When I was a kid, the world seemed so much bigger, or if you will, grander than what I witness now as a grown-up type person. I remember those days long, long ago when the cereal boxes would scream out to me from the store shelves for the cool toys they contained. My brothers and I would fight like crazed jackals to see who could lay claim to the prize. In those days, the toy was actually placed at the bottom of the bag of cereal. I can still hear the impassioned cries of "get your disgusting fingers out of the cereal", yelled to my brothers. Of course I was fully hoping that it was my disgusting fingers digging through that sugary goodness for the wonderous mystery surprise. These toys sucked me right in. They called to me. The were, in fact, much more desirable to me than the food product itself. I have the feeling, even though my opinions were slanted through my own, admittedly, young eyes, that these toys and surprises were so much better than they are in today's breakfast cereals. I suspect that in the days of yore, the cereal company put more time, effort, and thought into developing something that every boy and girl would fight over like rabid vermin.
O.K., so you now know how I see things. I have owned up to my potential bias in this important matter. So, how do today's kids feel about the freebies in their Cocoa Booms brand breakfast food? Well, don't look at me. I have no freakin' idea for the most part. However, I do have one relevant data point. The other day, I bought a box of a crisped rice cereal (I do not want to name a specific brand as I am not being remunerated for my endorsement). This particular cereal had some high gloss advertising on the exterior of the packaging about a cool, collectible toy contained within. My daughter pulled it out of the box and remarked, "What a piece of garbage". The toy was so cheap, so pathetic, so inferior, both my daughter and I actually felt sorry for it. Was I angry? No, just disappointed. Not so much because the toy was a piece of crap, but now the only thing to look forward to was the cereal itself. Alas.