Donkey Kong Crunch Cereal

Donkey Kong Crunch Cereal

All great trends of the 1980s had a breakfast cereal tie-in and Donkey Kong was no exception. Donkey Kong Crunch was released in 1982 and was available for about a year. I ate it as much as I could during that year and I can say with some certainty that I was a much better Donkey Kong cereal eater than I was a Donkey Kong video game player. This is not something you want to brag about to your friends. They will just punch you in your cereal belly and steal your quarters.

Looking at the great art on the box makes me wonder if kids get the same thrill nowadays when they spot their favorite characters on a cereal box. I would think so, but I have my doubts because almost every “special” cereal in my local supermarket is on clearance ($1.88) every week. Further thought…Maybe its not the kids, but the parent who are savvier about buying the sugary cereal. Maybe if the cereal companies want to entice some of the parents they should appeal to their sense of nostalgia and re-release the Kong:


Now what person over 30 could resist that box? As the Family Circus kids would say, “Not me”. Its a little blurry , but you probably can tell from the box, the barrel shaped cereal sort of have the same texture of Cap’n Crunch. Now its been over 20 years, but if memory serves me right they also tasted a bit like Cap’n Crunch on steroids. I cannot remember if they caused the infamous Cap’n Crunch mouth. I would like to think that is a phenomenon unique to that cereal.

Oh and whats with that Mario? Now I often see time line comparisons of Mario over the years. Not one that I have seen has included the cereal version. That is just something I always wanted to mention. I mean this Mario kind of looks like Popeye. Who approved that? Need a closer look? Check out this classic commercial.

The Retroist

The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I was always seduced by new cereals on the shelves at the grocery store. I remember having Donkey Kong Crunch. Man, they just don’t make good cereals anymore. I find myself sticking to the basics like Honey Nut Cheerios.

  2. Do I really want to eat a cereal made by Ralston Purina? Do they really make people food? I’ve only seen that checkerboard logo (which appear in the last 2 seconds of the commercial) on Fido’s food.


    In the heyday of the cross culture of Saturday Morning Cartoons and Video Games in the mid 80’s, there were many strange and wondrous ways to waste the time, money and brains of the 8-14 demographic. One of them was Video Game based cereals like Pac Man Cereal but the contraband of my confession is the illustrious Donkey Kong Crunch.

    I was in 5th grade when this cereal came out and of course HAD to try it. However there were a few obstacles, namely that my dad was a dentist and sugary cereals advertised on Saturday Morning Cartoons were forbidden. However, I believe he was one of the 4 out 5 dentists surveyed because we always had cases and cases of Trident gum in almost every flavor imaginable at the time. My mom of course wouldn’t buy me a box of Donkey Kong Crunch but The Dude (See first footnote*) who always encouraged my anti-social and illicit activities at that time in my life more than happily bought me a box and kept it hidden in the basement.

    Of course being the generous and sympathetic kid that I was I could not keep this wonderful treasure to myself. So I got together with my two friends in similarly culinarily restricted households in order to share the sucrose infused breakfast booty. Steve’s** parents were from Holland and quite health conscious, the only candy I can remember having at his house was the salty licorice stuff from his ancestral homeland. Zach’s** parents were VERY health conscious from what I remember, whole grain and natural this that and the other. It occurred to me that they too should experience the glory of Donkey Kong Crunch.

    I don’t know why but it seemed necessary to do this in utmost secrecy. We organized a time when one of our parents weren’t going to be home on a weekday afternoon in the summer. I took the box from its hiding place in the basement and filled a Ziploc bag with a healthy amount of the golden crispy gift of the goddess Ceres and marketed the graphics of Shigeru Myamoto. I then put it in a non-descript paper bag. Sneaking out of my house I met with Zack and Steve at the intersection of Alpine and Driftwood lanes. I have the image etched in my mind of the three of us meeting like Woodward and Deep Throat and pulling the contraband out of the paper bag in order to prove I had the goods. We then verified with Zach that the coast was clear at his house and proceeded to the location of our premeditated dietary crime.

    Once we got to Zach’s we pulled out bowls, milk and spoons and finished it off the whole bag in a surprisingly slow fashion, savoring every indecent spoonful. Ya’ll gotta un’erstand, I got like, one box of sugary cereal a YEAR. The only other time I had it was when I slept over friends houses where their parents were divorced and they were bought all sorts of multicolored carbohydrate bombs because they’re folks had guilt issues.

    Mind you, all our parents were very cool as I remember. But it felt like they would have rather had seen us with cigarettes, illegal drugs or fireworks rather than Donkey Kong Crunch, hence the reason for the secrecy. I believe this was an isolated incident and I think I confessed the crime at my first Reconciliation (What our liberal minded Catholic Church called confession).

    So that’s my 1980’s Fairfield County CT version of Stand By Me. Ang Lee, you did such a great job on The Ice Storm, I’ll give you first crack at the option to direct and produce the film thereof. Of course, the question is: Was it worth it? The answer is a victorious barrel smashing with a mallet yes.

    And now for the Pratchettesque foot notes***

    *THE Dude by the way, was my sister’s ultra cool boyfriend at the time Dan. Kind of a nice version Bender in The Breakfast Club. In truth The Dude in The Big Lebowski is an abomination compared to him. The Dude made sure I knew things I needed to know to survive most of adolescence. Thanks to him I discovered vintage and military surplus clothing so I could emulate Adam Clayton circa the Joshua Tree Tour in 8th grade.

    **In order to protect the guilty so they can claim the 5th Amendment privileges if necessary, I’ve only used their first names. Zach and Steve, if you’re reading this you know who you are even though you probably don’t even remember this incident. Understandable as even the gravest of criminals learn to mentally block their most dastardly deeds.

    ***For those unfamiliar with the brilliant works of the inimitable Terry Pratchett, read The Color Of Magic, the first book in the Disc World series or Good Omens which he wrote with my honorary Phi Alpha Tau brethren Neil Gaiman. Small Gods, Equal Rites and The Wee Free Men (which Sam Raimi is producing and directing a movie of) are my favorites of the Disc World series. His footnotes are usually stories in themselves.

    PS-Peter, don’t even THINK of publishing the Halfsies incident!

  4. Peter, what a great story. Great details – would love to hear more stories if you got em.

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