There aren’t many establishments that I have been (soberly) ejected from, but I distinctly remember that as a kid I was threatened of being kicked out of the local super market by a security guard. Why? Was it for stealing sweeties or some other heinous crime? No. I was opening the tops of the cardboard cereal boxes to try and find the Playstation figure that I wanted/needed!
I have already mentioned with a previous article that I am a fan of free toys that accompany an edible product, especially when they are video game related. So as a kid when I was walking down the cereal aisle with my parents and first saw this box of Nesquik cereal, I knew that THIS was the cereal we needed for that week. There were also Shreddies cereal with these toys in, but at that point in my life, I thought Shreddies were shit as they contained no chocolate and nowhere near the amount of sugar to constitute as fun.
For fear that Lara Croft would kick my teeth out if I didn’t persuade my parents to buy this, and also my really really wanting to own Playstation toys, I managed to leave the shop in possession of this cereal.
The back of box shows what toys were available. I really wanted the zip-line Lara Croft or the spinning Crash Bandicoot, and was somewhat disappointing when I opened the box and received neither.
They all look pretty neat there. I hadn’t played Spyro the Dragon at the point, so wasn’t overly fussed on getting him, but really liked Tomb Raider and Crash Bandicoot. But I was still a little underwhelmed by the figure I pulled out.
It was a swimming Lara. It certainly wasn’t an awful likeness or anything. It was a cheap little version of Lara with a flashlight and an Egyptian Ankh in her hand. The idea of this toy is that you can balance her on the tip of a pencil or your finger. Which she does just fine. Just is that really fun?
Meh. It’s okay I guess. She just isn’t very ‘action-y’. I would have preferred a non swimming version of her that just stood up and had her wielding her pistols. If you are going to give something a gimmick or a feature, make it a decent one!
The second toy I got from these cereals was Crash Bandicoot. Not the awesome looking spinning one, but again another damn balancing one. Is it any wonder I was opening the tops of the cereal boxes?
This one is okay. I don’t like the fact his footwear is orange, but do like that he has grabbed some wumpa fruit and looks like he has just body slammed, (an ability I think he picked up in Crash Bandicoot 2). But aside from him balancing, he does very little and doesn’t display that great. Again, meh!
So the third time we went shopping, I went an aisle ahead to ensure I chose the correct box, and my plans were almost thwarted by a security guard who informed me that I couldn’t open the boxes of cereal, of which he was very wrong as I had already opened about 8 and had just found the one with the toy I wanted in. In my child brain, I wasn’t doing any damage as the plastic bag that the cereal was in wasn’t opened so they were still fresh! After working in retail for many years, I can see that people probably wouldn’t want to buy any cereal that appears to have been tampered with in any way. Though the boxes did have a little flap so you could somewhat close them again.
So here is the third one I got! And again, it isn’t as good as I thought it would be back in the day.
So Crash is meant to spin around. I think from the back of the box, I assumed it might have some sort of mechanism where you wind it up and it spins for a few seconds. Nope! It was just a figure on a yellow platform which you place to fingers on, then spin the figure by flicking it with your other hand. It barely rotates at all, and again Crash is rocking orange footwear.
I don’t think I got any more of these as a kid, which I wasn’t too bummed about to be honest as these toys just weren’t that great. I did really like them back then, but I think I missed out on the best ones of which I have only recently acquired.
The zip-line Lara works pretty well, she does fall off from time to time but essentially hers is probably the feature that works the best. Also I think the Tomb Raider ones just seem more detailed than the others, perhaps just because she is from a more realistic looking Video game series.
I like Spyro and think it is a shame how is legacy has suffered. Long before Activision managed to spoon-feed people the shit that is Skylanders, where Spyro is just one of a handful of unremarkable playable creatures, he had his own series of video games, which were actually a lot of fun, and a bit of a challenge for the completionist.
This Spyro is one of my favourites. He has a little wheel in his tummy so when you push him along, his wings flap. I don’t know if it is because he looks so angry, but with his wings flapping and him moving, he just looks so damn adorable. Why couldn’t the others be more like this?
The final toy is another Spyro. Looking quite adorable again, I quite like this one as it can just sit and display nicely.
The feature with this one isn’t overly impressive but it will do. His horns are supposed to be able to hook onto things. Which they do, but I don’t think he looks particularly good hanging.
Okay, maybe it’s just because he is so damn cute but he doesn’t look THAT awful hanging from my cup. Not the best toy out of the lot, but definitely not the worst.
So that’s it for the not-hugely-well-known set of Playstation toys from Nestle. I think they may have only been available in the UK but don’t quote me on this. They are pretty fun anyway for a free gift even if some of them are a bit lacking in function or playability. They aren’t that common, and do come up from time to time on ebay with patience, though I wouldn’t pay more than a couple of pounds for them. The cheapest was the swimming Lara, which I found in a charity shop for 20p!
I stole the pictures of the Nesquik cereal box from http://www.cerealoffers.com which is a really awesome database of cereal toys, and I have bought some Donkey Kong cereal toys from the owner before which will make an appearance on here eventually.
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