Tony the Tiger, iconic as he may be, wasn’t the only feline who dabbled in the breakfast business. Back in the 70s, he received a brief bit of competition from another beloved cartoon cat, one with a penchant for pink. That’s right, the Pink Panther, with his unmistakable theme music, showed up on the cereal scene in the early 70s and invited you to try a bowl of yummy goodness called Pink Panther Flakes. Today, they are one of the best-remembered extinct cereals of the era.
Unlike Mr. Tiger, our pal Pink was already delighting kids every Saturday morning with his animated adventures on The Pink Panther Show. Produced by the team of David H. DePatie and Friz Freleng, the series debuted in 1969 and was sponsored by Post Cereals. A few years later, they decided that the show could use it’s own product tie-in and the result was Pink Panther Flakes.
Memorable as they may be, there wasn’t really an inherent flavor to the cereal, so to speak, unless you consider “sweet” to be a flavor. In that regard, Pink Panther Flakes had few rivals. They were coated with a thick layer of sucrose that seemingly made them impervious to the softening power of milk (at least for a few moments). They were also covered with healthy layer of pink food dye. So covered, in fact, that they quickly turned a bowl of milk into a sweet and colorful concoction, similar in appearance to a glass of Strawberry Quik. Kids loved the pink milk, the undeniable sugar high, and the treasures that lurked in every box.
The cereal may have lacked flavor, but it made up for this deficiency with an array of interesting and memorable toys. Some may fondly remember the “Spoon Toppers” while others recall searching for the nifty “five-in-one Spy Device!” Or, perhaps you yearned for the pink “Spy Paper” that dissolved in liquid – murky, pink, undrinkable liquid. Yum! These toys are all collector’s items today and fetch a respectable price.
Pink Panther Flakes didn’t stay on store shelves for long, a year or two at best. Yet, enough love for the product remains to this day that Post is regularly approached with petitions to bring back the power of the pink. So far, no luck – but fans remain eternally hopeful.
Were you a loyal consumer of Pink Panther Flakes? Did you get any spiffy prizes you would like to tell us about? Share your recollections with all of us in our comments section, as we fondly reflect upon the sweet memories of these pink bowls of breakfasty goodness.