Oreo cookies! Skeletons! Mikey! Cartoon slime! The hippest sea captain you’ve ever seen!
Hopefully that grabbed your attention. It’s been a while since we last checked in with our friend Gabe Fonseca’s Cereal Time YouTube series—which spotlights a different cereal each week in a fun and nostalgic way. Decades from now, Breakfast History 101 professors will screen Gabe’s episodes as insightful windows into the cereal culture of days gone by.
Even in the twinkling, chrome future, the teachers will probably still show them on those ancient rolling TV carts, too.
To bring you up to speed on Gabe’s Cereal Time efforts, we’re going to have a viewing party for his five latest episodes. So let’s all build a blanket fort, pop some popcorn, and get cozy, because we’ve got years of memories to relive.
You did remember to bring the powdered nacho cheese topping for the popcorn, right?
I know our parents told all of us we had to eat our dinner before we can have dessert, but now that we’re adults, we can do whatever we want: so let’s start with the sweetest video and watch Gabe tear open a box of 2016 South Korean Oreo O’s. Gabe offers a visualized version of the dramatic Oreo O’s narrative I penned for my own glowing review of the cereal, but Gabe’s take on the revival of Oreo O’s is worth watching for his customs fiasco alone.
It turns out that even international security agents want a taste of this cookies & creme-flavored forbidden fruit that’s bursting at the seams with nostalgia.
As seen in his taste test, Gabe’s mutual love of Oreo O’s is just another piece of evidence that we Oreo O’s lovers everywhere should sue to rally for its American return. I’m not saying we should go to the Supreme Court about it, but I will say that we can use my garage to make “WE HAVE A DISTASTE…FOR YOUR LACK OF EXTREME CREME TASTE” picket signs.
Gabe covers a lot of ground in his Halloween cereal video, which is ironic, because so many of these spooky cereals involve unearthing monsters and skeletons from their cardboard tombs.
He starts with Kellogg’s mortifying, marshmallowified (which apparently isn’t a real word. Looks like we’ll have to picket Merriam-Webster, too) Halloween Apple Jacks and Froot Loops. These cereals, along with Chocolate Frosted Flakes with Skeleton Marshmallows, take cereals that were already delicious and stuff pastel orange body parts into them. This sounds like the lazy plot of a scrapped Dexter episode, but any cereal that lets Halloween fans play with their food and craft edible, undead centurions is worth celebrating with a G-rated Pagan ritual.
(FYI: G-rated Pagan rituals substitute V8 vegetable juice for goat’s blood)
Gabe then moves on to Halloween mainstays Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry. At first, I was happy to see that Gabe is rallying against the Count’s dominant Monster Cereal campaign in favor of Franken Berry. But by the video’s end, Gabe defects to Boo Berry’s team, which means I’ll probably delete this post out of spite within 24 hours.
Gabe’s Life Cereal is the most educational of the lot, as it covers 55 years of rich cereal history in just a view minutes. It’s more densely packed with trivia than a Life Cereal box is packed with proteins. For example, did you know that before the iconic Mikey campaign, Life Cereal’s mascots were cartoon proteins? And that the retro commercials hilariously pronounced it as “pro-tee-ins”?
I wish I were still 8-years old so I could go home and tell my parents what I learned in Cereal School today.
But while these throwback factoids are fun, I left Gabe’s video with a sense of bittersweet loss. Somehow, I now have to go on living knowing that I’ll never taste Honey Graham Life or any of the brand’s other vintage flavors. Oh well: as the saying goes, “Born too late to taste Raisin Life, born too soon to eat Life on Mars, born just in time to gobble down multigrain Pumpkin Spice Life squares.”
Life Cereal may be more universally memorable, but Nickelodeon’s Green Slime is likely to strike a stronger nostalgic chord with a niche audience of reformed ’90s/early 2000s TV addicts. Something about cereals back then were just so much more imaginative.
I mean, just look at those green pieces! Unless you pluck every swampy ring from Shrek’s Ogre O’s Cereal, you’ll never be able to eat a breakfast quite as radioactive as Nickelodeon Green Slime was. And as a bonus, the orange Nickelodeon blimp pieces are shaped more like Nemo than the actual marshmallows in today’s Finding Dory cereal.
If I ever build a cereal time machine, I promise I’ll rescue a box of Nickelodeon Green Slime from the year 2003 and use its unifying deliciousness to solve whatever dystopian cyborg war is plaguing the Earth in the present day.
Gabe’s video on Nickelodeon Green Slime is especially cool, since it provides a background on early Nickelodeon, too. It makes me think back to all those times I spent chomping Doritos during Legends of the Hidden Temple re-runs, spewing crumbs as I shouted at all those kids who couldn’t put together a simple monkey totem.
From the super retro to the hyper postmodern, Gabe introduces us to a real box of Cap’n KITH cereal. Earlier this month, NYC streetwear brand turned cereal café KITH Treats announced a collaboration with Cap’n Crunch. They produced a number of exclusive clothes and accessories, but the crown jewel of KITH’s collection was the hip, minimalist cereal box in Gabe’s video.
Most interesting is the flavor choice for Cap’n KITH, Though it is just a repackaging of pre-existing cereal elements, Cap’n KITH’s s’mores flavor has me salivating. And I’m not the only one: back when we interviewed Ed Griffin, Cap’n Crunch’s illustrator, he said that Campfire Crunch would be his dream flavor.
I have to wonder if he had a hand in making this 21st century cereal magic happen.