us a pass on whatever chocolatey or marshmallowy garbage we chose. A lot of that garbage was around before our time and is still available for purchase today, but there were some cereals introduced in the 1980s and 1990s that are no longer with us. Here’s a handful of those cereals that made an impression on me.
Morning Funnies Cereal
There was nothing special about the actual cereal, introduced in 1988 and discontinued in 1989. Morning Funnies was just Trix/Fruity Pebbles/Fill in the blank fruit flavored cereal. The thing that actually made the cereal worthwhile to an 8-year-old was the morning comics built into the box. There was a flap attached to the back of the box that opened, revealing more comics to read. I come from a comics reading family (my mom still reads them today) so this was a surefire gimmick to get us onboard.
Available from 1982-1988 and again briefly in the late 1990s, simply put, this is one of the greatest cereals of all time. General Mills took Golden Grahams, already a top five cereal, and added the two other components that make a winning cereal: marshmallow and chocolate. I’m sort of at a loss as to why this isn’t still available. Clearly it doesn’t even pretend to be healthy, but that’s every cereal geared towards children. Lucky Charms scoffs at your attempts to rein in a child’s sweet tooth. You take an already popular cereal and add two things that children love and you should be sitting pretty. This is a mystery to me.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal
Speaking of Lucky Charms, if you swapped out the frosted oats for Chex, you’d be left with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal. Introduced in 1989 and discontinued in 1995, TMNT was a perfectly fine cereal. The problem was that outside of the branding it didn’t bring anything special to the table. Once you sort of grew out of the Ninja Turtles, you and the cereal parted ways.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs
Unlike the others on this list. Reese’s Puffs never went away. They were introduced May 1994, born innocent and perfect, and have remained that way since. Reese’s are essentially the platonic ideal of cereal. Chocolate Kix exists, but Reese’s Puffs are peanut butter and chocolate Kix. I started to launch into a diatribe about how somebody at General Mills has dropped the ball for 24 years by not introducing peanut butter and chocolate Kix, but then I realized that Reese’s Puffs are also made by General Mills, so they’d just be competing against themselves. Anyway, this cereal rules.
I had a box of Oreo O’s a month ago. The cereal was introduced in 1997 and discontinued in 2007, but Post brought it back in 2017. It’s essentially cookie flavored Fruit Loops, and the ideal cereal to buy when you’re attempting to escape adulthood for a few minutes. It’s not sad when you’re a 37-year-old man eating dry Oreo O’s out of a sandwich bag at your desk; it’s actually fun and cool. Anybody fun and cool knows that. Shut up. No you shut up.
What do you think? What were your favorite childhood cereals? Let us know here or on Twitter.