Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Toonfomercial: Remember Mr. T cereal? (1984)

In the mid-80's, life was good for Mr. T. The former Chicago bouncer had not one, but two hit series on the air, as The A-Team was joined by a Saturday morning cartoon that had T as a gymnastics coach and amateur detective. The animated Mr. T was in its 2nd season when the star and Ruby-Spears agreed to a licensing deal with Quaker for breakfast cereal.



I think the artwork on the cereal box also came from Ruby-Spears, but don't hold me to it.

9 comments:

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Still, if they had to get their in-house staff to animate the commercial, so be it! Didn't have to farm that sucker out to Korea!

It's a shame they don't bring it back. Though I suppose the meme-sters would have a field day with that.

Silverstar said...

The practice of using popular celebrities/kid-vid stars to shill cereals based on their likenesses/images/TV shows & movies is illegal now. A serious blow to action cartoons in recent years, for whom a big chunk of their revenue comes from licensing deals.

hobbyfan said...

Chris: Considering Ruby-Spears' "in-house staff" included industry legends Gil Kane and Jack Kirby........!!

Silverstar: When was that practice outlawed, exactly? They still do licensing deals for movies, but not actual celebrities? What gives?

Silverstar said...

IIRC, it was an FCC-ordained clamp-down that occurred in recent years. Movies, TV shows and celebrities are still fair game for merchandising such as video games, clothes and toys, but no TV shows, celebs and movies getting tie-in cereals. Kids' cereals were already getting a bad rap for being unhealthy, I guess the FCC considered tie-in cereals to be the height of crass commercialism.

Among the last of these I remember seeing in a store were a set of limited edition Cartoon Network Cartoon-Cartoon cereals, such as Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy and Johnny Bravo.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Must've been rather recent then if I didn't even notice the change at all, though I'm surprised this wasn't a FDA mandate, though who knows who paid what to get that through. It's still crass the way they bother with it these days.

hobbyfan said...

Too many social nannies getting in the way of free enterprise commerce.....

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Seems like it.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Of course there are a few countries out there that ban advertising certain things to children I've read. I suppose we ought to be lucky to still have cereal commercials at all.

hobbyfan said...

Aren't we lucky, indeed.