Thursday, July 29, 2021

Invaders From Planet Q!

 ...or maybe it should be Planet Corn!...or Planet Sugar!

It doesn't really matter what planet you're talking about, though, in 1965 there WAS an invasion of grocery store cereal this guy!

Yes, Quisp became the hottest cereal in the U.S.! He and his frenemy Quake proceeded to mesmerize a generation of sugary cereal eaters (kids, mainly) And I was one of them!

Quisp and Quake were produced by General Mills. The characters were by Jay Ward of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame. What did they taste like? Well, first you have to realize that the were actually the same cereal in different shapes. Quisp was little flying saucers (no, they didn't really fly...unless you flung them at your little brother) and Quake was shaped like...Qs. They were pretty much baked corn paste and sugar. Think Capn' Crunch. Still, people swear that although they were very much like the good Capn's cereal, they were slightly different. I concur that they didn't "burn" the roof of your mouth like Capn; Crunch does. 

Ok, from the get-go Quisp had the edge over poor ol' Quake. He had the flying saucers. He had the cool propeller. Heck, he was a stinkin' ALIEN! Quake was a miner that had a pick-axe..and Qs'. This edge was important because in the early 70s kids were asked to vote which character they liked better and Quisp won handily. Unfortunately this meant that Quake was discontinued (who knew kids had so much power?). They tried to bring Quake back by making him an Australian and giving him an orange kangaroo. The new cereal was called Orange Quangeroos, and it went over about as well as it sounds like it should. Quisp-2, Quake- zip.  

What happened to good ol' Quisp then? Why don't we still see him on shelves everywhere? Well, in the late 70s his popularity waned. He met the same fate as his friend (Quisp-2, Quake-1 if you're keeping track). And that was that...

Except it wasn't. The internet came along and General Mills decided to market Quisp online! The shipping kept me away (wow, it was expensive!) and I still was Quispless. They they started doing "pop-up" stores in places like Target. The stores would get a limited run of Quisp and when they sold out, they were sold out for good! (or at least until the next "pop-up." This is when I got my boxes of Quisp! I gobbled them up with the gusto of a middle aged man reliving his childhood! Was it still as good? 

Yes. Yes it was.

Anyway, they had a mail in offer for the Funko bobble head and he's been on my office shelf ever since. Taunting me really. Because there hasn't been a pop-up store in a long long time. Sigh...

Until next time Keep searching for treasure (and Quisp!)


  1. I loved Quisp cereal when I was a kid! My brother like Quake, and later he liked Quangaroos too, which I could not stand. However, I wish they'd kept both Quisp and Quake. I covet a rare ceramic Quisp bank, but those things often go for over $400, and sometimes upwards of $600. Too rich for my blood. I did buy a box of Quisp at a toy/memorabilia store a few years back, and still liked them, but dang, the price for that little box (which was about a bowl and a half of cereal) meant that I have never bought them again.

    1. I hear you! I see the boxes on the internet and I'm tempted.. for about 30 seconds. It's just too dang much!
      Something I didn't mention in the blog is that I almost remember having (or maybe just seeing?) a Quake miner's helmet with working light. In my mind it was yellow plastic.
      Well, I did a search and by golly, it exists! I wish I still had that (if I ever had it at all,lol)
      The Quisp alternative was the "Space Beanie." It sounds cool, but it was pink and the battery operated propeller was way too small. Quake won that premium war, IMO!

  2. I just checked on eBay and a Quake helmet sold...for 777.00. I shall never have one again, I'm afraid!

  3. Stu, as for the characters, I always liked Quisp, and my brother always liked Quake. But yeah, we always thought they tasted the same. And we both thought that Orange Quangaroos tasted gross! I do remember that campaign to get kids to vote for which character they liked best. I think I watched some of those commercials a few years ago, on YouTube.

    I remember walking into an Albertson's grocery store in 2001 or 2002, and seeing a special display with boxes of Quisp. Of course, I had to buy one for myself, and since they didn't have Quake, I bought one for my brother, too. There was an offer on the back of the box for a Quisp wristwatch. I now regret not sending away for it!

  4. Ooops, I forgot to mention that just last week, my brother gave me a box of Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries cereal. They are currently making it with "retro graphics" on the box, for a limited time. It was so great to see that familiar imagery from my childhood, of Cap'n Crunch and the Crunch Berry Beast!


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