Retro Cereal and Then Some . . .

Target and General Mills are at it again.

Each spring – at least for the last four or five years, I should say – General Mills has released select breakfast cereal brands in variations of their classic packaging.  Originally, the honored brands were Cheerios, Trix, Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Kix, and Wheaties, but in recent years it has been limited to Cheerios, Trix, Lucky Charms, and Cocoa Puffs (in various late 1960s/early 1970s styles), and Honey Nut Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch (in various mid-1980s patterns).

The boxes are not true facsimiles; often times, as in the case with Trix and Lucky Charms, the designs are inverted – the character appears on the right-hand side of the front graphic, where in the original version he was on the left-hand side.  The sides and rear panels of the box also lack accuracy.  Previously, there was an earnest attempt to recreate the puzzles or art of the rear panel, but this current run seems to be something new created for a current promotion.  These are Target exclusives, so if you’re interested, then that’s where you need to go.  That’s not unusual – when Post did their three retro-style boxes for Grape-Nuts, Raisin Bran, and Shredded Wheat (about five years ago), they were available only at Wal-Mart.  The retro Cap’n Crunch boxes (about two years ago) were exclusives, too, but I can’t remember for which stores.

Personally, I think that these are cool – I’ve picked up a number of these over the years – and feel that they fit in with other recent retro packaging from Swiss Miss’s 1950s style hot chocolate box (also a Target exclusive), the retro Pringles cans and Heinz ketchup bottles (both c. 1970, and available at Wal-Mart), the pseudo-1980s style Doritos “Taco” flavored chip (nice, but wrong colors), and the Pepsi/Mountain Dew “Throwback” cans (available anywhere).  Frito-Lay released a limited edition Cheetos bag, but I only found one – don’t know if that’s a recurring theme with them or not.  To my everlasting shame, I neglected to get the 1980s retro Hostess boxes (Wal-Mart) when they appeared three years ago; guess that’ll never happen now.

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