Ralston Purina entered the world of Bill & Ted with
this most excellent part of a complete breakfast! Cinnamon oats with marshmallow notes
were offered in regular retail stores for some time in 1990 / 1991 and could be
found for a time afterwards in warehouse-style discount stores. This is
one of the few products Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves didn't mind touting, and
even Quentin Tarantino at one time said this was a most excellent product.
The boxes featured the cartoon Bill & Ted and several different premiums,
This rare sales sample
of the cereal box was made to showcase the upcoming premiums plans for the Bill
& Ted cereal and the packaging for the product. The advertising and
promotion plan displayed on the back of the box includes all of the actual
premiums which made it to market, just short of the Bill & Ted toys.
Also not included was the college scholarship and pencil toppers premium which
were produced in some quantity but never released to market.
The first cereal premium was a Phone booth shaped tape tote which came shrink wrapped to
the boxes (we sympathize with the store stock people who must have found this
very tricky to put many of these on the shelves). The idea of the box is
to have something to carry cassette tapes around in, although some people
actually mistook it for a mini-cereal bowl (which it could have been used for as
well, come to think of it!).
The second cereal premiums (actually still part of the first one!) were the Hysterical
Postcard set. The boxes which featured the tape totes also included Hysterical Postcards
printed on the back of each box, featuring the cartoon
Bill and Ted with famous historical personages: Christopher Columbus,
Leonardo Da Vinci,
and George Washington.
Next came the Dial-a-Dude premium - enclosed in boxes of the cereal were a
shrink wrapped, phone booth shaped pull-out
phone directory. By detaching the list portion and inserting it in the
Dial-a-Dude you could look up any name and number in the small slot on the
front. This premium was also tied-in to a contest in which the prize was a
full sized phone booth!
HISTORICAL LUGGAGE TAGS
The last premium were the Historical Luggage Tags, three separate styles of
tags were available, one per box and shrink wrapped. This premium was tied-in
to a contest for trip around the world!
PENCIL TOPPERS PREMIUM (Not Released)
The most excellent
Shannon babe alerted us to this interesting Bill & Ted cereal box premium
which never made it to market! The pencil toppers that were to be offered
in this particular box
(along with the chance to win a college scholarship as a grand prize!) actually
did make it to
the collector's market but before now we weren't sure where they came from!
What could be better than buying Bill & Ted's Excellent Cereal?
Saving money on it, too! To help promote the product, coupons were offered
in local newspapers offering $1.00 on a box. Not bad!!
This was by far the most popular and well promoted of all
the Bill & Ted tie-in products and definitely the most "hip" by
far. While Alex and Keanu didn't show much enthusiasm for things like the
action figures they did openly eat this cereal during interviews and talk about
how they liked it. So anything the Two Great Ones endorse themselves we
have to stand behind, and besides, it was a most excellent munch (although if
you still own a box today we wouldn't recommend trying it any more)! The
premiums were pretty cool as well and gave collectors a lot of different boxes
to seek out.
This is the original
piece of mock-up artwork for the front of the cereal box which shows Bill, Ted
full-figured with the entire phone booth:
BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT
This commercial aired during 1991 to promote this most
excellent cereal. Featuring the animated Bill & Ted (but *not* the
voices of either Alex or Keanu), the commercial shows the dudes traveling back
in time to the "land of heavy metal" (Medieval England) to share their
most excellent cereal. They find King Arthur's men having a food fight
using their most heinous gruel, so the dudes quickly pass around their
cereal. The commercial ends when Ted asks "Who gets the last
bowl?" and a fire breathing dragon reaches down to take it and everyone
concedes "He does!"
This commercial was perfect for the cereal and the
animation was done very well. A cute advertisement with
the cereal box cut in cleverly included in many shots, this is one of our favorites.