Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Guest post: Remembering those treasures from cereal boxes

Jim Fahringer recently shared these cereal-premium remembrances on Facebook, and he is graciously allowing me to share them here. I hope they spur some of your own memories, and you that can share them in the comments section.1 Enjoy!
Remember the wonderful cereal premiums that were once included inside the boxes of cereal?

I remember the diving submarine which had the little compartment with a metal cap at the bottom which you filled with baking soda and the sub would slowly rise and sink.

Another neat premium was the records which were part of the back of the cereal box. You would cut them out and put on your record player and they actually played. Sometimes you had to tape a quarter or other coin onto the cardboard record to keep it flat when it played.

Then there were those miniature tin license plates of all the states. I wonder how much cereal was needlessly purchased just to try to amass the complete set of 48 states.

Then there were those tin circular medallions of all the major automobile companies. They came complete with two holes that you could put wire or string through and many of us attached them to our bikes.

In the late 1950s, when cats-eye marbles first came out, one of the cereal companies included a little cellophane roll full of about four or five of these marbles.

Oh, and don't forget the high-quality graphic masks on the back of some of the cereal boxes. We would cut them out and wear the mask.

You could also save several cereal box tops and send a quarter to a dollar for some special premiums. One of the most interesting was for all of us who watched "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon." If you sent in a box top or maybe it was more, and $1 you could own one square inch of the Yukon Territory. We were so excited that we thought we could save up a lot of money and own a large piece of land in the Yukon. But alas, when we received the official looking deed to our one square foot of Yukon Territory it said that this deed had no legal binding ownership of the actual territory.

I also remember sending for the three colored navy frogmen (yellow, blue, and red). These too, like the diving submarine, had a little compartment on the bottom which you filled with baking soda and covered with the metal cap with a hole in it. The navy frogmen would rise and sink as the baking soda produced gas to move them.

There were many other neat cereal premiums. What were some of your favorites?

Here are a few other Papergreat posts on the topic of cereal premiums:

1. In previous posts, Fahringer has discussed QSL cards and stamp collecting.

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