Weirdest Breakfast Cereal Pop Culture Tie-Ins
Marketing stuff to kids is pretty easy -- which is why the government prevented tobacco companies from doing it -- even subtly, supposedly accidentally -- a few years back. McDonald's Happy Meals are the latest to feel their knuckles rapped by this particular ruler -- the obesity epidemic among kids has caused San Francisco to consider banning them completely.
But weird salesmanship aimed at kids is nothing new -- and breakfast cereals have been among the most egregious since the dawn of the Television Age. Sometimes, these tactics make sense -- think sports figures on Wheaties boxes (sometimes, even that backfires.) And sometimes? Well, sometimes they make no sense at all.
10. C3P0s - 1984
Okay, I'm as big a Star Wars fan as the next guy, even if the next guy is standing in line to have his bootleg Star Wars Holiday Special videotape signed by Peter Mayhew at a Sci-Fi convention. But I can't imagine needing to include a fictional droid as part of my complete breakfast. And why C3P0s? Why not Han Sol-Os? Luke-y Charms? They're Yoda-licious! From Wikipedia: "Introduced in 1984 and inspired by the multi-lingual droid from Star Wars, the cereal called itself a "a New (crunchy) Force at Breakfast" and was composed of "twin rings phased together for two crunches in every double-O". In other words, they were shaped like the number 8." Even Wikipedia is a smart-ass about this cereal.
9.Mr. T - 1984
I'm going to pass on the obligatory "I pity the fool..." joke, and just say this: if this cereal included marshmallow bits shaped like Mohawks, fists, and A-Team vans? Totally would have bought it. And the prize inside the box? Feather earrings, naturally. (Listen to the guy singing the jingle in this commercial and tell me it doesn't sound like the MacGruber song. -ed.)
8. Donkey Kong - 1982
I'm sorry, Mr. Grocer, but does this cereal taste like gorillas, or Italian plumbers? And do I need to eat them with a stop sign?
7. Indiana Jones - 2007
Why is a picture from Raiders of the Lost Ark used instead of something from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which the cereal (sort of) depicts? I say sort of because Kelloggs can call that marshmallow bit "the Temple of Akator," but it's a triangle. And that piece that's supposed to be Indy's hat? Sort of a mangled triangle. And that piece that's supposed to be the Indiana Jones saga's dignity? Oh, right -- not an issue.
6. Mud and Bugs - 2003
The Lion King was a pretty good movie, Hamlet rip-off notwithstanding, and might have made a decent kids cereal. But to craft something out of the disgusting things eaten by ersatz Rosencrantz and Guildenstern scavengers Timon and Pumbaa eat? This seems like a joke that might have been made in Disney marketing, not something that would actually make it to market.