As I was sorting a box of craft supplies the other day I found a baggie full of fake coins/tokens, some of which I am pretty sure were cereal box giveaways. This got me to thinking, “Do you even find such a thing anymore?” The last thing I seem to recall getting free (attached to the outside of a box of Honeynut Cheerios) was an excerpt from the book “The Spiderwick Chronicles.” Nowadays it seems you only get coupons you must save up in order to then purchase a second-rate item.
Maybe it’s not a bad idea that toys were discontinued. I remember endless arguments with my brother and sister over whose turn it was to keep the toy. Sometimes it went to whomever was quick and sly enough to appropriate it from the box. Other times my mom settled the argument (by either giving it to one of us or tossing it out).
Some of the cereal box items I’ve saved from my childhood include a set of miniature license plates (which I just saw on E-bay), assorted small plastic toys, tiny 3-D cards that move when you hold them a certain way, and decals and stickers. I also recall the small 45rpm records you’d have to cut off the box and then place coins on top to keep them from wobbling while you’d play them. Another favorite was the small rubbery wacky wall walker that you threw at the wall and watched as it slowly walked down until falling to the ground. The only problem with that toy is the dirtier it got, the less it would stick to the wall. Hours of fun while it lasted though!
I guess kids today have to stick with boxes of Cracker Jacks, or McDonalds/Burger King kids’ meals if they want a toy with their meal.