As the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles really started to hit their stride by the early 1990’s, they achieved one feat that few other toy lines before them have. TMNT got a sugary soaked breakfast cereal, baby! The interesting thing about the Ninja Turtles cereal, beyond the fact that it was made by famed Dog Food maker, Purina, is that it actually stayed on shelves for quite some time. Few franchises ever get cereal, but to actually make an impression on shelves? That’s quite the novelty.

I remember only being able to get the Ninja Turtle cereal two or three times as a kid. It tasted pretty terrible, akin to Splinter droppings with marshmallows, in hindsight, but it was pretty neat to have Leonardo and the gang jumpkick my mouth. They packed the cereal with a TMNT bowl of one of the fearsome foursome. Anyone who claims to be a true TMNT fan probably has one of these bowls. I had mine for years afterwards. Of course, I had Michelangelo’s bowl. It eventually became the home of an SOS pad as my Mom thought it worked well to keep her dishwashing utensils dry.

The fascinating thing about this ad is that it actually features some interesting cross promotion. The Turtles are seen busting through on their Playmates Pizza Thrower. That pizza disc launcher was one of the most popular vehicles from Playmates early lineup, but it wasn’t like, an actual cartoon vehicle. I suppose it’s not entirely implausible that Playmates struck a deal with the cereal people, but I actually think this is just a case of the ad artist knowing nothing about the characters he was drawing and using stuff he saw in the toys.

The fact that it appears in this cereal ad, of all places, is quite peculiar. Someone over at Ralston-Purina must have gotten their TMNT info from Playmates. The detail on the vehicle is impressive, with even the stickers replicated in the food ad. It’s also curious that they chose to have Donatello driving the Pizza Tosser in the comic ad, just as he appeared as the man behind the wheel during Playmates early pictures for the item. No matter what the motivation behind this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cereal ad, one thing is for certain… Breakfast would never be the same.

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