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.