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Going Retro with General Mills Cereal

Posted Feb 15 2010 12:00am

Last week, I took a trip down memory lane.  As part of a promotion, General Mills, Target Stores and Atari have teamed up to bring sexy the good times back.  Now, in Target stores across the country you can find five limited-edition General Mill cereals sporting retro looks. Each box features a game or toy.  Remember cutting out the back of the boxes?  Ha!  This promotion lasts until March 7th.  General Mills cereals also sport Box Tops 4 Education.  (I collect these puppies faithfully.  If you ever need a place to sent your extra box tops to, email me.)

How many readers remember having an Atari?  In 1982, about 10 million people owned and used Atari VCS consoles. We had one…which seems old to me, because my folks aren’t the video game playing type.  I don’t know why I’m generalizing them.  Heck, I’m 31 one and still like to play video games.  That means…my folks were cool!  Very interesting.  Anyway, I know we had several games, but the one that sticks out in my mind is Carnival.  I had to be 4 or 5.   I remember my mom was really good at that game.  This year, Atari is celebrating their 38th anniversary this year!  They launched the all new Atari.com last November.  You can buy exclusive Atari games and merchandise there…take advantage of the free arcade games too!

General Mills sent 5 boxes of cereal and a great retro Honey Nut Cheerios shirt.  There were 2 boxes that brought the memories flooding back.  Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Honey Nut Cheerios.  Before this, I hadn’t really thought of the changes.  Can you spot 5 differences between the old and new packaging? 

Cheerios and Lucky Charms were first introduced in 1965.  It was at that time that the average income per year was $6, 450, the Beatles released the movie and album Help! and Sony introduced it’s Betamax video recorder.  That same year, The Grateful Dead with lead guitarist Jerry Garcia played their first concert in San Francisco; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led civil rights march in Alabama from Selma to Montgomery; and popular toys for boys were GI Joe and slot cars and for girls was Barbie Dolls.  It was this year that Target was gearing up to open it’s first stores outside of Minnesota.  The first store actually opened 1966 in Denver, CO.

Trix was introduced 2 years later in 1967.  In that year, a gallon of gas was 33 cents; Elvis Presley marries Priscilla; Evel Knievel jumps his  motorcycle over 16 cars lined up in a row and the first Super Bowl was played.  It was a match up between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs.  Green Bay won, 35-10.  This year, the Dayton Corporation opened two more Target stores in Minnesota, totaling nine stores in the birth state.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch was introduced in 1985, pretty apparent from that rockin’ 80’s box!  I love it!  January 28th in Hollywood, the charity single “We Are the World” was recorded by USA for Africa.  Musical artists such as Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper and Diana Ross performed.  I’m so diggin’ the fact that it’s been redone as We Are the World 25 for Haiti.  Coca-Cola attempted to change its 99-year-old formula to attract younger drinkers.  It was a major fail.  Huge.  Miss America was Sharlene Wells from Utah and Star Wars were the popular toys for boys and Cabbage Patch Dolls were at the top of the list for girls.  Santabear arrived in Target stores as the first door buster for the day after Thanksgiving shoppers.  Santabear went on to become a must-have Christmas item for the next two decades, donning a new outfit each year.

1989, the year of Honey Nut Cheerios.  That year a gallon of gas was 97 cents and the average income was $27, 450.  The Cosby Show was the most popular show on television and the first episodes of the Simpsons were shown that year.  Remember the Disco Flower?  A daisy that stood in a plastic flower pot and danced to any kind of music that was nearby,  (I had one of those!) it was a fad for a short while.  Finally, after 30 years the Cold War between East and West ends following the Malta Conference and the Berlin Wall comes down. Target expanded by 60 units moving into the Southeastern US.  Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina received stores to bring the total of 399 units in 30 states.

**Special thanks to General Mills for providing me with cereal and fun facts to share.  It’s been a great trip down memory lane!  Please remember, what works for the Seery family may not work for yours.**

Monday, 15 February 2010 8:57 am - seeryusmama
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