My Favorite Cereal Box Prize Ever


I am a child of the 60s and 70s, in in those days, I ate cereal. Lots and lots of cereal. I actually remember eating an entire box of Apple Jacks in one sitting, and the roof of my mouth took a couple of days to heal.

I also loved the concept of Quisp and Quake cereals. If you don’t recall, these were two highly sweetened cereals made by Quaker Oats, and Quisp was some sort of alien and Quake was some sort of muscle man who carried a big sledgehammer (he later became a cowboy for some reason). I ate them both, but I really liked Quisp (Quake was too much like Cap’n Crunch). And I really loved the toys that Quisp offered.

This was the day of the major mail-order cereal premiums. I’d send in 2 box tops, tape two quarters to the order form, and mail in my request. My all time favorite was the Quisp Cosmic Clouder, a gun that, well, let me explain.


I waited several weeks for my Cosmic Clouder to arrive (10-12 weeks, if I’m not mistaken), checking the mailbox daily. The Cosmic Clouder came loaded with “Cosmic Powder.” You’d shoot it, and the Cosmic Cloud would turn enemies into friends. I mean, who wouldn’t want one of those? And I continued to wait.


Finally, one day, it arrived. It was 7 inches of the finest hard red plastic China could make. The directions called for me to put the “Cosmic Powder” into the loading chamber. I was ready to conquer the world the Quisp way, turning those damn bullies into allies. Heck, I could solve the world’s problems with this “weapon”, and I was a shoe-in for the Nobel Peace Prize. I loaded the powder and aimed at one of my older brothers, who was having a righteous time picking on me. And out came a poof of dust. Which promptly settled on the furniture. Five or six shots later, after getting the tar beat out of me by my brother, my Mom came in, looked at the living room, and took my Cosmic Clouder away. I never saw it again. And I had to vacuum up the dusty mess.

So here’s to the old cereal toys. They don’t make ’em like they used to, and now that I’m a parent, that’s a good thing. And I’m still waiting on that Nobel prize.

10 Responses to My Favorite Cereal Box Prize Ever

  1. georg says:

    Quake became a cowboy, IIRC, when they re-branded his cereal to Quake w/ Orange Quangaroos, which were basically crunchberries except w/ Tang-esque fake orange flavor instead of the Cap’n’s fake berry flavor. So he had a sidekick who was an orange kangaroo. Maybe he was supposed to be an Australian cowboy. I can’t remember if they gave him an accent or not.

  2. Unfortunately, we were a looks-like-but-isn’t-Cheerios family which meant no toys of any kind – ever.

  3. whit says:

    I loved Quisp. My parents only drew the line at chocolate cereal, which seems pretty arbitrary now. I believe you can still get some industrial-size bags of Quisp with a different name.

    Apparently Quisp and Quake boxes are now deemed “highly desireable.” Wish I now had the 2 Josie and the Pussycats 45s I sent away for with box tops – real pressed vinyl 45s and not the cut-out Archie’s records off the back of Sugar Crisp (as is was known then).

  4. VaNC says:

    Wow, cut out Archie’s records. I remember them bumping the needle up and down on my 45 player. Okay, now my brain hurts from remembering back so far!

  5. Tyler says:

    I remember, at some point, that Quaker had a national vote on which cereal would stay – Quisp or Quake. I think Quisp won and Quack went away….then again, I could be totally wrong about the whole thing.

    Dean, I too was a big Quisp fan. Heck, I even liked the other Captain Crunch clone – King Vitamin! ( a little less sweet if I recall).

    Yep, I had Breakfast with The King!

  6. I had the clouder, and I loved the idea of it more than the toy itself. I think I tried to refill it with flour, and it probably should have been talcum.

    Tyler, there most certainly was a vote. It was quite a build up. I think Quisp won, although I was a Quake man back from when he started as a miner.

  7. zcounselor says:

    I have one of the original Quisp clouders. It was passed down to me from one of my older brothers. In fact, I have the original box it was mailed in! The clouder is in mint condition.

  8. Joe Leicht says:

    This is slightly off the subject. But does anyone remember some kid’s product (cereal, potato chips?) that gave away plastic deep sea creatures in every box/bag? There was a whale, shark, octopus, squid and several others. I am racking my brain to figure out what company had this promotion. . .

  9. vike says:

    For Joe Leicht (should you happen to look back here some day – you did check the Notify box, right?) – the cereals of interest are Wheat Honeys and Rice Honeys, from back when Nabisco was in the cereal business. Look down through the sample box fronts at this site and you’ll see the Free Sea Monster one with the picture of the plastic sawfish:

    I might have my own Quisp clouder buried in the basement somewhere – a truly amazing hunk of plastic. One detail not mentioned above – the barrel in the photograph is not correctly aligned – look at the cereal box picture, and you see that the “fin” on the barrel is not a “sight” to be put on top, but the “tail” on the letter Q formed by the front of the barrel.

  10. DX says:

    Georg: Quake became “new and improved” after he fell into a machine that was supposed to make his cereal new and improved. Orange Quangaroos was a completely different cereal in the Quisp/Quake line; it was never comined with Quake cereal, although I do remember a free sample of Quangaroos was included in specially-marked boxes of Quisp for a short time. Quake cereal later was marketed as “King Vitamin”, and the Quake “cogs” became the King’s crowns.

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