Crispy Critters Cereal was originally released by Post in 1963. It was a memorable release for kids at the time. Not just because of the fun animal shapes, but because of its wonderful television commercials that featured cartoon lion, Linus the Lionhearted.
Linus was a recycled spokes-animal. He got his start in 1959 for a failed Cheerios-like cereal, Heart of Oats. While that cereal might not have succeeded, Post has put effort behind old Linus and smartly gave him another shot with Crispy Critters.
Post upped their push in 1964 when Linus was given his very own Saturday-morning cartoon. This cartoon ran for two years on CBS and then would move to ABC, where it ran in reruns until 1969.
During this time, they would also create a Linus the Lion Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Balloon. That balloon would run in the parade from 1964-1983 and again in 1991 to celebrate the 65th Anniversary of the Parade.
The cereal would remain largely unchanged during this original run with only one variation. The addition of an orange-flavored moose shape in 1962. It didn’t last but was notable for Orange Moose, who looked a lot Bullwinkle.
Despite the popularity of Linus, Crispy Critters just couldn’t hold on in the competitive breakfast cereal world.
Yet for some wonderful reason, over two decades later they decided to re-release Crispy Critters into the world, giving it a new mascot and a new lower sugar formulation.
Sadly even with a great mascot and a decent marketing campaign, this delicious tasting cereal was discontinued a second time. If only I had known, I would have made that last box count, but I ate it without knowing.
Crispy Critters were a sweetened oat cereal that had an animal crackers shape, which is where the name comes from, you are eating, “Crispy Critters”.
The more recent commercials for it starred an adorable puppet named “Crispy” with pom-pom antennae. Crispy was a throwback even back then, speaking and singing while doing an impression of the famous actor, Jimmy Durante.
He would interact with some lucky kid before finishing with the amazing tagline “it’s indubitably delicious”, a phrase I still try to use to this day.
It has been over two decades since the last Crispy Critters re-release, don’t you think it is time for a third?