11 Defunct Breakfast Cereals Based on TV Shows
Sometimes a TV show becomes so popular that it spins off into other products like breakfast cereals. Here are 15 examples.
With Family Matters in full swing on ABC, Steve Urkel Mania swept the nation. The nerdy neighbor had everything a pop culture phenomenon should have, including a funny catchphrase, a widely-popular dance craze, and lunch boxes for kids. ABC partnered with cereal manufacturer Ralston Foods to introduce Urkel-Os to supermarkets everywhere in 1991. The strawberry and banana flavored loop cereal featured "Urkel For President" prize packs, which included campaign buttons, and "Help Urkel Find Laura" maze games inside.
Currently, an unopened box of Urkel-Os goes for $100 on eBay.
2. MR. T CEREAL
The early '80s were dominated by Laurence "Mr. T" Tureaud. After starring on The A-Teamand in his own Saturday morning cartoon, Quaker Oats released Mr. T Cereal in 1984. It was a big hit with children and even made an appearance in Pee Wee's Big Adventure in 1985.
3. RAINBOW BRITE
Based on the Saturday morning TV show from Hallmark Cards, Ralston introduced Rainbow Brite Sweetened Cereal in 1985. It featured "natural" fruit flavors and included special giveaways such as Rainbow Brite kites, stickers, and Crazy Chain charm bracelets.
4. SMURF MAGIC BERRY CRUNCH
After the Belgian comic strip and cartoon made its way to the United States, The Smurfsbecame a pop culture phenomenon during the early '80s. Hanna-Barbera Productions created a Saturday morning cartoon on NBC featuring The Smurfs in 1981, while cereal manufacturer Post Foods started a grocery store invasion with Smurf Berry Crunch in 1983. Post brought the blue crew back in 1987 with Smurf Magic Berries, which was the same cereal with different packaging and marshmallows.
5. DINO PEBBLES
Post currently has two successful breakfast cereals based on The Flintstones—Fruity Pebbles and Coco Pebbles—and they unveiled Dino Pebbles during the late '80s. The cereal was merely Fruity Pebbles with marshmallows shaped like dinosaurs, palm trees, and surfboards. Dino Pebbles didn't sell as well as its Fruity and Coco counterparts, so Post discontinued the brand in the early '90s.
6. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES CEREAL
In 1989, Ralston introduced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal to cash in on the success and popularity of the after-school cartoon. The cereal included "ninja nets," which were really just lightly sweetened Rice Chex, and "ninja marshmallows." Prize packs inside of the cereal included pouches of green ooze, mini-comics, and TMNT cereal bowls.
7. TRANSFORMERS CEREAL
With the tagline "More Taste Than Meets The Eye," Ralston scrapped Transformers cerealbefore it went into production in the mid-'80s. The cereal was banking off the success of the Saturday morning cartoon and popular toy line from Hasbro, while also boasting that the cocoa-flavored cereal had the ability to "transform ordinary milk into chocolate flavored milk!"
It is believed that Ralston ended Transformers cereal because toy sales were on the decline at the time. While it never made it to your local grocery store, test boxes of the would-be cereal are goldmines on eBay with collectors buying them up for at least $350 each.
8. NICKELODEON GREEN SLIME CEREAL
In 2003, Nickelodeon teamed up with General Mills to introduce a limited-edition cereal calledGreen Slime to promote the 2003 Kids' Choice Awards. The cereal was made up of green slime-shaped corn puffs with marshmallows shaped like the Nickelodeon logo.
9. TINY TOON ADVENTURES
In 1990, the Quaker Oats Company introduced Tiny Toon Adventures Cereal, which consisted of oat cereal shapes with letters that spelled "Tiny Toon." It was a low-sugar cereal that didn't sell as well as competitors Kix and Honey Nut Cheerios.
10. XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS—A TASTE OF HONEY CEREAL
Rittenhouse Archives and Sci-Fi Hobby teamed up to introduced Xena: Warrior Princess—A Taste of Honey Cereal in 2001. The limited edition cereal was not available in grocery stores, but rather only exclusively at comic and collectible shops. There were three different boxes that featured Xena, Gabrielle, and Callisto on the front, and they each had trading cards and honey-toasted cereal inside.
Currently, a complete set goes for about $80 on eBay.
11. THE SIMPSONS
Since its premiere in 1989, The Simpsons is the longest-running sitcom in television history. The show has branched into many food tie-ins with five different cereal releases over the years. Starting in 2001, Kellogg's introduced Bart Simpson Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunchand Homer's Cinnamon Donut Cereal in the United States. In 2002, the food manufacturers released Bart Simpson No Problemo's in Great Britain and Australia, which consisted of frosted multi-grain cereal loops and mini chocolate discs. Bart Simpson's Eat My Shortscereal, a syrup-flavored multi-grain cereal, was introduced to supermarkets in the United Kingdom in 2003.
In 2007, Malt-O-Meal introduced Frosted Krusty-O's, sold exclusively at 7-Eleven to promoteThe Simpsons Movie and the start of season 18. All five cereals were introduced with a limited release of less than a year.