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Since died a rather abrupt death, I figured I should mirror my work here.  Also, this way I can pretend they're new updates.  Excuse the terrible formatting, I felt like putting in effort to fix it would be an insult to the original work.  Also, I didn't want to put in effort.


Nostalgia is a powerful thing. When I look back ten years ago, I'm jealous of all the great times I had. And ten years ago, I was looking back ten years before that, jealous of all the great times I had. Then I think about it - it wasn't very good then. It isn't very good now either, but I'm sure in ten years I'll be wishing I could travel back to today.

Sorry to start off on such a depressing note, but it leads us to the matter at hand. Scientists have long researched how nostalgia screws with us. Some university was recently given a $1.5 billion grant in order to study why we think cereals from our childhood were so good. Just go with me on that, I swear it's true.

Unfortunately, I can't actually buy a box of cereal from the 90's or early 2000's, and have the cereal still be fresh. But through the miracle of preservatives and chemicals, they might have a shot at still being delicious. And if they didn't hold up, I can let you know.. for science!

I recently went on an old cereal-buying binge (thanks eBay!), assembling some of the most memorable and obscure breakfast treats from years gone by. But there'll be none of that "saving the best for last" nonsense. We're going to get this started with the greatest cereal of all time.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal - 1990

Instant extra credit for the fact that the cereal comes with a Michaelangelo bowl right on the box. They don't jerk you around with that "send 8 proofs of purchase and receive it in the mail three years later" crap.

Opening the inner bag, the first thing I notice is that it doesn't smell that bad. I was expecting a cloud to poof out of the bag, the smoke forming a skull in the air. Instead, it just smelled like stale sugar.

Pouring the cereal, my hope for a "not too old" bowl of cereal fell apart. The marshmallows had de-evolved into awful little blobs. Between the tan cereal pieces, and the dark orange and green marshmallows, the cereal looked like a giant Cup Noodles. Although 22 year old cereal is probably less suspicious than those beef pieces they put in the ramen.

One way to increase your vegetable intake, I suppose

The cereal eating experience itself was a conflicting one. The cereal pieces were okay, although their long hibernation caused the sugar to form a practically impenetrable shield around the cereal. The marshmallows, on the other hand... ugh. I took a two week poetry class in order to try to put their taste into words, but it didn't work. Just look up "disgusting" in a thesaurus, read a few dozen of the syllables, and it will start to sum up the marshmallows.

Eating this didn't actually kill me and send me to purgatory, this is just poor photography.

Thankfully, drinking the milk wasn't too bad, since the old sugar turned the milk basically into corn syrup.

Expiration date - February 18, 1991
Did the cereal's taste hold up? - No
Did the cereal's structure hold up? - Partially
Would I eat another bowl? - No

Jetsons Cereal - 1990

Jetsons Cereal was released to tie in with the movie, but it was never destined for success. By then, lots of kids like me were starting to catch on to how unrealistic cartoons like The Jetsons were. I mean, give us some credit. We are expected to believe that a dork like George could pull a hot wife like Jane? Although when you notice that Judy's hair genes don't come from either of the parents, maybe Jane wasn't satisfied with George. Hmmm.

Why is Elroy the only one without white in his eyes? Is he a mutant?

The box is inviting, with some nice colors, and the ever-intriguing promise of stickers.

I just sent my entry in, so I'll let you know if I win the free trip to Space Camp!

Even though the cereal looks like galactic-shaped Cookie Crisp, the flavor is actually apple and cinnamon (with "real apple bits!"). Somewhat shockingly, the cereal has held up extremely well. There are no marshmallows to get all creepy, so that helps.

Apparently cereal in the future looks beige and boring.

If I didn't know the cereal was 22 years old, I would have just assumed that it was slightly past its freshness date. So maybe the Jetsons really did have some futuristic magic up their sleeves.

Expiration date - March 21, 1991
Did the cereal's taste hold up? - Yes
Did the cereal's structure hold up? - Yes
Would I eat another bowl? - Sure, why not?

The Incredibles Cereal - 2004

This 22-year-old cereal-eating is getting a bit tiresome. Hopefully you don't mind if I try something a bit more recent. The Incredibles Cereal was released as a tie-in to the movie of the same name. Actually, the movie was called "The Incredibles"-- "Cereal" wasn't in the title itself, unfortunately.

They almost ran out of room at the top for company logos.

The Incredibles was made by a little indie studio named Pixar, in case you haven't heard of it. Their movies tend to fly under the radar.

The cereal's flavor is "Incrediberry Blast", even though it then admits that "Incrediberry" is just "strawberry". I like strawberry and all, but I think that might be pushing it a little.

I think the cereal is supposed to be star-shaped, but I can't be sure. Some pieces look like stars, some pieces looked like deformed people. "Deformed people" is a much cooler cereal shape, so I'm going to go with that.

That shape would be perfect for a cereal with Patrick from Spongebob.

As I suspected, the cereal struggled to live up to its claims of having an "Incrediberry" flavor. More like "Mediocreberry", am I right? Sigh.

In a somewhat disturbing trend, the cereal has held up very well for being 8 years old. I'm starting to suspect that some of these ingredients aren't very natural!

Expiration date - September 10, 2005
Did the cereal's taste hold up? - Yes
Did the cereal's structure hold up? - Yes
Would I eat another bowl? - Probably not, I usually prefer Incredichocolate cereals


Batman Cereal - 1989

Immediately, I'm slightly disappointed, as I am a big fan of tropical oils. But as you can see, Batman cereal not only lacks them, but sees the need to brag that it doesn't have them. Oh well.

na na na na na na na na na na na CEREAL!

Another example of "look how much better prizes were back then" - a Batman bank, right on the box. Even though the bank looks slightly... off, it's still an awesome prize.


This was included in the cereal. Having no expiration date is a big plus in this instance.

Batman Cereal was never very good, even when it was within its sell-by date. It was a less-sweet Cap'n Crunch, shaped like "bats." Is there something I can use that is stronger than quotation marks to indicate the lack of bat-ness the cereal pieces actually have?

Upon closer inspection, being immersed in milk does not improve the bat-shaped accuracy.
The cereal held up well, but I think that has a lot to do with the fact that Batman Cereal was one of those rough-surfaced cereals that would destroy the roof of your mouth. Those violent tendencies don't go away, even after twenty plus years. In fact, they only seemed to get more angry.

Expiration date - March 22, 1990
Did the cereal's taste hold up? - Yes
Did the cereal's structure hold up? - Yes
Would I eat another bowl? - No, not even after the roof of my mouth recovers.

The Cat In The Hat Cereal - 2003

I remembered there being a Cat in the Hat cereal around the time the movie came out, but I guess I blocked it out of my mind, like most things having to do with that ghastly cinematic insult to the good doctor.

Surprisingly, the ingredients list does not contain Thing 1 and Thing 2.

It was a pleasant surprise to realize the cereal is almost entirely themed around the book character. Michael Myers's awful face makes an appearance on the back, but other than that and a small "see the movie" blurb, the cartoon cat is the star of the show.

A press release from Kellogg's declares the stripes on the cereal pieces to be "an innovation in food science," which is an impressive feat, and honestly it's what scientists should be working on. I couldn't care less about agricultural progress -- I want my cereal pieces to reach never-before-seen levels of innovation!

Scientific innovation at work, folks!

One strange thing happened when opening the cereal. There was an overwhelming "oat" scent, like I was walking through the bulk grain aisle at Whole Foods. It's one hell of a strange juxtaposition - smelling this incredibly healthy scent, and looking down to see a cereal with bright red stripes on it.

Continuing the disturbing trend, while the texture had a strange "Why are you eating this nine years later?" feel to it, the flavors were still good. It tasted like not-as-sweet Frankenberry.

Expiration date - August 8, 2004
Did the cereal's taste hold up? - Yes
Did the cereal's structure hold up? - Yes
Would I eat another bowl? - Sure, why not?

Cap'n Crunch - 1989

Look how bugged-out his eyes are - this guy is hopped up on more than just sugar.

This is the only non-licensed cereal of the bunch, but it makes it into the experiment by being tied for the oldest. Considering that Batman Cereal is the other cereal from 1989, and they are both similar cereals, won't it be exciting to see which one holds up better? Yeah, I know. But keep reading anyway.

They compare Cap'n Crunch to a bowl of spaghetti and fruit cocktail. In case you're deciding on dinner?

When the card lineup consists of Darryl Strawberry, Don Mattingly, and Jose Freaking Canseco, you know that this cereal isn't exactly current. But hey, it also comes with a stick of gum!

Warning: gum may dissolve upon contact.

The gum tasted exactly like they always did when you bought a pack of baseball cards. Which is good, since it held up well, but also not that impressive because that gum was brittle and chalky even when brand new.

Same old dull little puffs as always!

The Cap'n Crunch was just as mouth-shredding as it always was. Surprisingly, it wasn't more deadly than usual. I figured that since a brand new box of the Crunch will annihilate the roof of your mouth, 23 year old Crunch would require reconstructive surgery.

Expiration date - May 12, 1990
Did the cereal's taste hold up? - Yes
Did the cereal's structure hold up? - Yes
Would I eat another bowl? - No, maybe if you find me a 20 year old box of Crunch Berries


Bill and Ted's Excellent Cereal - 1990

Designed to tie in with the animated series, Bill and Ted's Excellent Cereal is one of those fondly remembered cereals that causes people to think, "Oh yeah, I guess they did make that... I forgot."

Unfortunately, Dave Beethoven didn't make the front of the box.

Lots of things in these cereals have reminded me that these were old cereals. However, absolutely nothing drove home that point more effectively than the fact that Bill and Ted comes with a case to hold cassettes.

Put the cassette... in the iron maiden!

The cassette tape case was a startling reminder due to the expired technology it is designed to hold. Once the bowl of cereal was poured, however, the real startling reminder was the fact that the cereal looked absolutely disgusting.

In case you were about to eat lunch, sorry for ruining your appetite.

The marshmallows had shriveled up, like TMNT's, into horrifying little goblin corpses. They used to be music notes, but now whatever song those notes would make up would probably just be a somber funeral march.

I don't know what the squares are supposed to be. I'm assuming Ralston's cereal execs just said, "They're getting music note marshmallows, they don't need any of them fancy city folk cereal pieces." For some reason, in that flashback the part of Ralston execs were played by hillbillies.

The overall appearance is simply disgusting. Between the shades of brown, dark green, and burnt orange, it really looks like a pile of vomit that didn't break down enough in the stomach before being regurgitated.

I know after all of that, you will be shocked to hear that the cereal was terrible. It's odd that a cereal based on a pair of time travelers didn't hold up over two decades later.

Expiration date - August 8, 1990
Did the cereal's taste hold up? - NO
Did the cereal's structure hold up? - Cereal, Yes; Marshmallows, No way
Would I eat another bowl? - Absolutely not

Pokemon Cereal - 2000

Oh no, another cereal with marshmallows. You know I've been broken down by these cereals when I'm rationalizing it with, "Well, at least 12 year old cereal is more fresh than 22 year old cereal."

Eat enough of this and the only thing you'll be catching is diabetes.

Pokemon Cereal was great, since they just took the winning formula of Lucky Charms and figured, "If we use circular cereal instead, they can't sue us, right?" The box was also fantastic - this thing was visible from across the aisle. Thankfully, the box I got was the original release. Later that year, they changed the boxes to start including all of the stupid Pokemon characters after the original 151.

I don't know what line in the sand my mind has drawn that the "original" Pokemon are cool, while the newer ones are stupid. But that line exists, and it is adamant about that opinion.

It's a Christmas September miracle! Look how bright and puffy the marshmallows are!

Surprisingly, the past 12 years have been very kind to Pokemon Cereal. Visibly, it looks no worse for the wear. You can even tell what characters the marshmallows are meant to be. Well, almost. Cereal marshmallow accuracy is a technology that has seemed to have plateaued.

Taste-wise, the cereal was alarmingly fresh. I wouldn't have known this cereal was 12 years old. I probably wouldn't have been able to tell that it was even expired. Kellogg's worked some frightening voodoo with this.

Expiration date - March 12, 2001
Did the cereal's taste hold up? - Yes
Did the cereal's structure hold up? - Yes
Would I eat another bowl? - Yes

Star Wars Episode II Cereal - 2002

I don't want to alarm you, but this cereal is from Canada, and is completely different from the US version. The US version was basically Kix with marshmallows, and was pretty awesome.

Be careful, this cereal is using the metric system!

The Canadian version has orange and purple stars, and "Clone Trooper Cookies". They are little cookie pieces that are meant to be the Clone Trooper mask, but instead just look like little, sad faces. It's like Giggles cookies made a special batch for miserable people.

What a great way to start your day - frowns!

The bright colors of the stars indicate that the cereal would be some sort of fruit flavor. If it was, it isn't anymore. Now it just tastes like rotten sugar. What made eating this cereal a bizarre experience (well, in addition to it being ten years old) was that the cereal pieces aged at a completely different rate than the cookies. The cookies got all soft, and the cereal got harder. My teeth were really confused while chewing.

Yet again, a Star Wars cereal misses an amazing tie-in, and doesn't include food coloring to turn the milk blue. It seems like such an easy way to impress the nerds who would truly appreciate that reference.

Why is that cookie still sad? Look at that awesome prize!

So the cereal wasn't very good at all, but I don't care. Because if you bought a two-pack of this cereal, it came with a life-size Clone Trooper mask! What!

No wonder the troopers were always missing, I can't see worth crap out of this.

I'm the sort of idiot that would buy any crappy cereal, if it came with a prize this amazing. I was impressed by the Turtle bowl and Batman bank, but this is off-the-charts awesome.

Expiration date - October 19, 2002
Did the cereal's taste hold up? - No
Did the cereal's structure hold up? - No
Would I eat another bowl? - No, it was too tough getting the spoon through the mask

People can knock preservatives and chemicals in food, but I'm all for them. I don't know how well a box of organic cereal will hold up in twenty years' time. But I do know that a frighteningly large number of these cereals held up very well as they waited for a weirdo like me to finally eat them.

Viva science!


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