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Ghostbusters Cereal

In honor of yesterday's 36th Anniversary of the original Ghostbusters film, I thought it'd be fun to take a look at something that gives me real nostalgia feels when I see photos on social media.  The Ghostbusters breakfast cereal!

I do remember being in the cereal aisle (every 90s kid's favorite aisle), begging my Mom to buy us Ghostbusters cereal and being so disappointed when she finally caved. 

It tasted stale, and the marshmallows were hard as rocks.  I'm not sure if that's what it was SUPPOSED to taste like, but unfortunately, that's what I remember it to be. It likely just sat on the shelf too long, or air got into the bag somehow, and because of how bad it tasted, my Mom never bought it again.  It's unfortunate because everyone else seems to fondly remember the flavor of this sugary breakfast goodness.  But, she did buy an abundance of Hi-C Ecto Cooler, so I got my Ghostbusters snack fix that way.

Over a few years, Ralston Cereals introduced 3 different Ghostbuster branded cereals:  Ghost Busters, The Real Ghostbusters, and Slimer with the Real Ghostbusters.  All three kinds of cereal were the same but with different packaging and a slightly different coloring on the marshmallows.
One of the more memorable things about the Ghostbusters family of cereals was the commercial.  What kid growing up in the 80s and early 90s didn't see this commercial?  I remember it being everywhere for awhile.

Like any good breakfast cereal of yesteryear, Ghostbusters cereal would frequently have promotions and a combination of mail-away and in-box treats and prizes.  One that I can remember specifically was a Glow in the Dark Slimer Door Hanger that somehow I remember having, likely from a garage sale.  Maybe it came in the only box my Mom ever bought.  There was also an old school police-style flip open Ghostbuster Identification Badge that I wanted so badly.  I'd imagine flipping my badge open onto the table, letting everyone know, "Hey, I'm a Ghostbuster!" like a badass detective would do on TV.  What that actually had to do with Ghostbusters, I don't know.

There were also other standard goodies like posters and stickers.  I also can remember a series of special Hologram style boxes, and frisbee, or fanny pack mail aways.

One thing I found online that sparked a memory for me was the "Slime Your LightSwitch" cardboard cut out from the Slimer branded cereal.  It must have been a fad back in the early 90s because I remember Nickelodeon magazine or Disney Adventures magazine promotions of "dressing up" your bedroom light switch.  I don't know why it was a thing, but I would frequently update my light switch by taping a cardboard cut out over it... much to my Dad's chagrin.  The tape I would use often pulled the paint off the wall or leave marks.

Ralston produced the cereal from 1985 to 1991, and the branding would change based on the franchise of the time.  From 1985 to 1987, the cereal was branded for the Ghostbusters movie.  From 1987 to 1989, the cereal was rebranded to The Real Ghostbusters to capitalize on the popularity of the cartoon series.  In 1989, there was a temporary rebrand to Ghostbusters II.  In 1990 and 1991, the cereal was once again changed to Slimer and the Real Ghostbusters.  This would have been the time I tried the cereal since I was and still am a GIANT mark (wrestling term) for Slimer.  I'm even trying to get my daughter to like Slimer... only time will tell!

The cereal had fruit-flavored O's made of cereal grains and ghost-shaped marshmallows.  The O's were supposed to be the international "no" symbol (the red circle with the line through it.)  The ghost-shaped marshmallows (more like a Christmas tree) were white, green, and purple, depending on the branding.  The green ones were supposed to be Slimer, I think.  The best way I can describe it is Froot Loops meets Lucky Charms. 

So, where are the companies that brought us this fantastic box of Ghostbusters breakfast goodness now? 

Kenner, the toy company and licensing partner of The Real Ghostbusters, was purchased by Hasbro.  I'm sure if you're reading this content in 2020 are aware that Hasbro has brought back a "Retro" line of Real Ghostbusters toys that look identical to the original Kenner line.

Columbia Pictures, who brought us the two movies, was bought out by Sony Pictures.

Ralcorp, which currently makes Post cereals, was not really responsible for the Ghostbusters cereal.  The division of Ralcorp, Ralston, or known as Ralston Purina, who made dog food.  They are currently known as Nestle Purina Petcare and haven't sold breakfast cereals since the mid-1990s.