Walk down any breakfast cereal aisle in the United States, and you will find a plethora of options. There are often dozens of selections, each with variations on flavor and type.
Sadly, some cereals that many enjoyed in childhood no longer exist. Whether it’s due to the public’s changing taste, a loss of license, or some other reason, some have simply vanished.
These ten kinds of cereal were once incredibly popular, but for whatever reason, you can’t find them anymore.
10 Weird Facts About Cereal
10 Mr. T
Back in the 1980s, you couldn’t go long without seeing something related to Laurence Tureaud’s popular character, Mr. T. The guy was everywhere, thanks to his popularity on The A-Team and Rocky III. To market off his popularity, Quaker Oats created a cereal that was simply called Mr. T.
The cereal was made with sweetened corn and oats, which were extruded into the shape of the capital letter “T.” It tasted a lot like Cap’n Crunch, which is also owned by Quaker Oats. The cereal debuted in 1984, and before long, it invaded popular culture.
Mr. T cereal made an appearance in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. Pee-Wee Herman poured himself a bowl, saying, “I pity the poor fool that don’t eat my cereal.” The cereal had an additional catchphrase that was popular: “Team up with Mr. T (cereal); it’s cool.”
It appeared in various television shows and films throughout the decade, but it was ultimately discontinued in 1993. The reason Quaker Oats pulled it off the shelves was never disclosed, though it was likely due to the waning popularity of Mr. T in popular culture.
9 Hidden Treasures
General Mills released Hidden Treasures in 1993 alongside Springle Spangles, which has also been discontinued. Hidden Treasures were made of sweetened corn squares that all looked the same. The gimmick revolved around a filling made of icing that was flavored with cherry, grape, and orange.
While every square looked the same, some were filled with the icing. Kids would continue eating the cereal, and once they found a piece of hidden treasure, they wanted to keep eating. Hidden Treasures was marketed with the tagline, “The taste that’s full of surprises!”
This was a cereal that didn’t sit around for very long, but plenty of kids enjoyed it while it was available. General Mills stopped making Hidden Treasures in 1995, only two years after it was introduced. This meant that plenty of people missed out on it, while the few who didn’t tend to remember it fondly.
The cereal was around for such a short time; only two commercials were made. They included a temporary mascot, which was a robot named H.T. He was meant to be able to figure out which of the squares contained the so-called Hidden Treasure.
One year after Return of the Jedi was released in theaters, Kellogg’s introduced C-3PO’s to the masses. The cereal consisted of honey-sweetened oats, wheat, and corn extruded into the shape of the number eight. It tasted a lot like Alpha-Bits cereal but was said to have twice the crunch.
C3PO’s were incredibly popular among Star Wars fans who (correctly) believed there wouldn’t be any new content coming from the franchise for a long time. Fortunately, a commercial aired in 1984, and fans found that they could enjoy a newly licensed cereal featuring everyone’s favorite Protocol Droid.
The cereal came with a ton of marketing, including standees of C-3PO and other familiar markings. The box featured trading cards, cutout masks, or a plastic Rebel Rocket. There was also a send-away offer for a Kenner Star Wars action figure.
Unfortunately, Kellog’s stopped producing the cereal in 1986, only two years after introducing it. The boxes have become highly collectible, as have the individual small, single-serving packages Kellog’s released alongside the full box version. Even a flattened box without any (stale) cereal will cost around $75 or more on eBay.
7 Fruit-Shaped Trix & Mini Trix
Before 1991, Trix cereal came in the form of small fruit-flavored puffs, but that year, General Mills introduced something different. Instead of the familiar puffs, Trix was reformed into various fruit shapes related to each piece’s particular flavor.
Those shapes remained for years, but in 2006, General Mills reverted back to their original shapes. Fans of the cereal weren’t happy about this, and the company received thousands of requests to go back to the way it was. Fortunately, General Mills relented, and in 2018, the company announced that it would be bringing back the fruit-shaped version.
While you will be able to enjoy that version of the cereal once again, there is one that has gone away, seemingly for good. Mini Trix was introduced in 2015, and the name perfectly describes what they were: a much smaller version of the familiar puff-shaped Trix cereal.
Mini Trix were released as a limited edition. Like any variation to the popular cereal, they were enjoyed by the fans. Unfortunately, Mini Trix were indeed a limited edition. Once all the boxes were sold, they were discontinued and haven’t returned since.
6 Fruity Marshmallow Krispies
Rice Krispies have been around since 1928, and by 1939, the public became familiar with marshmallow Rice Krispies treats. These days, the recipe is on the box, and most people have enjoyed the combination of marshmallow and Rice Krispies at least once in their lives. They are insanely popular, so Kellogg’s released a cereal version in 1982.
Marshmallow Krispies managed to cut out all the work in making Rice Krispies Treats by putting them right into your bowl. Or, at least, it had many of the components. The familiar cereal was there alongside unflavored marshmallow bits. When milk was added, it tasted pretty much like the popular treats.
In 1987, Kellogg’s followed up with Fruity Marshmallow Krispies, which included orange, lemon, grape, and raspberry marshmallow pieces. The cereal remained popular throughout the early 1990s, but over time, its popularity waned.
By the mid-late 1990s, Kellogg’s stopped producing the cereal and ultimately discontinued it. While you can’t get Fruity Marshmallow Krispies any longer, you can still get Marshmallow Krispies cereal, though it’s now called Rice Krispies Treats Cereal.
Believe it or not, Pac-Man is the highest-grossing video game of all time, and yes, that’s from counting quarters! The game’s popularity led to the development of a multimedia franchise, including comic books, numerous games, cartoons, and a breakfast cereal that was released in 1983.
At the time, Pac-Man had been out for three years, and the little yellow character was pretty much everywhere. The cereal consisted of “crunchy sweetened corn cereal with marshmallow bits,” which came in the shape of the eponymous character as well as the game’s ghosts, Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde.
Eventually, the cereal was upgraded following the release of Ms. Pac-Man. A new marshmallow was introduced with “a shocking pink bow” to honor Pac-Man’s main squeeze. It also included Super Pac-Man marshmallows, which were larger than the original ones.
Pac-Man cereal remained on store shelves until 1988 and was discontinued due to the character’s waning popularity. The same fate befell Donkey Kong Crunch, which was available from 1982 until 1984. That cereal featured barrel-shaped crunchy corn pieces and was similarly popular while it was sold.
In 1985, Ralston introduced a cereal based on the popular Nerds candy with the tagline, “Which side are you gonna eat first?” Like the candy, Nerds cereal was split down the middle into two separate flavors. The duel varieties offered included orange/cherry and strawberry/grape and was described as “tiny, tangy, crunchy sweetened cereal.”
Kids especially loved the cereal because many boxes included small boxes of Nerds candy. They also featured a send-away offer for a “Two-Sided Nerds Bowl” and a “Nerd Gate.” These items were featured in commercials and made it possible to block the flow of milk from one side of the bowl to the other.
The cereal pieces looked a lot like the candies they were based on, but there were some issues. Because of the size of the pieces, they got mushy quickly. Additionally, the flavors often resulted in a somewhat sour-tasting mush. Despite these problems, the cereal had plenty of fans.
Nerds cereal remained popular for a few years, but Ralston discontinued it towards the end of the decade. Boxes sometimes turn up on eBay, where they sell for far more than they did when they sat on store shelves.
3 S’mores Grahams
General Mills released S’mores Grahams in 1982 to capitalize on the growing popularity of the campfire treat. The cereal was similar to Golden Grahams but included a blend of chocolate. It contained chocolate graham cracker pieces and tiny marshmallows that were the same as the kind found in packets of powdered hot chocolate.
The cereal came with a new mascot called the S’morecerer, who would help children get a bowl. This was usually accomplished by whisking the kids away from some sort of calamity, including getting chased by a lion. The kids would be happy… at first, but one would always ask, “Can I have s’more?”
The cereal managed to hit the mark in delivering a similar taste to actual S’mores. They remained on store shelves until 1988. Demand for their return saw that happen in the late 1990s, but it didn’t stay for long and was discontinued soon after.
While General Mills called it quits on making S’mores Grahams cereal, other companies haven’t. Kellogg’s introduced a similar version in 2003 called Smorz and kept it around until 2013. It also came back a few years later but was similarly discontinued in 2019.
2 Powdered Donutz
If you ever wanted to combine donuts with a bowl of breakfast cereal, all you had to do was buy a box of Powdered Donutz. The cereal was released by General Mills in 1980, and while they looked just like puffier powdered Cheerios, they were far sweeter.
It was described as a “cereal that looks and tastes like real donuts!” They weren’t the healthiest thing a kid could eat, but they were certainly popular among kids whose parents bought them. Eventually, General Mills released a chocolate flavor version, though it wasn’t as popular as the original.
Powdered Donutz managed to stick around for nearly a decade, but by 1989, General Mills called it quits on the brand. They haven’t returned, but General Mills didn’t entirely abandon the concept. Just six years after pulling Powdered Donutz from the shelves, the company introduced Frosted Cheerios.
Frosted Cheerios are similar to its predecessor, though they pack far less sugar than the originals. Of course, you can still buy a box of Frosted Cheerios, so if you throw a ton of sugar on top, you might be able to relive the glory days of Powdered Donutz cereal.
1 Nintendo Cereal System
When Nintendo released the Nintendo Entertainment System, it helped save the video game industry. From the moment it was released, it dominated the market, and the company wasn’t about to stop with just video games. Nintendo marketed its various characters in every niche market available, including cereal.
Ralston introduced the Nintendo Cereal System in 1988 alongside a commercial with a jingle folks in their forties still have bouncing around the inside of their heads. Each Nintendo Cereal System box contained two 7.5 oz (212 g) bags of two types of cereals.
One side of the box was designed to look like Super Mario Bros., while the other was related to The Legend of Zelda. An advertisement released in 1989 included the text “Nintendo is two cereals in one….Fruit-flavored Marios, Mushrooms, and Goomas. Berry-flavored Links, Hearts, and Shields….If you can’t beat ’em, eat ’em.”
Each box came with four of 12 cutout trading cards that were meant to be collectible. Ralston discontinued the cereal after just one year, but you can still find it. Granted, you’ll have to drop as much as $200 per box on eBay, as it’s become highly collectible.
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About The Author: graphic artist, illustrator, and writer. He is a Retired Soldier and enjoys researching and writing about history, science, theology, and many other subjects.