Cap'n Crunch cereal

Cap’n Crunch

Of the many modern urban myths that tangentially involve breakfast foods, there is one universally accepted truth that has been handed down unchanged from successive generations since its inception in 1962. Unaffected by the march of time, immune to the threat of the frozen microwave breakfast brigade, this truth goes marching onward in the whispers of knowing children, and in the late-night binge by their parents who remember too late to save themselves: if you eat Cap’n Crunch too quickly, or for too long, you will experience the dreaded Cap’n Crunch Mouth. CCM is an unfortunate malady that shreds the gums and roof of the mouth, rendering the subject useless for the next four to eight hours. Depending on the severity of the damage and the sensitivity of the subject, one conceivably could suffer for several days, unable to chew anything more complicated than oatmeal, which, incidentally, is where Cap’n Crunch got his start. Continue reading...

Famous Amos

Famous Amos

In the world of snack foods, there is perhaps no better representation of the “American Dream” than the inspiring story of a humble man named Wally Amos. He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida and learned from his aunt how to make her celebrated chocolate chip cookies. And while it took him many years, Wally “Famous” Amos learned that if you do what you love, the rewards can be amazing. His Famous Amos cookies surged in popularity throughout the 80s and are now found just about anywhere that cookies are sold. Continue reading...

Bazooka gum

Bazooka

Okay, so Bazooka gum isn’t the first commercially produced bubble gum, nor is it the first to contain a comic strip on the wrapper. That hasn’t stopped it, however, from becoming an iconic candy for well over a half century. It’s about as American as apple pie and Chevrolet, with its patriotic red, white and blue wrapper and its availability in just about every drug store for a mere penny or two. As a result, it’s mere appearance unfailingly brings back fond memories of childhood to anyone who ever took a moment to read a Bazooka Joe comic or save up a stack of the wrappers to turn them in for a prize. Continue reading...

E.T. Cereal

E.T. Cereal

In 1982, theater audiences were introduced to a loveable critter from another planet, affectionately named E.T. in the blockbuster Steven Spielberg film of the same name. At that point in movie history, it was the most financially successful film to date, and captured the hearts of millions of children. As a result, the marketing floodgates opened. Perhaps the biggest benefactor was Reece’s, whose new Reece’s Pieces were prominently featured in the film as the cuddly alien’s favorite candy. And as packages of the peanut butter flavored morsels flew off of store shelves, it seemed only natural to give the extraterrestrial his own breakfast cereal. Continue reading...

Hawaiian Punch

Hawaiian Punch

Until the 1980s, commercial-watching consumers could catch the striped-shirt wearing mascot, Punchy, popping the unsuspecting tourist Opie/Oaf in the face after offering him a nice Hawaiian Punch. Punchy’s fisticuff days are a thing of the past, but that ruby-red concoction many of us have grown to love over the years remains as popular as ever. Continue reading...

Donkey Kong Cereals

Donkey Kong Cereals

It’s certainly no surprise that manufacturers of kid’s breakfast cereals have found much of their success by tying their product to popular cultural icons, such as television cartoons. But with the rapid rise in the popularity of video games in the early 80s, these computer-generated mascots were able to get in on the action as well. And with a game as enormously popular as Donkey Kong, few were suprised when a breakfast cereal soon followed. Unfortunately, its rightful place in the supermarket aisle was short lived. Continue reading...

Pez candy

Pez

Many toys have come and gone over the years, but create one that spits out candy every time you play with it and you've got a sure winner. Better yet, offer a vast selection of dispensers modeled after just about every pop culture icon to ever exist, each filled to the brim with a stack of yummy fruit-flavored confections, and you're assured to win the heart of every kid (and collector) in existence. Yes, today our focus is on Pez candy. Continue reading...

Mr T Cereal

Mr. T Cereal

Most Americans got their first look at Laurence Tureaud (aka: Mr T.) in 1982, when the brawny, mohawk-laden former bouncer appeared in Rocky IV, as Rocky Balboa's formidable boxing opponent, Clubber Lang. Kids took notice of the T-man the following year, when he appeared as B.A. "Bad Attitude" Baracus on the hugely-succesful television series, The A-Team. It didn't take long for network execs to realize his pre-teen popularity and give him his own Saturday morning cartoon series the same year, Mr. T. And right on cue, Quaker Oats introduced a crunchy, sweetened corn cereal, shaped in little "T" shapes, which they simply dubbed Mr. T. cereal. Continue reading...