Bring Back Freakies Cereal
Image via Greg Koenig

Bring Back Freakies Cereal

The recent announcement of the General Mills Monster cereals returning for Halloween has more than a few of us tickled with nostalgic glee, but what about Freakies? Resembling Cheerios’ ring-shaped pieces, this was the first sweetened breakfast cereal produced by Ralston (who, back in their early days, also made Purina dog food!). Freakies was promoted via some of the most inventive TV commercials of the time:

The Freakies characters were warty cartoon monsters named Boss Moss, Hamhose, Gargle, Cowmumble, Grumble, Goody-Goody, and Snorkeldorf. The storyline follows these monsters in their quest for the Freakies Tree, which provides them with endless amounts of the cereal. Frequent back-of-the-box activities included cut-out planes for each of the characters, but like any kid, I mostly coveted the prizes inside the box. My friend Scott collected a complete set of Freakies magnets that he proudly displayed on his refrigerator:

Though I lost it long ago, I had a Freakies car with Boss Moss as the driver. It was a molded plastic car with oversized wheels and a vinyl bulb that fit into the back of the car. The bulb, when depressed, had enough air in it to propel the car a foot or two. It worked great on the kitchen floor but not so much on the sidewalk outside. Surprisingly, the bulb never wore out, no matter how firmly I pounded my fist on it!

Image via
Image via collectingobsessions

Ralston discontinued Freakies cereal in 1977 but brought it back a decade later, albeit in a changed form. The new Freakies, described as “crunchy honey-tasting spaceships with marshmallow Freakies” on the box, were round pieces without holes. The monster characters were also updated, now depicted with wider grins, boasting Hawaiian-print swimsuits, and riding cereal-shaped surfboards through space. Needless to say, Ralston cancelled this incarnation in 1988. With the renaissance of other classic cereals, may the powers that be bring back Freakies in its original form!

Image via Greg Koenig

Chris Ayers

Chris is mega-excited to contribute his wacky ideas to Retroist, because he thinks that there wasn't any better era for growing up than the '70s & '80s. He also contributes to Exclaim! Magazine,, and Metal Urges Podcast.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Once again a great article from my longtime bud Chris. FYI, my parents have recently been cleaning out their attic, and I ask my dad if he remembered running across these magnets. He said he seems to remember seeing them along with my Six Million Dollar Man lunchbox. The Freakies may soon be making a comeback in the Smith household!

  2. I too am a Freakies fan and received a full set of the magnets as a gift a few years back. As a kid, I also had the Freakies car, but I don’t recall it ever having the black pump to propel it. We always used a balloon.

  3. The cars used the black bulb but you had to provide your own balloon (if I recall correctly) for the boats. Of course the balloon’s weight pushed the stern of the boat under some. The set of magnets pictured is missing the round Kids & Freakies Go Together magnet. I’ve never seen the square one. I never got a full set of them :(

    But I do have a full set of the character magnets of Grins, Smiles, Giggles & Laughs and Cecil.

  4. Scott, you’re so lucky: my mother couldn’t find my Marvel Superheroes lunchbox anywhere! Vin, thanks so much for your comments, and Lance, my next article is on GSG&L cereal! Are you reading my mind???

  5. I might be! I just recalled having the Cecil walker also. It had a cardboard weight on a thread and you hung that bit over the edge of a table or such and it would make him shuffle along. If memory serves correctly min was a reddish color with blue feet. Kind of sad I can remember such weird things, eh?

  6. Lance, this is unbelievable! I have a Smiles walker! Now if I could only find it…

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