Taste-test: 22-year-old Batman cereal

FoodJunk, whose blog details the flavors and sensations to be had from junk food, bought a 22-year-old unopened package of Batman cereal on eBay and tried it. The results weren't good. Bad news for anyone with a superhero-themed apocalypse stockpile, and something to remember for the next time you're telling a story about someone poking through the rubble of a fallen civilization for scraps and happening upon a mint-in-package box of sugary cereal.

I was hoping for some kind of honey nut aroma remnants upon opening the bag. Sadly, the villain in this issue is The Plastic. He has taken over virtually all of Gotham. The thick plastic inner bag held up perfectly (take that Earth!) and did a great job of keeping the cereal dry and crisp, but the air inside was thick with chemicals. And not the kind that would put a cool maniacal smile on your face.

The Plastic co-opted the cereal’s taste as well. It laid waste to all of the little yellow multigrain bat symbols.

You can taste the sweetness, but the original honey nut flavor is barely recognizable. It’s there, but it’s not worth diving into this vat of toxins to get to. The plastic tang is quite powerful and lingered in my mouth for quite a while until I was able to defeat it with a little help from the always helpful sidekick, A Spoonful of Peanut Butter (Jif Wonder?).

I added a little milk and things only got worse. Giving The Plastic a liquid assault vehicle with which to wreak havoc was a bad idea. It sort of felt like suckling on the end of a caulking gun. I stopped after a few bites, as I was convinced I could feel the bat days being torn from the end of my bat life.

22-Year-Old Batman Cereal: A Review



  1. Wonder if eating that cereal for 22 years = same dose of plastic chemicals, just not high enough to taste it.

  2. I remember that stuff.  It tasted like that 22 years ago. Not even kidding.  Like an airy plastic version of capn crunch.  Dissolved in minutes too.  Sounds like it held up perfectly. 
    Wow. I bet after remembering that, I will soon likely have a pile of topics to bring up with my therapist.  Oh nostalgia!

    1.  Apparently they make store brands, so if it tastes like a cost-cut version of captain crunch, that’s probably accurate. They make stop-n-shops store brands, which aren’t very good. I wonder who makes Wegmans’ store brands? Those are pretty good. It’d be funny it is the same company and my brain is just faulty.

  3. It might move you over to the Marvel side of things, because you might get superpowers from eating the stuff.

  4. Ugh. Same for “cereal” in general, actually. 

    It sucks, for people’s health in general, that nutrition-free, processed grains and syrup poured into plastic and cardboard is so damn popular. And then people put another animal’s baby food on top of it. Straaaaaange cultural practices going on there.

    1.  Well, it is convenient. And by now, generations of people have grown up eating it, so it is what breakfast is. We never had hot breakfasts going up, except oatmeal occasionally. We certainly didn’t have danishes or bagels, which is what hotels seem to call ‘breakfast’. It was cereal from a box, with milk, every day. Though, it wasn’t the sweet stuff; my mother wouldn’t let us have that. And the milk was non-fat.

      I still do eat a lot of breakfast cereal, two or three bowls every morning, and sometimes if I’m lazy I’ll eat it for one of the other meals too. It’s a great “don’t feel like cooking” meal. But I’m talking about chex, grapenuts, and shreaded wheat, not lucky charms and captain crunch. :)

      1. I had milk and cereal every day for about 18 years.  Not the child-only ones though, but things like corn flakes, shredded wheat, etc.  That lasted until I left home for university.

        There, I realised it was expensive, processed crap.  I bought muesli instead.

        Then, about a year ago, I got bored of muesli and started eating buttered toast instead.  But that got boring, so I put cheese on top.  My current concern is that four slices of bread contains two grams of salt, and another four slices (for lunch) takes me up to four grams.  That’s possibly too much.

        My flatmate eats porridge.  I’m going to try that, once I’ve used up what’s left of the cheese.

    2.  Honestly, I think all cultures are strange. It’s just that you notice some more than others, depending upon your personal biases.

  5. heh heh the box illustration is too funny;  it looks like batguy’s food junk is in the cap’n crunch rip offs – and ”
    “suckling on the end of a caulking gun”

    O  O

    1. I still chuckle when I think of the Crank Yankers episode where Niles Standish calls the hardware store for bathroom caulk.


      How big is your caulk?
      What does your caulk taste like?
      How long does it take for your caulk to get hard?
      What if your caulk squirts in my eye? 

      But what makes it great is that the hardware store guys takes it all in stride.  The man definitely knew a lot about caulk.

  6. So much for eating my 200-year old boxes of Sugar Bombs. But that’s ok. I know a guy that will give me 15 caps for each box. Don’t know what he does with them and don’t care.

      1. Apparently not the same people, or at least not since 1994, when Ralcorp split from Ralson-Purina (wikipedia). According to the Ralcorp website, they’re the leading manufacturer of store-brand breakfast cereal. cereals.  http://www.ralstonfoods.com/

        1. Kitty litter too.

          “The Darwinian Concept of biological survival applied to business is not new.”

          Source: http://www.nestlepurina.com/History.aspx

        2. never mind the cereal – that ralstonfoods website is a time capsule I tells ya – cunningly transporting the user to a web of the early 90’s with vomit worthy buttons and table based layouts…mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

          1. Well someone recently praised my extremely primitive web design as being good for mobile devices, and my bounce rate for smart phones is quite low, so what’s old is new. 

      2. this surprises you?  Perhaps you should look into more “mainstream” brands, like Kraft and Procter & Gamble.  We all need more information on what we put in our bodies

  7. Why is he standing in a pool of milk and cereal? And where are his legs? Not too keen on his bat junk in my bat cereal, honestly.

  8. I have a box of “Milleniumos,” or Millenium Cheerios or whatever they were called, way in the back of my pantry. Like frosted Cheerios, but with pieces shaped like the “2” digit.

    I have no plans for it, other than to keep it a really long time.

  9. Any sane human being, after detecting nothing but the taste of plastic and chemicals, would not then go on and add milk to it and eat more of it.
    There is only one logical explanation:
    The cereal is in fact AWESOME, an elixir of the gods with magical properties, perhaps restoring youth or granting super-powers, and the blog author is doing everything in their power to discourage others from discovering the secret (and drive down the auction price) before he can buy up every last box still in existence.

  10. Remind us what is bad about tropical oils that they had to warn us?  The bag is more edible than the contents.

    1. i noticed that label too and had forgotten about it.  so i googlededed it.
      turns out it was a PR campaign for the American Soybean growers, trying to convince consumers that palm and coconut oil is bad for you (they are not, in general, unlike partially hydrogenated soybean oil)


  11. Maybe I never noticed before (I’m not much of a breakfast eater), but isn’t it even a little bit odd to anyone else that this cereal was made by Ralston, as in Ralston Purina, the people who make Dog Food?  eek!

      1.  This Unilever deodorant stick is made from ice cream. 
        For that extra cool and fresh feeling on a hot day. 

        Admittedly, it does cause sticky armpits. 

  12. if I could only get my hands on a box of C-3PO’s. I bet they would taste as good as I remember. Maybe even better.

  13. On radio Superman was sponsored by PEP which was something like all-bran. Without too much trouble I think we could come up with a list of vanished cereals. 

  14. How does the reviewer know the cereal didn’t always taste like plastic..?  I wouldn’t necessarily assume a cheap, novelty cereal didn’t taste all chemical-y if eaten ‘fresh’ 22yrs ago..?

  15. I’m beginning to think that keeping an archive of some foods might be a wise investment, for example, how much would a 40-year old bottle of Dr. Pepper be worth now?
    I know the taste of it has changed too.

    1. Budweiser cryogenically freezes a couple cans from each batch to make sure that the flavor doesn’t drift to far in either direction, which are periodically thawed out.

      Insert joke here about budweiser not having any flavor. 

  16. I have a 17 year old box of “Richard Simmons Slimmons” that I’ve been saving for a special occasion.

  17. Well he is assumably pants-less and the flavor is Natural honey-nut, yet they managed to keep it Tropical Oil Free…YUMM. Eat up kids.

  18. Dear God. I read the title and thought it would be Adam West era batman. But its not 1984 any more, is it. Damn you endless march of time, damn you to hell!

  19. I couldn’t be more psyched that my silly blog made Boing Boing!  Thanks for all the comments everyone.

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