Like many of you, I grew up in a time when cereal companies would put actual prizes in cereal boxes. I used to love buying cereal with prizes and I remember going home and digging through the box so that I could get my hands on it! It’s sad that kids these days will never know the awesomeness of that experience! Now they provide you with a code that you have to input on a web site just to enter to get the prize, and most of the time it’s not even guaranteed. I guess it's easier than some of the toys you had to mail in for back in the day!
I was telling my kids about the prizes I used to get recently and it fascinated them. So I started searching online to see if I could find some of the things I remember getting from cereal boxes when I was growing up. It was a nostalgic explosion for me and I thought I had to share some of these things with you to help bring back those wonderful memories from a simpler time.
There are so many cereal prizes out there, and you'll find 35 of them on this list. I know I may have missed some that you might remember, and if that's the case, let me know in the comments below! I also included some retro commercials for some of these cereals.
Darkwing Duck Fanny Pack
You gotta love the era of fanny packs! As a fan of Darkwing Duck, I wore this with pride.
Baking Powder Submarine
I remember spending a lot of time playing with this little baking soda submarine. I was fascinated by how it would sink and rise.
This was a fun collection of stickers and I had several of them plastered around my room. I've always been a fan of horror, so having a ghost detector as a kid was awesome!
Glow-in-the-Dark Creeping Monster
Anything that had to do with monsters was cool! The fact that they glowed in the dark made them even better! Did you ever eat your breakfast in the dark?
These were the cheapest Transformers and GoBots ripoffs you could get! They were fun to play with, though!
Can't say I ever had Rainbow Bright cereal, but I'm sure there are a lot of people out there with fond memories.
Rainbow Brite cereal & toys Heather O'Rourke 1983 by Retrontario
Wyatt Earp Peacemaker
When I was a kid, I loved playing with toy guns! I spent a lot of time with friends hunting each other down and having gun fights. We'll never see a gun on a cereal box ever again.
Glow-in-the-Dark Circus Acrobat
These things were just wacky and weird and reminded me of Monty Python's Flying Circus.
How could any kid live without the Batman periscope?! It was the perfect tool for spying on people.
The perfect way to top off a bowl of cereal in the morning was by shoving a bunch of gumballs into your mouth before school. That was me.
Glow-in-the-Dark Monster Posters
I've been a fan of the Universal Monsters since I was really young, and these glow in the dark posters would have been awesome to own!
Nintendo Magic-Motion Card
I was such a huge Nintendo geek, I had my parents buy the Dinersaurs cereal as a kid just so I could collect them...but then I lost them. Link was the best, though.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mask
The only Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume you ever needed as a kid! I did enter to win the complete set of toys, but I never won. Bastards.
Because every kid growing up wanted Bigfoot stickers! And like most cereal prizes, it also glowed in the dark.
Cap'n Crunch Bo'sun Whistle
This was the perfect cereal prize for kids to annoy their parents and piss them off. These were made back in the day when parents spanked their kids a lot, so blowing this whistle excessively was just asking for a spanking.
Mr. T Stickers
Mr. T cereal was the greatest. THE GREATEST! The Mr T. stickers were just a cool bonus.
It shoots a white "Cosmic Cloud"! There's nothing safer than shooting a cloud at someone.
My uncle still has an unopened box of Batman cereal with the bank like the picture above in his cupboard. I don't think he plans on eating it.
Cap'n Crunch Crunchbot
Kids loved robots, so why not make one to attack the “soggies” that attacked your cereal?
MLB Temporary Tattoos
When I was a kid, I loved basball! That's something I grew out of over time when it just started to bore me. I sure did enjoy plastering these tattoos on my arms when I was growing up, though.
I have no idea why, but I wore this watch with pride! Maybe because orange is my favorite color.
Monster in My Pocket
I was already collecting Monster in My Pocket figures, so getting them for free in a cereal box was fantastic!
Ghostbusters II Record
This was such a strange and cool thing. It included details about entertaining to become an honorary Ghostbuster and win a trip to the Hollywood set and meet a Ghostbuster.
Monsters were big with kids back in the day, weren't they? We need more monster cereal prizes these days.
Count Chocula, Boo Berry, and Frankenberry have always known how to party, and what kids didn't like toy cars?!
DC Superhero Iron-On
I was more of a tattoo kind of kid growing up, but DC superhero iron-on patches were cool. They just never stayed on the clothes you ironed them on to.
Monster Disguise Stickers
Stickers that transform your face into a creepy-ass monster!? Hell yeah! Sure, they would only last so long, but I can see the fun in it.
I actually remember pulling a wrapped dollar bill out of a Cheerios box once. There's nothing better as a kid than pulling money out of a cereal box.
Color Changing Dinosaurs
What's better than regular dinosaurs? Dinosaurs that changed color when you put them in cold water!
Disney Glass Pals
As a huge fan of Disney cartoons, I thought these silly things were the coolest things.
Nestle Quik Chocolate Milk
I've been a lover of chocolate milk ever since I first tasted it.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Bowl
I don't know, eating a bowl of cereal with that insanely creepy Ninja Turtle face smiling back at you just seems uncomfortable.
Addams Family Flashlight
These were the perfect creepy flashlights to protect us from the creepy monsters that lurked in our dark rooms at night.
Win, Lose or Draw
It's such a simple thing, but I spent so much time drawing pictures on this.
Nintendo Mario Maze
This handheld game kept kids distracted playing it as their cereal got soggy.
I think I ended up played with my food with this dinosaur spoon rather than eating what I was supposed to.