2021 saw the Ghostbusters The franchise returns to mainstream popularity for the first time in over thirty years thanks to Dark Horse Comics recently acquiring the license for the comics. There are currently plans to launch a large number of in-universe follow-ups for Ghostbusters: Beyond, IDW Publishing’s foray into the franchise. However, the longest running and most popular license for the property was not a comic book series or movie, but a children’s breakfast cereal.
Before the mid-1980s, popular movies and cartoons offered ties, prizes, and prizes along with sugary breakfast cereals. Ralston (a division of the famous Purina dog food manufacturer) had been successful with its gremlins cereal previously, and became the progenitors of a new Ghostbusters Cereal.
What was the Ghostbusters cereal?
Initially released as a promotional ad for the first Ghostbusters In the film, the cereal featured the iconic No-Ghosts logo on the box and contained crossed out circles, O’s, and marshmallow ghosts. The original ad was a fun riff on the classic Ray Parker Jr. song and clearly stated that “Ghostbusters tastes great…with milk, juice and toast.”
Of course, one of the most important elements of the children’s breakfast cereal was bonuses and prizes. Like many of the Ralston complementary cereals of the day (such as bat Man Y addams family) the box itself was used for promotions. At one point, they even included a piece of Bazooka Bubble Gum as a freebie in the box.
The success of the Ghostbusters cereal
But then something interesting happened. The cereal began to become popular and sold much more than initially expected. In response to this unexpected success, a glow-in-the-dark Ghost Flyer (which was a Frisbee with the No-Ghost logo) was offered, soon followed by a kit that included a poster, glow-in-the-dark decals, button with the logo, light switch cover and official “I’m a ghostbuster” certificate.
Over the next few years, Ralston was able to capitalize on the Ghostbusters the lasting power of ownership, a momentous achievement for a linked grain. In 1986, the real ghostbusters The cartoon was released and was an immediate success. The cereal changed its name to match the new show, and added hologram artwork to the boxes. To collect all four premium collectibles, one simply had to keep buying the product.
In 1990, the cereal received a makeover, becoming Thinner! and the real ghostbusters, echoing the turn towards the more kid-friendly style that the animated series took during this time period. Prizes included a board game in the box and a rather ambitious certificate-in-the-box contest to win the entire line of Kenner’s The Real Ghostbusters toys. Tragically, despite some very good animated character covers and the addition of green Slimer marshmallows), the Ghostbusters cereal wouldn’t last much longer in the ’90s.
Over the years, movies have continued to use cereal as a way to promote movies and cartoons, but none have really reached the level of popularity and staying power that the Ghostbusters cereal did. And though it ceased production decades ago, it remains a cultural and nostalgic tent in the world of movies, comics and breakfast.