…Not the Captain, too!

As a follow-up to my rant about Crack Jack , I’ve realized they’ve stopped giving toy prizes with cereal too.  (When was the last time you remember burrowing inside a cardboard box with one hand, trying to fish out that elusive cellophane-wrapped sharp-edged plastic toy?)

One of my favorite sugar cereals was (and still is) Cap’n Crunch.  Even though it cut my mouth, it did stay crispy in milk and I loved the stuff.  Plus, the Cap’n always had the coolest prizes.   We’re talking way back in the 1970’s here, but I remember plastic cars with doors and hoods that opened, small plastic cannons and other pirate-related toys.  You could even mail-order special coloring books, etc. 

But now…look at what the Cap’n is up to:

No prize….just a STUPID MAZE on the outside of the box.   (A bilingual maze, at that.)   Merci, Capitaine Crounche!

BFD.  You do the maze once..and then what?

Oh, wait.  If you purchase this box, you earn 25 Aeroplan Miles

…freaking AIR MILES…! 

Oh joy.  Every little boy and girls dream.   The marketing people really got this one right, didn’t they?

“Mommy, Mommy, buy me the cereal…I want the air miles!  I want the air miles! “  

…(sigh).   Et tu, Cap’n?   

Et tu?



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34 Comments on “…Not the Captain, too!”

  1. Allison Says:

    Fruit Loops. A light up Indiana Jones spoon… last week. All hope is not lost!

  2. Friar Says:


    That brightens up my day!

    The Cap’n may have sold out but at least Toucan Sam is still with us: 🙂

  3. Matt Tuley Says:

    Two Cap’n Crunch toys I still remember playing with: A car that you got going by pulling on of those long plastic strips with the gear teeth on them, and the classic baking soda submarine. My kids are screwed. On the other hand, knowing a lot more about what goes into those cereals, they won’t be eating as much of that stuff as I did.

    But, mmmmmm, Cap’n Crunch!

  4. Friar Says:

    Mom was into nutrition, so we hardly got to eat stuff like this. We would get it only on camping trips. Or under the Christmas Tree (we’d each get a gift-wrapped box of “Junk Cereal”).

    I think it’s better to let the kids eat that crap once in a while, then it dosen’t seem like a “forbidden fruit” and you won’t feel complelled to buy it in your adult life (like I do!)

    I remember those baking soda submarines. I also remember those balloons with a basket that you blew up and they floated around the house. COOL,.

    At least Capn’ Crunch isn’t 50% marshmallows like other cereals! (But it probably has the same nutritional value)

  5. Matt Tuley Says:

    Oh, yeah, I agree. They’ll get it sometimes–I think there’s a box of (gack) Barbie Island Princess cereal in our cabinet even now. (Barbie Island Princess cereal? WTF? Seriously.)

    We’ll just try to do like the commercials say and “make it (the unhealthy) part of a nutritious breakfast.”

  6. Friar Says:

    Yeah, those TV ads show a 6 course-breakfast….along with the cereal. As “Part of a good breakfast”.

    Well, I guess if you eat enough nutritious food, anything can be part of a good breakfast. Even a chocolate bar.

    …Barbie Island Princess cereal….??? My god..isnt’ that one of the signs of the pending Apocalypse?

  7. wendikelly Says:

    I’m a boring mom. I don’t even think I can remember the last box of cereal that entered our house. In general, If it comes in a box, we try not to eat it. That’s not a hard and fast rule, but a pretty strong- in general-. We just like to eat things fresh.
    I may be in marketing a lot of my life, but I think that just makes me not want to give in to them more than I have to. It just makes me not believe them.

  8. Friar Says:

    Awww….c’mon Wendi.

    Let your kids have some junk cereal….just ONCE in a while!

    Can we have this mom? Can we? Please? Huh? Can we?


  9. Ellen Wilson Says:

    Friar, I bet you had one of those granola moms. Are you sure you didn’t grow up on a magic bus?

    I liked reading the back of the cereal box in the morning. I think that is a good marketing ploy, actually. You could do a lot of serious education that way. Maybe then we wouldn’t have so much crime.

    I think it’s time for a beer, eh?

  10. Ellen Wilson Says:

    I eat whole wheat toast in the morning. And some days, when I need more protein due to lack of commas, I eat sausage. I don’t do sugary stuff because it does weird things to my blood sugar. Like makes me want to throw up on an empty stomach. Sorry, more than you probably want to know.

    And did I get anything done today? NO! Having a blog post disappear is like having no cereal toy. Or worse. Then you get to rewrite the thing from scratch. I learned my lesson. Copy everything to Wordpad.

  11. Friar Says:

    Sugar cereal is useless if I’m going to be doing something physical (i.e. carrying a canoe for a mile). Then I need at least some eggs and meat. A good cardiac breakfast will keep me filled till 1-2 PM. But if I have a cardiac breakfast and sit and do nothing, I’m loagy and over filled.

    I like the taste of Junk Cereal. Sometimes I have it like a snack at any time of day. It’s not so much as a meal, as mabye treating myself to a bit of candy.

    Bummer about your blog posting. I haven’t lost anything on WordPress yet (knock wood)

  12. Friar Says:


    Hahah! No..my Mom was not granola…definitely NOT a magic bus hippie. Just a non-nonsense Mom who made sure we didnt’ watch too much TV and that we ate right.

    But now as an adult, I love to watch too TV and I eat foods I shouldn’t. (I’m my own worst enemy).

    Anyway, at least Mom tried.

  13. Ellen Wilson Says:

    Ah, that’s right. I forgot you were an altar boy. Ha!

    Yeah, it all depends on the energy you’re going to expend during the day. That’s what I don’t understand about sugary cereals. The energy quantum wears off in a few hours. That’s why they invented crackers I guess. From the same company.

    Buy and buy and eat and eat.

    The trick is to eat a FEW sausages. Not twelve. Then you won’t feel like a lump.

  14. Friar Says:


    I went to a breakfast buffet once near the Smoky Moutains in Tennessee. Holy crap….they’ve invented a whole new level of cardiac breakfast. Things deep fried that shouldn’t be. And everything smothered in “country gravy”. Multiple levels of meat.

    Man, it was GOOD..but I could probably only stomach something like that once a month.

    We don’t quite have that level of grease up here in Canada. Grits either.

  15. Ellen Wilson Says:

    @Friar – Whatever! You guys put GRAVY on french fries! What’s up with that!

    Yeah, when we go down South Mike is all about his “biscuits and gravy.” It just makes you fat. The South is the only place you will find grits in this country. I like grits, with butter, salt and pepper.

    Just don’t eat too much bread. You can eat meat and fat, but not too much bread. That way you stay nice and trim. Well, it works for me anyway. Veggies, fruit, fat, and meat. And a little pasta, rice or bread. I don’t believe in diets. Just balance. I listen to what my body wants. If I need chocolate mousse I eat it.

  16. wow, yeah, a far cry from the glory days of cereal prizes for sure.
    I’m thinking that so many adults (probably) eat this cereal now that they are targeting them too. I know people that eat cereal as a snack all the time, it’s easy to prepare!

  17. Friar Says:


    Bet you more adults eat Cap’n Crunch than are willing to admit it! 🙂

  18. Friar Says:

    I read an article in National Geographic…they had a color-coded map showing the incidents of heart disease in the States. Wow..you could really see the worst areas were in the Deep South. They said it was a combination of poverty plus the deep-fried foods that are so prevalent there.

    Yeah…poutine is pretty bad. Blame Quebec for THAT one!

    (There is Italian Poutine too…you can shred pieces of smoked meat or ground beef on top of the cheese and gravy, if you dont’ mind scheduling an angioplasty the next week).

  19. Kelly Says:


    All I could think was, I forgot how hard graphic designers have it in Canada. Look how much crap they had to fit on that box! Unbelievable. The offer is terrible, yet funny. Don’t people run their ideas past anyone sane?

    Ooh, I loved the baking-soda submarines. My mother was always either ON a diet or NOT, so we feasted on junk food in the a.m.s for a year, then ate cardboard for three or four months. Now I’m pretty much like Wendi at home. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a junk cereal in my house in my adult life.

    However, my daughter feasts when she’s at Grandma and Grandpa’s, because they’ve always got junk around “for the kids” now.

    Just plain gravy on fries is good. Poutine’s cheese too, which sounds horrid to me, yet people rave. If I ever cross the border at QC, I guess I’ll have to see for myself. Ooh, I want to try the Italian variety, I’ve never heard of that. All things in moderation…

    Philadelphia was crowned “The Fattest City in America” a few years back, and last year lost the crown (thank goodness). Apparently, it’s not that people eat too badly here, but that people eat too well. Lots and lots of good food everywhere at any price point.

    Unfortunately, the new crown I heard recently is “The Sweatsuit Capital of America,” which revolts me but doesn’t surprise me at all. People wear them from hole-y to blinged-out, to any and all occasions. Blech.

    Merci, Friar.



  20. Friar Says:

    Heh heh. Yeah, I thought you’d like the “clever” marketing on the cereal box. Pretty LAME…if you ask me. (Especially when you have to fit everything in the two languages).

    Never mind that the cereal box may be sold in Vancouver, where half the population speaks Mandarin. Or that hardly anybody West of Ottawa speaks French. It’s Canada, so it has to be in both official languages.

    The U.S. is way ahead on junk food, compared to Canada. When I visit, I like to get those Hostess cupcakes and Necco wafers and strange cereals that we dont’ get in Canada (Don’t worry, I look for good food too!) It’s just that it’s a novelty to eat that stuff. Like Philly Cheesesteaks sandwhiches. (We don’t get those here)

    Quebec really love their fries (frites) and their hog dogs and poutine. More so than any other province, I reckon. Quebec is a bit strange.

    Never been to Phillie…drove around it, though. The traffic (close to rush hour) was so bad, I avoided it like the plague.

  21. Kelly Says:


    The traffic: You get used to it. That’s when you crank Van Halen up really loud and annoy the guy next to you (and surprise them, since I’m in a minivan). You put on a fresh coat of lipstick for your next appointment, and sing for a while.

    I love Philadelphia, it’s about the only decent thing I get from living in Delaware (it’s 20 minutes from here… well, 40 if it’s a bad time of day). Rich history, a good walking city, friendly people, and good food.

    Shh, I did NOT say that about Delaware. Got to love it for the local clients’ sake. Many people like it, but for me it’s Too. Blasted. Hot. And that’s just for starters.



  22. Friar Says:


    I experienced enough traffic, I lived in Hamilton Ontario and had to often cross Toronto in peak rush hour. I can normally take stop-and-go traffic for a while (even up to 2 hours). But after that, I’m ready to blow my gasket. Three hours of bumper-to-bumper is torture!

    Toronto’s traffic, actually, is supposed to rival that of LA’s.

    If you think Delaware is too hot, hey , move up to Splat Creek. It was 40F this morning….I still turn on the furnace overnight.

    When are we gonna start to get summer?

  23. Ellen Wilson Says:

    @Friar – I’ve seen Toronto’s traffic. It’s not pretty. Nasty long rush hours. Yeah, I don’t envy the Splat Creek crowd with the weather recently. I had to turn on the furnace today, and I’m 10 hours south of you. What’s up with that, eh?

    @Kelly – Delaware is hot? I would have never figured that.

  24. Friar Says:

    When you’re on your way to the Jazz Festival, if you have to go through Toronto…avoid it at all costs between 7:00 AM and 9:30 AM…and between 2:45 PM till 7:00 PM.

    As for the weather…it ‘s GLOBAL WARMING, you know! (Right, Al Gore and David Suzuki?) 🙂

    When I drove through Delaware in early May..it was already stinkin’ hot .

  25. Kelly Says:

    Ellen, DE is subtropical. For a northerner like me it’s darn near illegal torture to have to stay here, and I do have to.

    Friar, you are totally right. Stinkin’ hot is usually too kind a term. Although we’re having a bizarre cold snap right now. Fierce winds and cold that rivals our usual January temps for the last several days.

    If you had Philly traffic like Toronto’s it had to have been an accident. It is never that bad, even at rush hour. I remember getting stuck in monster traffic in Toronto on more than one occasion. Forget putting your lipstick on. Bring your plastic surgeon, he could give you a facelift while you sit in that traffic.



  26. Friar Says:


    Toronto is hundreds of miles away…but sometimes I can get it on the AM radio up here. Occasionally, I’ll listen to the traffic reports…about how jammed up everything is….just so I can gloat to myself about those poor bastards stuck there, while I’m up here in God’s country.

    Though we do have to watch out for the occasional moose or deer on the highway.

  27. Kelly Says:


    We have deer down here in southern Pennsylvania and Delaware, we’re not that urban… Or maybe we are. When I see them down here, they’re all, um, expired. Sad, really.

    Mom and Dad in up up up state NY, they have deer that haven’t run into urban sprawl. It’s a rare night when the hill behind their Motel doesn’t have a few grazing on it. It’s very cute. There’s a lovely meadow further up, where if you hike quietly, you can often see them during the day. Peaceful, peaceful. After a short while I have to get back to civilization or all that tranquility starts to drive me mad. I like it in short doses.

    They also get zillions of wild turkeys, which I had never seen until M & D moved from Massachusetts to the little place in the Big Woods.

    Down here in DE, we get your geese. Come here, make babies, and escape. Smart birds.



  28. Friar Says:


    Never saw wild turkeys until a couple of years ago. We had transplanted some from Michigan and they’re apparently doing real well here in Ontario.

    Those deer piss me off..!! Because in some areas they’re overpopulated…farmers arent’ thrilled, they eat their crops. Plus it isn’t fun when you smack them with your car. In the past 15 years, I’ve had countless close calls (and three collisions…two when I was the driver).

    Nothing like having a deer hit your windshield at 60 mph when you’re driving a Honda Civic (dont’ worry, I was okay, but “Bambi” did $3000 damage to my car..that was back in the early 90’s).

    Arghh. God-eamned HERBIVORES. So jumpy and skittish and stupid. You never see carnivores panic and jump in front of movhing vehicles at the last minute.

    We need more wolves around here.

  29. Captain Crunch rules! So do Lucky Charms! Yummy! Remember in the Breakfast Club when Allison makes a sandwich out of Captain Crunch and Pixie Stix? I tried the once and it wasn’t half bad.

  30. Friar Says:


    Hm…Pixie Stix and Capn Crunch? I might have to try that….at least once.

    I still buy Lucky Charms. They rank up there as my favorite Junk Cereal.

    When I was a kid, you only had a few marshmallows which you’d quickly pick out and eat, leaving behind the crummy cereal (which wasn’t that great).

    Now, it seems every year the marshmallow-cereal ratio in increasing. It seems it’s about fifty-fifty now.

  31. wendikelly Says:

    It’s weird how on the wordpress comments section of MY blog, I can follow Friar and Melissa’s comments here but Not Ellen’s.
    Then I come here and see hers ( your’s)
    Ellen, I can’t eat that stuff either, and not because I am Uber healthy but because I would go into sugar shock and start drooling and wimpering like a baby and having my tongue loll about and then I would puke right along with you. I have to keep an even amount of protein in my system at all times or my IQ takes a nose dive and I can’t afford the IQ points.
    My husband knows when to throw peanuts at me cause my eyes start to get glassy….
    Lucky charms would be very UNlucky for me.

  32. Friar Says:


    Maybe you need to build up your immunity.

    Start with corn flakes, sprinkle a bit of sugar on them. The slowly make your way to Frosted Flakes…build up a resistance. The Apple Jacks…Fruit Loops…Eventually you might be able to handle a bowl of Capn’ Crunch.

    But stay away from chocolate Lucky Charms. That’s too sugary, even for the Friar.

  33. […] Sigh.  So now Popeye has also gone soft and P.C. on us, joining the ranks of Cracker Jack and Cap’n Crunch. […]

  34. […] In case anyone chokes on a small toy, remove any fun prizes from CrackerJack or cereal boxes.  Replace them with cheapo-stickers and lame-ass games. […]

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