Syd Lexia vs. Slimer And The Real Ghostbusters

      Over the years, there have been many licensed cereals of dubious nature. For instance, Bill & Ted's Excellent Cereal. Bill & Ted was a great movie, but did its short-lived spin-off cartoon really deserve its own cereal? No, probably not. The existence of today's cereal, however, is completely justifiable. Few properties were as hot in the 80s as Ghostbusters was. Between 1984 and 1991, the franchise gave us two movies, a long-running cartoon, a popular toyline, and numerous other merchandise including trading cards, coloring books, Halloween costumes, and stickers. And obviously, of course, cereal. Multiple cereals. You know what that means? Minimum, two cereals. But there were more than two. In fact, there were four:



      Yes, starting in 1985, Ralston, under license from Columbia Pictures, gave the world four different Ghostbusters-related cereals: Ghostbusters, The Real Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters 2, and Slimer And The Real Ghostbusters. Actually, that's not quite accurate. What really happened is that Ralston-Purina released the SAME DAMN LIMITED EDITION CEREAL four different times under slightly different names. This is great news for me for two reasons. First off, it means that there aren't four different Ghostbusters cereals out there for me to attempt to procure and review. Secondly, it means that I can obtain the least stale version of the cereal and provide virtually the same review as if I had obtained the original version of the cereal. So that's what I did. Prepare to join me then, as I record my experiences in eating a bowl of Slimer And The Real Ghostbusters cereal. For the sake of simplicity, the product will primarily be referred to as Ghostbusters cereal from here on out.


      This is my box of Ghostbusters cereal as it arrived to me. The box is a little worn, but it is largely in good condition, and that's exactly how it was advertised. This little experiment in expired cereal consumption fucking cost me fifty American dollars. This is the most I have ever paid for a box of expired cereal, and it's roughly twice what I'd ever reasonably want to pay. However, it's also exactly half of what it would have cost me to buy a sealed box of the original 1985 version of the cereal. So I guess fifty isn't that bad. Plus, I could instantly win some Real Ghostbusters toys!


      The Slimer And The Real Ghostbusters cartoon that this cereal license was predicated upon was nothing more than a slightly repackaged version of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon, the cereal sponsored a contest where fifty lucky winners would win a cache of fifteen Real Ghostbusters toys that included an Ecto-Blaster, an Ecto-Charger, all three of the not-at-all-poorly-named Gobblin' Goblins (Nasty Neck, Terrible Teeth, and Terror Tongue), two canisters of Ecto-Plazm, the Ecto-1A, the Ecto-Bomber, all five Slimed Heroes Ghostbusters (Honorary Ghostbuster Louis Tully being the fifth), and best of all, the Firehouse Headquarters playset. Most of these toys were newest editions to the line, and they ended up becoming collector's items. See, by 1990, Ghostbusters had been eclipsed by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. By the end of 1991, both the cartoon and toyline had ended. If you had this prize package today, still mint in box, it would be worth somewhere around $1,000. This total does not include the Ecto-Plazm, which has probably long since dried out and become useless.

PROTIP: Click on the image above for a larger version.


      As I've said before, any cereal premium that you need to cut out of the cereal box automatically fails. As a kid, I never looked at a cereal box to see what boring fucking cardboard piece of shit I could cut off the box; I looked to see what kind of cool albeit cheap toy might be inside the box. Look at this bullshit. I see three major problems with it. First off, well, IT'S A FUCKING LIGHT SWITCH COVER! Secondly, whoever designed this cover is an asshole. Couldn't they have made it a slightly more regular shape? You need a freaking X-ACTO knife to cut this out. The fine print on the box suggests you get a grown-up to help you cut the light switch cover out. Yeah, great idea. Speaking as a certified grown-up, I am quite dubious of my abilities to accurately cut along the dotted line. And if I had asked my parents to help me cut this out back in the day, they would promptly have told me to go fuck myself. To be fair though, the other possible scenario, in which my mom tries to do it, would have ended almost exactly the same way. Here's a walkthrough of the other way things could have gone down:

 1. I ask my parents to cut out the light switch cover for me.
 2. My mom agrees to cut it out and does an admirable job.
 3. She doesn't do it 100% perfectly, though. I throw a tantrum because I'm a fucking brat.
 4. My parents tell me to go fuck myself and send me to bed without dinner.

      So really, telling me to go fuck myself right off the bat would have actually been a pretty good decision. But I digress. The third and final reason this light switch cover is terrible is longevity, or rather, lack thereof. This thing would last about a month in a normal kid's bedroom. I mean, have you seen children? They're all greasy little balls of snot and dirt. Especially boys, and they were the cereal's primary demographic. So, to summarize: stupid fucking concept + difficult to cut out + flimsy = terrible fucking cereal premium. Oh yeah, and it doesn't even glow in the dark! Fuck you, slimy light switch cover.


      Using the amazing power of basic motor skills, I open the Ghostbusters cereal box. Then I try and remove the bag from the cereal box; I am unable to do so. As it turns out, the cereal bag is stuck to the inside of the box. I'm pretty sure that's not supposed to happen. It's been at least two decades since I've had Ghostbusters cereal, so I can't say for sure. But in all my years of eating cereal, including my other encounters with expired Ralston cereals, I cannot once recall a time when a manufacturer intended for the cereal bag to stick to the box. So this is probably a very bad sign.


      And here's the cereal. It is supposed to be fruit-flavored cereal grains mixed with ghost-shaped marshmallows. The flavors are never specifically defined, but ostensibly they are the same as the original three Froot Loops flavors: lemon, orange, and cherry. Just as with the last two Ralston cereals, the cereal bits have retained their shape and color. And just as with Bill & Ted's Excellent Cereal, the marshmallows have shrunken and turned brown. Unlike the Bill & Ted cereal, which was odorless, this cereal smells terrible. I don't think I can properly describe the smell, but if I had to try, I'd say it smells like cheap paint with a hint of rotten fruit. Awesome. This is definitely something that I should be eating.


      At the top of the opened cereal bag, I notice a prize piece for the toy contest. Aren't these things normally supposed to be at the bottom of the bag? No complaints here though, as I probably wouldn't have remembered to go digging for it. Hey, let's see if I won!


      Well, I didn't win. That's definitely a good thing. Seriously, how completely awful would that have been if I had found a winning game piece 19 years after the deadline to claim had passed? Kenner was bought by Hasbro, Columbia Pictures was bought by Sony Pictures, and the Ralcorp of today, which currently owns and produces Post brand cereals, was not directly responsible for the Ghostbusters cereal. The company that *was* directly responsible for this product is now known as Nestlé Purina PetCare, and they haven't sold cereal since 1994. So there is literally no one left who I could have guilted into giving me free Ghostbusters toys if I had won. But I didn't win. Three cheers for losing! The last time I was this happy to lose something, there was a lot of awkward pillow talk afterward.


      Welcome to the kitchen, home to the worst fucking lighting in the entire world! Pac-Man heard that I was going to be consuming ghosts, and he recommended that I chase them with a healthy dose of fruit. So he brought me some peaches, cherries, and blueberries that he had collected. Where did Pac-Man get blueberries, you ask? FUCK YOU, THAT'S WHERE! The milk that I've poured on the cereal seems to have neutralized the smell, and with it, some of my more macabre apprehensions about eating this stuff. But not all of them. And now, the moment of truth. It's time to find out whether Ghostbusters cereal will merely be a spooky part of my complete breakfast or if it will be a spooky part of the most embarrassing obituary ever written...


      Surprise! I'm not dead. The cereal wasn't great, but it was surprisingly crunchy. The original flavor of the cereal has since eroded, leaving nothing but a generic sweet taste. I would rank this expired cereal as better than Batman's cereal but worse than the Bill & Ted one. In fact, I'm starting to form a theory: the better the license is, the worst the cereal tastes. If that's the case, then my next cereal should be the most delicious one yet. And to those of you hoping for serious medical consequences, I apologize. Thus far all I have experienced is mild nausea, mild hypochondria, and mild regret. I promise I will try harder. In fact, I offer this guarantee: if I'm not dead by the end of this month, you'll get double your nothing back.


Posted by: Syd Lexia