Don’t play with your cereal

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Like Kinder surprise, cereal toys have gone down the drain hole, drifted through sewage before being dragged out into the deep blue sea, never to be seen again.

Wow, it’s a jigsaw

As delicious as Kinder is, I was always somewhat disappointed by the toy but in recent years it does seem to have got cheaper and crapper. Ultimately though, you still get something when you buy that sweet chocolatey egg while with cereal, the prize bin has run dry.

I was never much of a cereal person growing up, I mainly ate Weetabix, Rice Crispies or Weetabix with Rice Crispies on top of them; highly exciting stuff I’m sure you’ll agree. What I did do was pester mum and dad to buy the latest brand cereal when a toy was shown on the front. Of course, this cereal would get one, maybe two bowls eaten before being relegated to the back of the cupboard to go stale.

Let’s take a look at the toys I remember getting and rate them out of 10.

Kellogg Bike Reflectors

Who doesn’t remember these? God knows how many years they ran these for but it feels like kids from the 70s to the 90s had hundreds of chances to get them each year. Shaped like the Kellogg’s Cockerel, this cheap piece of plastic contained a bright yellow reflector and was designed to fit in the wheel spokes of your bike.

Fun fact – I was never allowed a bike as there was zero cycling infrastructure where we lived. This didn’t stop my friends having bikes (I’M NOT BITTER) but for me, owning one of these reflectors was pretty shit.

Yay, I can now been seen at night

This wasn’t the only design Kellogg’s rolled out – Tony the Tiger got one for example – but it is the one that most people remember most vividly.

Fun Rating 1/10 – Screw you, I didn’t have a bike to stick it on.

Mini Boglins

Now we’re talking, there was nothing cooler than these pieces of solid, molded rubber! Sold in shops and newsagents across the UK in what we term blind bags now, Mini Boglins were a huge part of my childhood. To this day, I can remember the excitement of having a pound coin in my pocket, taking a brisk walk to our local Newsagent and asking for ‘one mini Boglin bag please’.

Over the years, more clans were released and eventually better colours. We went from dark to neon, matt to metallic and eventually glow in the dark. To put it bluntly, I would still be pant wettingly excited if someone were to send me a glow in the dark mini Boglin now.

Oh Cool Dudes, you were most common clan

I was desperate to get hold of the cereal box versions of the Cool Dudes, in particular the gold version of Cool as I was certain you wouldn’t see it anywhere else. On a side note, the Cool Dudes were the most common clan, even when it came to blind bags so missing out on this wouldn’t have left a hole in your collection.

Fun Rating 8/10 – I don’t care that they don’t do anything, there were bloody amazing.

Poppers (no, not those ones)

I talk about eye injuries later on in this article but I’m sure there are no end of adults with eye issues caused by these toys.

Don’t look directly at these when they’re primed

A popper is a simple toy, it’s made of super flexible rubber and then inverted will fire itself up in to the air with a satisfying ‘pop’.

Going back to eye injuries for a moment – the issue with poppers: they are totally unpredictable and if your face was directly over it as you placed it on the floor your eyes were in real danger of being popped. Lots of playground discussion would revolve around making them not pop straight away with the most credible being to squish it over and over again before letting it go; thinking about it now, it was always luck of draw.

Fun Rating 9/10 – Always good fun and got the heart going as it whizzed past your cheek.

Heat change puzzle

Not many people remember this one and all I can tell you is that I got given it by our lovely dinner lady at primary school. The premised of the toy was simple – stick the stickers in the right order and see what picture was revealed when you applied heat.

It really wasn’t that good of a prize.

You got a circular card that had spots for the stickers also provided in the plastic bag. These stickers were heat activated so you couldn’t see what order to stick them until you warmed them up with your thumb, I remember with small hands, this took ages! If you got the order wrong, you peeled them off and then re-applied their less sticky bodies to the card once again.

Fun Rating 3/10 – Heat change stuff will never not be fun BUT the puzzle element was rubbish.

Colour changing spoons

Sticking with heat change technology, Kellogg’s ran no end of colour changing spoon toys.

Oh colour change, how cool you were.

These spoons blew your mind the first time you saw them. Dipping them in to cold milk saw an instant change in the colour before going back to normal when you popped it in your mouth. They were cheap, cheerful and entertained you for at least the 5 minutes it took to eat breakfast.

Fun Rating 4/10 – More fun than the puzzle but it’s still just a spoon.


I have a vivid memory of the Summer that these were included in boxes of Rice Crispies. It was 1992 and our holiday was in Hunstanton, Norfolk, the Olympics had started and the weather was beautiful. Nan and Grampa had been out to the shops and already filled the pantry of the holiday home with food, ready for the week and one of their choices was a big box of Rice Crispies and inside? A pair of wrap around, plastic sunglasses that made any kid wearing them look god damn awesome.

These three children are now blind.

My excitement of opening the box and digging round for the prize was immediately destroyed by Mum; walking in to the kitchen she immediately plucked them out of my hand and dumped them in the bin. Of course, I was livid in a way that only an 8 year old can be and totally unaccepting of her words ‘they’re dangerous and will damage your eyes’.

How could these damage your eyes? Well, the answer was pretty simple. These sunglasses were made out of a fairly strong plastic that when taken off, they snapped back in to a tight coiled up roll. Watchdog had featured these, advising parents to dispose of them due to ‘Corneal Injury’ that could happen if they slipped off peoples faces. Having seen a pair recently, I can quite believe they would gouge chunks out of your eye ball – how anyone ever thought these were safe..

Fun Rating 10/10 – Forbidden toys are just the best.
Injury Chance 9/10

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By Tom

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