Last Call: The best cereal box prizes

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It’s been a while since I’ve been in a grocery store cereal aisle, not only because of the ongoing pandemic (my husband’s been handling the shopping), but because cereal is something I keep at arm’s length as much as possible. I love it so unendingly, and sensibly portioning out of a box of cereal across several days is an exercise in futility. My grocery budget balloons wildly whenever it accommodates both cereal and the extra milk involved, so I scrap the whole thing and sidestep the breakfast aisle.

This is all to say that I don’t know whether prizes are still included in cereal boxes. Are they? And if so, are they any good? I sure hope so, but Allison Robicelli informs me that most boxes have switched to QR codes and other online reward systems, perhaps to eliminate choking hazards, but probably because the internet is simply where we do most of our living now. These cereal box trinkets were never as exciting as McDonald’s toys, but always superior to Cracker Jack prizes. (Kinder Surprise eggs, in my opinion, sit somewhere in between.) I was always partial to those little parachute army men, an interactive toy that could not only fit inside a Post box, but could be themed to whatever movie release or TV show was happening that season. What are some of the best cereal box prizes you can remember from your own childhood?