Thursday, August 7, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal - Reborn

When I first heard that a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie had been green-lit for production, I was just as excited for the new merchandise to come with it.  Whenever big super-hero movies come to life on the big screen, they pretty much come to life everywhere else, too.  Toys, video games, collectibles, clothing - you name it, it's produced.  But unlike when I was a child, the one thing we don't see tied into promotions any longer are cereals.  Growing up, I loved eating cereals associated with my favorite TV show, cartoon or movie.  Remember Slimer and the Real Ghostbusters?  How about The Addams Family?  The Jetsons?  They were all classics released by Ralston, known for their licensed cereals, in the early 90s.  Whether they tasted great or not doesn't matter, it's simply the fact that breakfast became an extension of your favorite characters.  That meant a lot to me as a kid because I couldn't get enough of what I loved.  Slimer for breakfast, an Ecto-Cooler for lunch, Flintstones Mac & Cheese for Dinner and a Turtle Pie for dessert.  To me, that sounds like one hell of a day in the life.  But when I really look back on all the classic cereals of my time, especially the ones produced by Ralston, there will always be one that stands head and shoulders above the rest... Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal!

Now, don't get your hopes up or be fooled by the image above.  No, unfortunately they did not release a new TMNT cereal.  In my opinion, somebody missed the boat and lost out on the perfect opportunity to bring back a legend.  Even if they didn't recreate the original recipe, any TMNT cereal would have sold like hot cakes.  Between the new Nickelodeon TV series and the upcoming film, I'm personally shocked that there wasn't a partnership made with General Mills.  As a fan, It's disappointing that we may never see another TMNT cereal, but who's stopping us from bringing it back ourselves?

If you look at the original ingredients, the recipe isn't all that hard to recreate.  The "Ninja Nets" were essentially Chex cereal and, upon further research, Ralstons is the former name of the original Chex, so the flavor has to be spot on.  In addition, the TMNT Cereal included marshmallows.  Although they were probably filled with a lot more sugar than what I'd find today, there are still plenty of cereals that feature marshmallows and I just so happened to have a few of them in my cabinet.  I guess buying 20 boxes of Monster Cereals last Halloween pays off in more ways than one.  Thankfully, one of those leftover Frankenberry boxes doesn't expire until the end of the month.  Now we have the Chex, we have the marshmallows, and all I needed was the box.  If you're going to bring TMNT cereal back to life, an original box is absolutely necessary and eBay offers a variety of boxes at a low price.  We're on our way.

Buying the box is one thing and it's cool to include in the background of photos, but we have to do this the right way.  So out of the modern box comes a bag of Chex and into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal box it goes.  To truly have the perfect TMNT breakfast on the morning of the new movie's release, there's nothing better than pouring a bowl of reborn cereal from the classic 1990 box.  Covered in TMNT art and images of the original Playmates toys on the back, it's the perfect way to relive the past and celebrate the future by embracing the present.

We'll add the marshmallows later, but this photo is symbolic of what I remember.  For some reason, it always seemed like there were never enough marshmallows in my TMNT cereal.  Granted, I was about 3 or 4-years-old and probably would have preferred an entire bowl of marshmallows rather than Ninja Nets, but I still think the memory is valid.  Regardless, things were going to change this time around.  By adding the marshmallows into the bowl later, we'll be sure to have just as many tiny bites of sugar as we want.  But by this point, since I haven't eaten Chex since the days of TMNT Cereal, the smell alone is already taking me back to the 90s.

I almost purchased an original Turtle Bowl that once came wrapped with the TMNT Cereal, but couldn't bring myself to doing so without it being mint.  I started to feel a bit like Howie Mandel and got germ'd out by the thought of somebody eating from that same bowl for the last 24 years.  I wish I still had my original set, but I don't think there's enough dish detergent in the world to change my mind.  So, we'll have to stick with a generic bowl of TMNT Cereal, but it still looks awesome.  Just pretend that those bats are ninja stars and those Frankeberry heads are Turtle Coms.  We have to use at least a little imagination, here!

Pour in the milk and.. voila! We've now recreated the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal!  This is something I've wanted to do for quite a while, but haven't had a reason to go out and buy everything that was needed.  But with the new movie being released in just a few hours, it was now or never.  There's no better time to embrace Turtle Power than this week and that's why we've been celebrating the franchise all week long.  For those of you who aren't fans, you're probably counting down the days to Halloween or may have already unfollowed me on Twitter, but this is a huge week for Turtle fans and fans of nostalgia alike.  The busy season will soon be upon us, but this week has been a blast and, based on other sites I've read recently, we all seem to have the same theme in mind.  I'm loving it!

When you bite down into the reborn TMNT Cereal, you're instantly brought back in time.  I mean, wow... it's pretty amazing how powerful the senses of taste and smell can be and you'll immediately have a neural reaction to the sensation.  Memories came flooding back and that's exactly why I invested the time and money into this little project.  Does it taste good?  Well, it tastes like the original cereal so... no, it doesn't taste all that great.  It's not bad, but it certainly isn't anything special and that's pretty much the story of Ralston's run with licensed cereals.  But that's not why I did this.  If I wanted a cereal that tastes great, I would have picked one that I eat all year.  No, this was done in tribute to the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and to celebrate the nostalgia that comes with everything associated with the original breakfast cereal.

Now, to throw in even more fun, did you ever wonder if those Ninja Nets really work?  In the cartoon, I've only seen them used a few times and usually, as we've seen in TMNT 2: Secret of the Ooze, they usually work against our fearsome four.  So, as an added experiment, I let my TMNT Cereal sit for a while in an attempt to see what these Ninja Nets are capable of.  Would we catch anything other than bugs?

Yes!  Straight from Dimension-X, Krang thought he'd catch the upper hand while I was sleeping.  Little did he know I was luring him in with a Ninja Trap in order to save New York City and the world.  The Ninja Turtles have taught me well and, for now, the world can rest easy.  But.. where is Shredder?  He wasn't dumb enough to fall for my tricks and is still on the loose.  Until he shows his metal face, Krang will stay locked up in my room next to the other toys.  As a side note, please make sure nobody from work reads this entry ;)

In all seriousness, this was a great time and I'm very happy with how everything turned out.  This was worth every dollar and minute of time.  This site is all about bringing happiness to life, whether it's through the holidays, nostalgia, or current events, it's my goal to bring that inner child out of you and help you remember that it's important to not always take life so seriously.  If you're a Turtle fan, this is a must-make and it really only costs you the price of two cereal boxes.  If you happen to have a retro box of TMNT cereal, then that's even better.  Have fun with it, eat breakfast with somebody, share a few laughs and get creative.  Work and school will still be there when you're done.

Now I just need to figure out how to resurrect Turtle Pies!

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