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Toys in Cereal Boxes UK - The Little Treats that Used to Dominate the Cereal Box World

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One of the core memories of our childhood apart from the rich and fibrous taste of the cereal is the toy that was hidden in the box. The toys in cereal boxes UK were such an occurrence that they are enriched in the memory of every child of the 90’s. It was a premium source of joy for the children and a great marketing strategy to tap into the market which consists of people who are still in their indecisive phase of life. 

Children can turn out to be a rather tough business niche to explore. That is why marketing strategies often comprise strong temptations such as toys in cereal boxes UK or any other country around the world. The need to push the product so that the children can urge their parents to buy them these specific cereals was the most important and bankable marketing tactic of that time. 

Although the trend of finding toys in cereal boxes is diminishing and wiped out, children who used to receive these toys are still reminiscing about the good old days. Back in the time, a common practice was to rip open the cereal box to find the luxurious and hidden toys. It was a pattern which was common in all those households which had children in them.

Moreover, the instructions on the box packaging also encouraged the children to either collect all the toys of a certain franchise or to collect the toys in the same colour. These toys were either then traded for a bigger toy or surprise or were kept by the children as a souvenir.

Bike Reflectors

One of the most important toys that people often tend to find in a cereal box is a bike reflector. The bike reflectors were all the rage as the premium toys in cereal boxes UK. These toys have ruled the cereal boxes for more than a decade. Cornflakes used to offer six different varieties of these cockerel-shaped bike reflectors. They were ruling the market between the time period of 1988-1990. 

Then in 1995, Coco Pops was smart enough to introduce its variation. In their version of the things, they provided the people with four different sorts of bike reflectors. These bike reflectors were made up of the following and the most iconic characters of Coco Pops such as

  • Coco - the monkey
  • Hefty - the hippo
  • Kylie - the Kangaroo
  • Shortie - the giraffe

Pencil Toppers

Pencil Toppers is another toy in the cereal box which was a fan-favourite. Children used to apply those pencil toppers on their pencils to see and try the different sorts of looks. The biggest cereal brand of all time Kelloggs got in a mutually beneficial marketing campaign with Rugrats and made the following characters available for the kids: 

  • Chuckie
  • Angelica
  • Tommy
  • Spike

Cornflakes were used to provide Wallace and Gromit pencil toppers in the boxes. Children were encouraged to find all six and were also presented with additional options of The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave. 

Star Wars Figurines

One of the most celebrated franchises of all time which is still and will always be a favourite among people of all age groups is Star Wars. It is every part iconic and classic as you can imagine it to be. At that time, it was more of a necessity for the manufacturers to provide people with star wards figurines so that the revenue generation could be stabilized. Some of the most commonly found icons in the cereal boxes were as follows: 

  • Obi-Wan Kenobi
  • Qui-Gon Jinn
  • Darth Maul
  • R2-D2

The statues provided in the custom boxes of Kellogg were made up of gold and had removable heads which then provided a fact card about the character. It was a gold mine for all the nerds. 

Noddy and Friends Figures

Although it is a long trip down memory lane back in the day in 1960 people used to get Noddy and Friends figurines in cereal boxes. These types of figurines first made an appearance in 1962 and were available in different colours and types such as:

  • Noddy
  • Big Ears
  • Mr Plod
  • Tubby Bear
  • Miss Fluffy Cat

After a short time period of their absence from the commercial zone, they resurfaced in the boxes in 1967. This is what you call marketing at its sales best. 

Ice Lolly Moulds

This one is another toy in a cereal box which is known for making waves across the globe for its enhanced appeal and hype among the crowd. The 2000s kids can easily reminisce about the comfort and practical value of such toys. It was less of a toy and more of a kitchen aid for the people. The ice lolly mould could be used by the kids to make ice the shape of their favourite characters. Cornflakes and Ice Age 2 got into a mutually beneficial relationship and procured the best of the following characters in the shape of ice lolly moulds:


  • Sid
  • Diego
  • Manny scrat

The user manual for this sort of toy in cereal boxes was very convenient and easy. All the kid had to do was remove the plastic base and then pour the drink or liquid of their choice into the mould. The last step was to insert the plastic or metal stick into the mould. Then the mould was set to place inside the freezer. 

Squirt Rings 

One of the most winning toys in the cereal boxes UK were squirt rings. They were inventive, innovative and just fun to use. These were the most popular toys found on the packaging. These were some of the most sought-after toys in cereal boxes UK. All you had to do was fill the toy with some water, place your finger at a point and then squeeze it to soak the person or object which was nearby. Frosties made the best possible use of this toy during the day and presented 6 different types of squirt rings to the children. The inspiration for these toys was driven by Simpsons characters. Then in 2002, these toys were made available in Coco Pops. 

Mr Men Stickers 

It was not only the toys in cereal boxes that were all the hype back in the day. Some brands were also providing children with stickers to encourage them to build a solid sticker collection. This trend was a major winner in the 70’s and 80’s era. Everything about the decade is iconic and so are these Mr. Men stickers that were all the rage. Ricicles introduced this trend back in 1976 and encouraged the children at that time to procure almost 12. They used to provide two different stickers in each pack. But if your luck was sleeping, sometimes you could also get two same characters. So the only option left was to buy more and more cereal boxes - that is what you call customer engagement and brand marketing. 

Colour Changing Dalmatian 

It is common for brands and franchises to collaborate and provide their customers with stunning deals and to advocate their products to the right market - especially the fans. To celebrate the iconic movie and its release of 102 Dalmatians the Boxes of Golden Nuggets in 2000 provided dog figurines which used to change the color. Listed below are the four dogs which were provided in the collection: 

  • Dipstick
  • Dotty
  • Domino
  • Oddball

The figurines used to lose their colour when they were warm and when the temperature got a bit stable their color would reappear. In addition to all this, the box of the cereal also used to contain a special cut-out which could support the figurine. 

Baking Powder Submarine, Diver and Boat 

Those who used to buy Kellogg's cereal boxes back in the 50s and 60s were used to getting these baking powder submarine, driver and boat figurines in the Blank cereal boxes. The first official appearance of this toy was back in 1957. At that time, it was present in 6 different colours. The kids just have to fill the tank with water and add a pinch of baking powder to it. These toys often come with an attached plug which stops the baking powder from coming out of the base. 

The Bottom Line

These are some of the most famous and well-known toys in cereal boxes in the UK. Not only they were a good marketing strategy but a helping factor as well which enhanced the quality of the business and pushed many businesses to new heights of success. Although the trend is not that much in practice these days, still the temptation is there and so are the shining prospects 

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