When introduced in 1989, this cereal was described on the box as “crunchy, sweetened ‘ninja nets’ with ‘ninja turtle’ marshmallows”. Pizza-shaped marshmallows were later added. The “ninja net” cereal pieces looked very much like Chex cereal pieces.
Some notable premiums included with the cereal were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cereal bowls, TMNT cups that changed color when cold liquid was added, cut-out collector cards from the 1990 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” film and a send-away offer for a hologram t-shirt.
Remembering products of the past through old advertising.
While the name may not ring a bell to everyone, I’m sure you grew up seeing these ads in comic books and marveling at the wonders they promised. Let’s check out some of the items offered that intrigue me.
These ads changed through the years as new products were introduced, but I don’t think they ever really discontinued many items. I would assume everything was pretty much always available because I seem to remember actual bound catalogs being available at some point. I always wanted things I saw in these ads, but could never save any of my allowances on weekends long enough to get a money order to get anything with. So let’s look at some of the things I found interesting through my young years in this ad.
X-Ray Vision Glasses
Ok. So what red-blooded pre-teen boy wouldn’t want something like this? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what we would have in mind when ordering these. That little line there about being able to see-through clothes probably sold more pairs of these than anything else. But according to the fabulous book, Mail-Order Mysteries, these were just an optical illusion created by feather-like things between two pieces of cardboard with little holes in them. What a bummer. I wish I had never ready that, as I had spent my whole life wondering “what if?”.
Pocket Spy Telescope
Now this is a cool little gadget. Imagine carrying around a telescope in your shirt pocket. I know it couldn’t possibly magnify things too much, but for something that small that fits in your pocket, it had to magnify enough to make it cool. It could have been the start of a budding spy career.
It’s time to browse through some more old comic book ads and see what kind of nostalgia they stir up! I’ve said it before, but old comic books are like mini time capsules offering a glimpse into the past via the ads found inside. Here are five more to tickle your nostalgia bone.
Matchbox Cars Puffy Stickers (1984)
So toy cars like Matchbox and Hot Wheels have always been fun, and back in the ’80s, stickers were a huge thing. And some of the best stickers you could find to add to your collection were of the puffy variety. I put them up there neck and neck with scratch and sniff stickers. With that said, this ad really hits high for me because you could get both Matchbox cars AND puffy stickers in one fun package! That’s a lot of fun packed into one little package. I can just imagine going to Hills on the weekend and talked my folks into buying this for me. I’d have not one, but three Matchbox cars to play with, and have 25 puffy stickers to boot! That would go a long way towards making that weekend awesome.
Of course, you know I love all things Nintendo, and I was always fond of Ultra Games selection of titles. I had several of their offerings, but never this one. I don’t even remember this game from back in the day. But I guess stuff like that is to be expected due to there being so many games available, and my locations for purchasing games being so few back then. I really like the Skate or Die game, and this just looks to be another version of that but set in the middle of what they call a “nasty snow sport spectacular” where it’s the survival of the fastest, raddest, and baddest. That’s their spelling, not mine. The graphics shown in the ad actually look pretty good for old 8-bit Nintendo. I’ve gotta find a ROM for this game and fire it up later.
I’ve covered another old Ultra Games ad for one of my favorites for the system, Rollergames! Check it out.
I don’t know about you, but the Game Genie did more to change my video gaming experience than any other device with the exception of the Nintendo itself. Once I got my hands on it, it was in use every single time I played a Nintendo Game. My best friend at the time, Geoffrey, was one of those kids that got whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted it. He saw the commercial for this thing and went nuts. I still remember the conversation we had on the phone that fateful night. He said he had pitched such a huge fit wanting it, that his Dad drove him the half-hour to the nearest department store and bought it for him.
The next day at school, he looked like a hungover zombie, as he had stayed up all night playing Nintendo. I knew that I just had to make the trip to his house that weekend for a sleepover and check it out myself. Sure enough, I had the chance that weekend and was blown away by just how awesome that thing was.
I started saving my allowances immediately and doing chores for folks around the neighborhood to earn extra money. It actually didn’t take too long to get enough scratch together to go get one of my own. Man, that thing revolutionized my gameplay. Games that had previously had parts that I got so frustrated with that I quit playing the game were now easily navigated, and I pulled those old suckers out and gave them new life.
It was some of the best money I’ve ever spent in my life. And yes, I can say that still today. It was revolutionary to be able to have unlimited lives, or unlimited ammo, or be able to make super jumps. Now I know in all reality, it was cheating, but it made crappy games fun and made fun games incredible. Even now when playing ROMs on an emulator, I still google those old Game Genie codes and put them in play.