Cereal Box Toys

December 4, 2020 · CLASSMATES FUN

Choosing the right cereal to buy when we were young was more than just choosing the brand and flavor we wanted – it was also about picking the box that potentially housed the best toys, like cars, rockets, and decoder rings. Even the box itself sometimes converted into various games.

Sadly, you mostly can’t find cereal box toys anymore. In 1988, Kellogg’s® recalled millions of flutes and toy binoculars in Corn Pops® and Rice Krispies® due to choking hazards (they could break into tiny pieces). The placement of these toys then shifted – they were put in between the box and the bag of cereal. These fun treats were still common throughout the 1990s and 2000s, but the fad died out when kids became more interested in the technological gadgets found today.

Come take a trip down memory lane and see our top picks for best toys found in cereal. Do you remember any of them?

Cap’n Crunch © Surfers from Quaker ® Oats

In 1983, certain varieties of Cap’n Crunch, like Crunch Berries, offered toy surfers that snapped together. The surfers came in three shapes: Cap’n Crunch himself, the pirate Jean La Foote, and his friend Smedley the elephant. All you had to do was hold the toy under water, wait for it to fill up, and then watch the surfer float. Cap’n Crunch is still a well-known cereal brand, but the Crunch Berries are harder to find.

Flintstones Car from PEBBLES ™ Cereal

You could find a Flintmobile in certain boxes of Post® Pebbles Cereal in the 1970s, which was a tiny replica of the car Fred Flintstone drove in the animated series The Flintstones. It came in four different colors and had a removeable sunroof. In 1995, Pebbles Cereal changed its car to a Hot Wheels ® Color Changing Flintmobile. Even though the Flintstones characters were popular for decades, sadly most, if not all, of their products have been discontinued.

Noggin’ Nodders in Kellogg’s Sugar Pops

Noggin’ Nodders were basically just Bobble Heads, but that name just wasn’t as cool. These bobbing toys were shaped like animals, like hippos, bears, and gorillas. The cereal has changed names over the years – it was introduced in 1950 as “Corn Pops,” changed in 1951 to “Sugar Corn Pops,” later called “Sugar Pops,” back to “Sugar Corn Pops” in 1978, “Corn Pops” in 1984, “Pops” in 2006, and then back to “Corn Pops” a few months later. However, despite all of the name changes, the ingredients have more or less stayed the same.

Harlem Globetrotters Whistle from General Mills ® Lucky Charms™

Kellogg’s Corn Flakes offered Dragnet Whistles in the 1950s, but those who were more into basketball (and liked sugar cereal) most likely preferred the Lucky Charms one. This cereal contains colorful marshmallows in various shapes and colors. The original boxes had pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers, and blue diamonds and purple horseshoes were added in 1975 and 1983, respectively. Today you’ll also find rainbows and rainbow moons.

Cardboard Vinyl Records (from various brands)

From the 1960s to the 1980s, Post, General Mills, Kellogg’s, and Quaker all featured records on the back of their cereal boxes. They weren’t the best sound quality, but it still seemed like magic to be able to play music just by cutting carboard with scissors. In 1969, Super Sugar Crisps and Alpha Bits cereal highlighted The Archies’ song “Sugar Sugar,” but you could also collect music from artists like the Jackson 5, The Monkees, and Bobby Sherman.

Minion Buddies from General Mills Cheerios (and six other brands)

Even though cereal box toys are no longer common today, you could still find these figurines in 2015, which coincided with the release of The Minions movie, although they made their cereal box debut in 2013 for Despicable Me 2. You could also use these toys as Christmas tree ornaments, as they came with a string on top.

5 and 1 Spy Kit from Post Pink Panther Flakes

Pink Panther Flakes, which had pink sugar-coated corn flakes that colored your milk pink, debuted in 1973 but didn’t last long. Post cereal co-sponsored the Pink Panther Saturday morning cartoon, so it sold the cereal to go along with it. Inside the box was a spy kit with a secret signal whistle, magnifying glass, telescope, and message slot, all designed to fit in your pocket and look like a Pink Panther figurine so that you could hide the fact that you were a “spy.”


What did you think of this list? Would you add anything to it?



*All product names, logos, and brands are property of their respective owners. All company, product and service names used in this article are for identification purposes only. Use of these names, logos, and brands does not imply endorsement.