The Demise of Cereal Box Toys?
When I was home in Pennsylvania over Thanksgiving, I started rifling through some old boxes of my childhood ephemera to see if there was anything worth transporting back to Texas.
Photo by Joanna O'Leary. This cereal comes with a poster on the box. A poster is not a toy.
On this trip down material memory lane, I came across one of my favorite doodads, this neon plastic action figure that I "found" in a cereal box. "I've missed you," I said to the little green man. And then, I thought, Mental note: Buy more cereal that comes with prizes.
Easier said than done. A few days later at the grocery store, I perused the section of the cereal aisle I've forgone in my adulthood in favor of healthier options: those shelves of hyper-sugary artificially flavored "pops" and "crispies" and "bits" and "puffs" that (I thought) usually vend such trinkets. Turns out, I couldn't find a single box that offered a toy actually inside the box.
I realize I may be a bit late to the game in noticing the absence of cereal box toys, as it seems others online have been bemoaning their decline for at least a few years. I shudder to think these baubles are virtually extinct, and wonder if there's any hope for a resurgence?
Back home in Texas, I regularly search the cereal aisle for brands offering in-box toys (none of that "send ten proofs of purchase" ridiculousness), and it's a rare day that I find one if any.
Perhaps if vox populi demanded the return of cereal box toys, General Mills, Post, Kellogg's, etc. would rise to the challenge.
Or maybe I'm in the minority who misses these novelties. Readers, your thoughts?
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