Yummy Mummy & Urkelo’s: 15 breakfast brands we’ll never see again

Breakfast Cereal brands that didn’t stand the test of time

After yesterday’s post on Laser-Engraved Corn Flakes, and Beg to Differ took a look at the Wikipedia list of breakfast cereals and noticed just how many of these cereals failed for one reason or another. Either they were meant to promote a short-lived movie, prostate character, ed or cartoon, or given names that became liabilities for other reasons, or they were just hilariously bad ideas.

Sad spoon

15 breakfast cereal brands we’ll never see again

biltedCer1) Bill & Ted’s Excellent CerealRalston (1989)

A short-lived cereal based on the equally short-lived Saturday morning cartoon of the late 1980s starring a pair of teenaged slackers – one of whom was a very young Keanu Reeves. Funny, he never made the cereal aisle again with subsequent movies. Perhaps  Dangerous Liaisons Crunch?  The Devil’s Advocate Loops? Matrix Flakes?

Baron von Redberry2) Baron von Redberry & Sir GrapefellowGeneral Mills (1972)

Interesting concept. These two characters were set up as mortal enemies – World War I flying aces in a dogfight for breakfast-table supremacy. They both spiraled down in flames, but you have to admire the effort.

3) C-3PO’sKellogg’s (1984)

This of course was a cereal based on the Star Wars character, C-3PO. I remember seeing this one on the supermarket shelf. Why the fussy, anally retentive protocol droid and not Leia Cinnamon Bun Crunch or Wookie Pops? Who can say.

Tag line: “A Crunchy New Force at Breakfast”

4) Cocoa Hoots – Kellogg’s (1972)

This cereal was described on the box a “sweetened chocolate flavored cereal – fortified with 8 essential vitamins”. Its mascot was named Newton The Owl.

But is it just me, or is there a striking resemblance to the logo of a certain chain of restaurants?

Coincidence? Probably.
Coincidence? Probably.

crazy-cow5) Crazy CowGeneral Mills (Late 1970s)

To me, this name is an odd duck – or perhaps a weird heifer? The idea is that it would turn your milk a “crazy” artificial pink colour. But as if that weren’t appetizing enough, I’m pretty sure after the Mad Cow scare of a few years back, this one won’t be making a comeback any time soon…

Dunkin Donuts6) Dunkin’ Donuts CerealRalston (1988)

The brand connection between the chain of adult focused coffee-and-donut stores and a kid-oriented breakfast cereal is a bit of a stretch. Particularly in 1988, when I would have expected this to taste like Styrofoam, day-old coffee, and cigarette ashes. Mmm.

Tag line: “Crunchy little donuts with a great big taste!” Two varieties: Glazed Style and Chocolate.

Flutie_Flakes_10th_Anniversary_Box7) Flutie FlakesGeneral Mills (1998-2001)

Named for quarterback Doug Flutie, these ones actually lasted quite a while, and the cereal became an ironic pop-culture hit – with a box appearing in the background on Seinfeld for example.

Wikipedia also notes that Flutie Flakes became the subject of a minor controversy in January 1999 when after Doug blew a playoff game against the Dolphins, Miami Dolphins‘ head coach Jimmy Johnson poured Flutie Flakes on the ground and invited his team to stomp on them. This made Flutie very angry.

Freakies8 ) FreakiesRalston (1972-1976)

Very elaborate product line and character universe, but a fairly sizable flop for Ralston’s first attempt at sugary breakfast cereal. But even today, you can order T-Shirts from this Freakies fan site: http://www.freakies.com/

9) Mr. T Cereal – Quaker Oats

As a famous man once said: I pity the fool that ridicules this cereal. So I’ll let another famous man introduce this cereal to you (and the other denizens of his demented playhouse).

Pee-Wee Herman eats Mr. T cereal

Mud and Bugs10) Mud & BugsKellogg’s/Disney (2003-2006)

Mmmm. Tasty. I’m going to award this one the “Least Appetizing Name” award. Of course, it’s a promotional tie-in worked out with the Disney merchandising folks and meant to promote the launch of the Lion King franchise.

And yes, I can see the “gross-out-mom” appeal of “Mud & Bugs”. But even as a kid who loved grossing out mom, the name alone would inspire me to skip breakfast entirely.

Green Slime11) Nickelodeon Green Slime CerealGeneral Mills (2003)

Sorry, I take back the Least Appetizing Name award and give it to this You Can’t Do That on Television spin-off. Funny though, that this would have come after the lifespan of the show – with the golden era of You Can’t being the late 1980’s.


12) Nintendo Cereal SystemRalston/Nintendo – (1988-1989)

For a commercial product tie-in, the name and “System” concept are creative, different. We like that. Here’s how Wikipedia describes the “system”:

“The cereal box was divided in half. One side, called Super Mario Bros. Action Series, had fruity-flavoured Marios, Super Mushrooms,Goombas, Koopa Troopas, and Bowsers, and the other, called Zelda Adventure Series, had berry-flavored Links, hearts, boomerangs, keys, and shields.”

13) Punch Crunch – (Quaker Oats) (1970s)

Cap’n Crunch apparently had a few spin-0ffs, including this violent-sounding sidekick. The “Punch” refers to the fruit-punch-flavour of these cereal rings. The mascot was a hippopotamus named Harry in sailor duds, who actually does some villain crunching in the old commercial below.

Commercial for Punch Crunch:

Urkel-Os14) Urkel-OsRalston (1991)

How did this kid ever get a cereal? Named for Steve Urkel – the supremely annoying fictional character on the ABC/CBS comedy sitcom Family Matters, portrayed by Jaleel White, this one was mercifully short-lived and now we have only the commercials on YouTube to remember how close we came to the end of civilization as we know it.

Commercial for Urkel O’s

Yummy_Mummy15) Yummy MummyGeneral Mills (1987-1992)

Funny, I’m married to one of these. But this cereal probably predated the wide use of the term for a nice-looking female with children. Also known as “Fruity Yummy Mummy”s, this cereal was part of the same cereal family as Count Chocula and Franken Berry.

From Mr. Breakfast.com: Yummy Mummy was a “fruit flavor frosted cereal with vanilla flavor marshmallows”. The yellow marshmallow pieces seemed to resemble the shape of a head. On some of the cereal boxes, they were referred to as “monster mallows”. The other cereal pieces were red and orange. They may have also been intended to resemble heads, but the primarily circular nuggets with two slits in the center looked more like colorful little pig snouts.

Dear Intel, you had me at “Intel Inside”. Now enough already!

An open break-up letter to the Intel brand.

Dearest Intel, cure

This is hard. We had such a good thing going once, and in a lot of ways, I still love you. But, well, things have changed. You’ve changed.

And I’m afraid you just don’t understand  why… [sniff]

…I no longer want you inside. [sound of sobbing]

Romance Pic - with words

The early days

The early days. It all seemed so simple then...

I remember the first time I saw you in that cute little “Intel Inside” logo on the side of a new laptop at Office Depot. Wow. Knock-out.

I remember how you made me feel: safe, secure, like I could be better than ever. But mostly you helped me feel smart, just because you were there. Inside.

And that made everything else so easy. And really, that’s what I loved you for. You made my choices easier because you stamped them with an extra little promise that said “I’ll be there for you”.

And while I’m confessing everything, here’s something else I never told you: I never even knew what an “Intel” was, how it worked, or why it was important! And you know what? I never wanted to. I couldn’t care less about silicone chips or dual-core doodad clock times or whatever. I vaguely knew that those things were important, but because you were there, I didn’t have to worry about it.  You cared, and that’s all I needed to know.

Where it started going tragically wrong

Trouble on the horizon
Trouble on the horizon

I think it was Pentium. That’s when I started wondering about us – when you convinced me that just having “Intel” inside wasn’t good enough. No, now it needed to be Intel and Pentium. “Just one other brand” you said. And sure I went along with it. Because I loved you, I put up with that little three-way thing. I even enjoyed it a bit.

At least, I thought, there were limits. Your friend Pentium had the decency to know its place, quiet, complementary, never intruding on your “Intel Inside” area.

But it didn’t stop there. No, then it had to be a Pentium 2, then a 3, then a 4. Always bigger, faster, with more complicated features and power.

And over the years, you found new names to stamp on all kinds of different parts of yourself: Celeron, Centrino, Core, Atom, Itanium, and on and on. Something called Xeon – honestly, was that one even from planet earth?

I couldn’t keep them all straight and I couldn’t tell the difference. But all along I thought: at least I still have my Intel Inside…

Not sure about smart being the new speed, but you sure kept me shifting...
Not sure about smart being the new speed, but you sure kept me shifting...

But now, it’s gone too far

intel-core-i7Well today I received a flyer from Dell telling me about some new laptop brand, and there, screaming from the upper left corner was one big  massive graphic with your name on it. And if I was confused before, now I’m totally baffled. Now you’re “Intel Core i7 Inside”, with four different type-styles and a litte barf-coloured mosaic-ish thing. I don’t know you any more Intel!

And after all that, you have the gall to tell me: “Look for Intel Inside” and a bunch of randomly placed stars.

Well you know what? I did it: I looked for Intel Inside, and I found… wait for it… nothing.

Sorry Intel, you may still be inside my computer, but you’re just not inside me anymore.

And you know why I’m so angry and hurt? With Intel Inside, you seduced me into caring a little bit about something I’d never wanted to care about before. And it worked. You helped me feel like a smart, informed consumer by giving me a simple tool to feel better about my purchases.

But I never wanted to care more than that. And I will never, ever care about it as much as you do.

So enough already. Get rid of all those other brands, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll THINK about coming back.

No, scratch that. You see? Just for a second you made me want you again. But this time it’s over. [door slams]

Another blogger’s take on the evolution of Intel Inside:

intel_inside evolution
Evolution of Intel inside: from www.lowendmac.com