Do you have any Gremlins in your kitchen cupboard?
From the shoebox to the cereal box, this sweetened breakfast offering was one of the products inspired by the 1984 Warner Brothers box office hit “Gremlins.”
From the screenplay penned by Chris Colombus, a creature called a Mogwai is purchased as a Christmas gift. Despite their cute appearance, Mogwai can be difficult to care for; they can’t be exposed to direct sunlight, come into contact with water, or be fed after midnight.
Named “Gizmo” by his new owner Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan), they share some enduring moments until Gizmo accidently gets wet, which leads to the spawning of more malevolent creatures – Gremlins.
The folklore of Gremlins first appeared in a book by the same name by children’s author Roald Dahl published in 1943. In the storyline, malfunctions of wartime British aircraft were blamed on Gremlins, which are later encouraged to help defeat the Nazi regime and win the war.
For the movie, designer Chris Walas created a series of puppets based on the suggestions of director Joe Dante and executive producer Steven Spielberg, who wanted Gizmo to have the same fur markings as one of his pet dogs. Comic actor Howie Mandel provided Gizmo’s voice and unique vocal sounds.
As part of a complete breakfast, one serving of Gremlins cereal provided 190 calories and five grams of protein. The ingredients of sugar, wheat, corn, rice and oat flours were fortified with nine essential vitamins and minerals, all packed in a little Mogwai-shaped bite.
Each box offered a Gremlins sticker, and the order form for a 10 inch plush Gizmo toy, complete with his own shoebox, for $9.95 and two cereal box proofs of purchase. The offer expired on September 30, 1985 or while supplies lasted. Gremlins cereal was a product of Ralston Purina of St. Louis, Mo.