Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
Nintendo’s next hit
came the following year with the Japanese release of The
Legend of Zeldaas one of the launch titles for Famicom’s new Disk System.
Created by the same people who produced Mario,
the game featured a young boy named Link
who sought to protect the kingdom of Hyrule
from the evil Ganon by uniting the
pieces of a powerful artifact known as the Triforce. Who’s Zelda? She’s the princess in distress Link
is often tasked with rescuing. When it was released in America in 1987, it
became the first Nintendo game to sell over a million copies. The sequel was
released in Japan in the following months and in America in late 1988.
Print ad for the cereal.
With two hit games, Ralston saw an
opportunity to give the best of both worlds. Acquiring the license to both
franchises, in 1988 Ralston produced a fruity cereal for Mario and a berry
cereal for Zelda. Mario’s cereal featured shapes representing Mario, Bowser, Super Mushrooms and the two
common enemies Goombas
and Koopa Troopas. Zelda’s
cereal featured Link, health hearts, boomerangs, keys and shields.
But the most unique
aspect of the cereals was that Ralston combined them both in a single box.
Dubbed the Nintendo Cereal System after the NES console, each box contained the
cereals in their own separate bag inside and a perforation along the top flap
allowed you to pour out one at a time. The boxes depicted several scenes from both
the originals and sequels of both franchises, although in drawings meant to
mimic the graphics rather than actual screenshots. During Ralston’s promotional
offer for a hologram t-shirt, the box joined the others in Ralston’s line with
special holograms of Mario and Link in place of the usual box art.
Trading card offer box.
commercials were the first animated effort to feature the new Super Mario design for Mario and the
first for Zelda, a year before they received their animated series as part of The Super Mario Bros. Super
Show!The commercial also made use of Koji Kondo’s score for the
underground levels of the original Super
Mario with lyrics talking about the cereal.
Several of the box designs.
A regular feature of
the box was the offering of tips for both franchises’ games on the side panel.
The cereal also came with a variety of premiums, including 12 different trading
cards to cut off the back of the box, a mail-away poster of either franchise, stickers,
an iron-on transfer for clothing, a miniature pinball game inside, a chance to
win the NES
Power Set, a Game &
Watch game or the Nintendo Power
Glove, and money off of a subscription to Nintendo Power magazine. Unfortunately, the cereal
didn’t prove as popular as the games on which it was based, resulting in its
lasting a little more than a year on shelves.