It Went Kaboom
What would Saturday mornings have been without four hours of cartoons and as many bowls of sugary cereal? I loved Kaboom! It may have turned the milk battleship gray, but that was no deterrent.
Kaboom with its nameless circus clown mascot hit store shelves in 1969, when the oldest Gen Xers were still little kids. It featured colorful clown faces and marshmallows stars. For more than 40 years, it clung to the grocery store shelf in a saturated cereal market that’s seen its fair share of grain-flavored characters. Total bummer it was in 2010, when General Mills discontinued its production.
I recently created an infographic, My Confusing Gen X Life, which depicts an array of similar characters that perplexed me during kid-dome. I should have included Kaboom Clown. He looked a little bit like Ronald McDonald who looked an awful lot like Bozo whose hair looked like Heat Miser of Rankin-and-Bass fame.
To make things even more interesting, General Mills introduced a rival cereal clown who starred on the box of Circus Fun cereal. He, too, remained nameless during his short shelf life. This cereal also had marshmallows, which makes me wonder if the General Mills factory workers ever got confused and filled boxes of Kaboom with Circus Fun.
Today, the cereal market has changed. Kellogg’s, for example, no longer markets sugary cereals to kids. Sales of processed cereals have declined in recent years, and tastes have simply changed. Last year, Cap’n Crunch was rumored to be going down with ship as he lost his long-standing position as “favorite kids’ cereal.”
And, that’s not all. Generation Z does not need to wait until Saturday morning to see cartoons. My kids have access to their favorite shows 24/7 through cable and/or the Internet. I wonder what this steady stream of supply will do to their sense of nostalgia? After all, the past will always be at their fingertips.
Did you eat Kaboom!?