The Old School Cereal Mascot That's Giving Us Nightmares

Cereal aisle
Cereal aisle - Abdul Razak Latif/Shutterstock

Cereal brands are no strangers to whimsical mascots grinning ear to ear, tempting children and adults alike to try a bowl of their sugary breakfast cereals. From Honey Nut Cheerios' Buzz Bee to Lucky the Leprechaun yearning for Lucky Charms, these smiling cartoons have become just as famous as the cereal itself. But not all cereal mascots have reached icon status. One of the offbeat cereal mascots that time has forgotten is Krinkles the Clown... although we aren't faulting anyone for letting his terrifying painted face fade from memory. Post Cereal created Krinkles the Clown in 1956 to promote Sugar Rice Krinkles cereal. The cereal brand plastered the eerie-looking mascot across cereal boxes everywhere in hopes that children would be excited to eat breakfast food spooned by a big-eyed, red-nosed clown.

Although there is a fascinating psychology behind the success of food mascots, Krinkles the clown didn't exactly meet the mark. Fortunately for those with coulrophobia (the extreme fear of clowns), Krinkles was only the cereal's mascot from 1956 until 1969 when the cereal was discontinued. The retirement of Sugar Rice Krinkles made way for Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles, which are still available today. Luckily, there is no clown to be found on Post's modern cereal boxes -- just the Flintstones Family.

Read more: 14 Of The Oldest Cereals Still On Shelves

Krinkles The Clown Commercials Made Us Never Want To Eat Cereal Again

Krinkles the clown cereal mascot
Krinkles the clown cereal mascot - FoodDive

Not only was Krinkles the Clown seemingly peering around every corner in the cereal aisle, he was also the star of multiple commercials advertising Post's sugary rice cereal. In one black-and-white ad on YouTube, the minute-long commercial begins with Krinkles the Clown emerging head first from a tiny house, breaking the paper backdrop while exclaiming, "Breakfast! I'm hungry!" The clown then discusses how wonderful Post's Sugar Rice Krinkles cereal is, but honestly, we still aren't convinced. Every time the mascot says the word, "Krinkle," another shiver runs down our spines.

YouTube users in the comments had a lot to say about this disturbing cereal mascot. One wrote, "You do realize, that's how Stephen King imagined Pennywise to look like." Another called the product, "The most terrifying breakfast cereal of all time. It's a nightmare in a bowl." However, not everyone had bad things to say about Krinkles. A few users thought he appeared rather friendly, and some even recalled being excited when these ads appeared on TV when they were children. Maybe kids in the 1950s weren't all that weirded out by creepy clowns, but if the Trix Rabbit or Captain Crunch ever made commercials this long and eerie, sales would surely plummet out of sheer discomfort.

Post Cereal Has A History Of Not-So-Great Mascots

So-Hi Cereal mascot
So-Hi Cereal mascot - Consumerist

Krinkles the Clown wasn't the only poorly thought-out mascot that cereal companies have put on their cereal boxes over the years. In fact, he isn't even the first Sugar Rice Krinkles mascot to have ruffled customers' feathers. Apparently, the polka-dot wearing jester was actually a major rebrand from the previous cereal mascot who promoted the Post cereal, and this mascot was even more problematic than a creepy clown.

Before there was Krinkles the Clown, there was So-Hi. This mascot was depicted as a young Asian boy who was smaller than the bowl of cereal he was holding, hence the pun of his name. The mascot had a bowl cut, wore vaguely Asian-inspired attire, and displayed some pretty stereotypical facial features. Even for the time period, So-Hi was clearly a rather thoughtless design that leaned into harmful stereotypes. Given the choice between a rather insensitive depiction of an entire ethnic group, or a clown that will haunt our nightmares, we agree with Post's choice to pivot to the less offensive mascot. Even so, Krinkles is still not off the hook for being downright terrifying.

Read the original article on Daily Meal