More Cereal Killers?

After posting pictures of my non April Fools cereal based gaming figures, I was reminded of Kellogg’s again by Alan Tradgardmastre Gruber’s spirited conversions of Crescent figures.

I’m sure some of my Guardsmen came out of cereal packets.

I checked. Amongst the many toy soldiers in my family collection or that have turned up in job lots are these free guardsmen from Kellogg’s cereals in the 1960s.

I vaguely recalled that our family collection of cereal figures received firing, shooting and bayoneting guardsmen.

Looking through the bases of my tatty collection, it appears that the guardsmen with rifles are Crescent toy soldiers from the late 1950s to 1960s and the Bandsmen are both Crescent and Kellogg’s.

Crescent were not around for sale in the toy shops when I was young with pocket money in the 1970s, whereas Britain’s Herald and Deetail delightfully were.

The Kellogg’s freebie by Crescent is the second from the left, the others Crescent plastic ones.

Bandsmen – Not quite the “cereal killers” I remember!

Crescent appear to have manufactured exact unpainted copies of their bandsmen for Kellogg’s, c. 1958 dated according to the CerealOffers website.

Kellogg’s bandsmen – part of my childhood parades …

I found these fine bandsmen shown online with original box backs and adverts whilst spending happy hours last week on the cereal ‘premium’ website, where I found again the cardboard Asterix figures and Weetabix scenes of my childhood.

“FREE IN THIS PACKET at the bottom of the inner bag” – free toy soldiers in your cornflakes – imagine that today!

Screenshot image of the fabulous CerealOffers Premiums website – Kellogg’s Guardsman page.

For example this box back and screenshot of the figures is interesting, as it picks up on the earlier ceremonial craze of the 1953 Coronation when lead soldiers were still around. By 1958 / the early 1960s “Unbreakable” coloured plastic “smart as paint” was taking over for many Toy Soldier manufacturers as hollowcast lead was phased out.

Worth looking at the whole Kelloggs Guardsman page on CerealOffers page for further atmospheric adverts.

Being late 1950s they remind me of the first offerings of Airfix tiny small scale OO/HO Guards Band and Guards Colour Party. A curious choice in many ways, these first few early Airfix figures but mirroring maybe part of that shift from lead figures into plastic ones in profitable, established or traditional themes of toy soldiers, farms, zoos, railways, cowboys, civilians and then military topics.

1959/60 Guards Band

1959/60 Guards Colour Party

Deadliest Cereal Killers?

“He’ll lead your toy soldiers in and out of battle, on the parade ground, in processions …”

All very well for parades, pomp and processions but maybe the deadliest Kellogg’s “cereal killers” would have to be one of these sets:

1960s Kellogg’s / Crescent Robin Hood Set?

or the Knights in Armour?

And the Cowboys and Indians here?



All in all, some very familiar Crescent figures – free. What a delight to get these in your cereals!

Not forgetting Warriors through the Ages:

Hugh at Small Scale World has a blog post on these Cereal Guardsmen:

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 3 April 2020.


4 thoughts on “More Cereal Killers?”

  1. Interesting post Mark. When I got the email notification about this post I imagined 5mm armies from rice kripies or strange paper boats with cornflakes as sails or that to come?
    Very interesting survey over these long lost freebies . I particularly remember the knights with affection and their spirited poses. They battled well for me.


  2. Hmm. Painted grains of rice in strips, like the hair roller armies of old. No stop there! I love the idea of billowing cornflake sails.
    Worth a look through the Cerealoffers website. The promotions had always gone over before you finished the first packet, even if you could shift your parents away from supermarket own brand in the first place … limited pester-power!


  3. Fantastic what you used to get in cereal, though totally unfriendly to the environment!
    I remember having the Turk from Warriors through the Ages – he was always a baddie!


    1. We had I think just the tiny single Zulu, not thousands of em!

      Dear Ministry of Toys
      Overall I’m not so sure that all Plastic is totally unfriendly to the environment a) if it’s not SUP Single Use Plastic and /or is b) recyclable.
      I think it was probably both “health and safety” (did kids really choke on toy soldiers inside cereal bags?) and the cynical ‘pester power’ promotions advertising sugary cereals to kids that was criticised from the healthy eating agenda that together killed off plastic toys in cereals.
      The toys were limited use (i.e. soon to be landfill junk) partly by only being around for a short time so that you could never ordinarily buy enough for a playable set, therefore soon junk. The same nonsense idea as short production limited edition Blind Bags today unless you can do swaps.

      Lego was recently trying to react to the plastics issue of SUP by the short lived leasing idea. I have sixties Lego blocks still in regular use by younger members of the family.

      Cheap plastic flimsy toys on kids magazines every week or month are overdoing it. Less often and better quality toys would be better for toys surviving use and then passing on to others.

      We have seen the modern Single Use Plastic example in losing the plastic toys from Happy Meals, replaced with Paper toys, books or ebooks. Partly this was inspired by a general reduction of SUP plastic In packaging but also a campaign by children inspired by Blue Planet concerns over plastic in the ocean and landfill.
      Books and Ebooks encouraging reading are all very laudable but … I worry that this comes at a time when kids are more and more screen focussed digital natives, less hands on with tactile toys and the floor level imagination that this inspires.

      If they made better, tougher, more imaginative, less gimmicky plastic toys that were around as promotions for longer, then thus would markedly increase their “play value”.

      The concept of “Play Value” was invoked by my Mum and Dad when I was trying to collect with my limited pocket money resources the latest trashiest plastic 1970s junk toys. Bulky stuff like Action Man may mostly have gone from my collection . Many other 1970s purchases I still have … Star Wars figures, Weebles, toy soldiers, Lego, farm and zoo animals. They have survived several generations of family and extended family.
      Single Use Plastic? I think not.
      My sixties and seventies plastic toy soldiers may be increasingly fragile if dropped but are still appreciated and used or displayed.
      Thank you, Minister of Toys for reading my letter.
      Best wishes, Mark Man of TIN, lover of pound stores and Seventies Airfix kid.


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