Lucky Charms

Lucky Charms were created by the General Mills company in 1962. Tooth decay rates have dropped yearly in the US since 1962. The Centers for Disease Control attributes this to the addition of fluoride to the water supply but we'll let you decide.

That's already more thought about this subject than you're comfortable with

Just The Facts

  1. They're Magically Delicious
  2. The marshmallow bits make up approximately 25% of the cereal's volume
  3. No matter how official your labcoat and clipboard look parents/mall security guards don't want you asking children what their favorite marshmallow shape is.

History

Lucky Charms were created in 1962 by the General Mills company. The idea was to take either Cheerios or Wheaties, the two top selling cereals, and change it to get another product out of it somehow. New product developers came up with the idea of mixing Cheerios with Brachs Circus Peanuts candy. Thankfully, they made their own marshmallow bits instead. This was the first cereal to add candy on purpose.

The developers put together a theme of charm braclets and slapped enough artificial colors on the marshmallows to dye a swimming pool. They needed a vaguely racist mascot and they were ready to go.

It's perfect!

"It's Perfect!"

Lucky Charms hit the shelves in 1964.

Priorities

Marshmallows.

The word appears on the box nine times. The words "oats" and "cereal" combined only hit six. If you add "whole grain" you can get ten, but that doesn't seem fair. By contrast, a package of Just Born Marshmallow Peeps says "marshmallow" only four times.

Pictured: less marshmallows than your children's breakfast

The toasted whole grain oat cereal pieces were ignored for years, and rightfully so. At one point they started frosting them just to keep kids from spitting them out when they accidently got in their mouths as they shovelled in the candy bits.

The charms are colorful, bright, and fun shapes. The oat pieces look like they were made in the same machine that makes cat food.

No seriously, what's the deal with the fish?

Lucky the Leprechaun

With the creation of Lucky Charms cereal came the birth of beloved character L. C. "Lucky the" Leprechaun, Sir Charms as he's sometimes known for some reason. Lucky's M.O. is to magically change fluffy, shapeless white marshmallows into dry, crispy marshmalmosts with bright colors and fun shapes.

In 1975 General Mills attempted to replace Lucky with a character called Waldo the Wizard. Focus groups rated Waldo much higher than Lucky, but despite the high testing the character bombed, and was removed from boxes less than a year later.

Joel Schumacher used these same focus groups around 1995

The public wanted Lucky back. They practically demanded it. General Mills was happy to comply because if America would rather have their marshmallows ruined by a cartoon ethnic stereotype than a questionable looking middle aged man in a bedazzled robe, who are they to stand in the way?

Controversy

Sadly, there are those who will tell you that Lucky Charms are not nutricious. They will try to convince you that they are bad for you. I know, right? There are even those who say that the cereal isn't magical at all. These people are Communists.

You can find enough complaints about the high sugar content on the internet and in parenting magazines, but here is the data. For the purposes of this demonstration, lets assume that Lucky Charms is exactly as it was originally intended, just Cheerios and candy. For comparison, we have Honey Nut Cheerios, which is Cheerios with the addtition of honey and almond, which is supposedly heart healthy.

Same serving size, same calorie count and not too much varience from there. Look at the sugar count, Lucky Charms has 11 grams compared to Honey Nut Cheerios' 9 grams. That's a difference of two grams per serving. You know what else weighs two grams? A dime.

Kids will eat this too

That's half a teaspoon of difference in sugar, not a massive cup. But what about the good points? Lucky Charms is very low in saturated fat, no cholesterol, and very high in iron, riboflavin, thiamin, zinc, niacin, B6 and B12. What does all that mean exactly? Nutrition is extremely complex and people barely understand it as it is. There is no reason to condemn a cereal because of a half a teaspoon of sugar alone.

Now lets discuss the claim "Magically Delicious". Every couple of years Lucky gives us a new marshmallow and it just so happens that events of historical nature are next to follow. Lets take a look at some of these "coincidences".

2008 Hourglass shape- Fidel Castro resigns as President of Cuba

1994 Pots of Gold- Nelson Mandela is elected President of South Africa in the nation's first election.

1989 Red Balloons- The Berlin Wall is taken down.

1984 Purple Horseshoes- Scarlett Johansson

The cereal, the um...what were we talking about again?

1975 Blue Diamonds- Jimmy Hoffa "magically" disappears never to be seen again.

Magical enough for you?

Marshmallows

Have you noticed that if you read that word enough it looses all meaning and no longer sounds like a word anymore? Marshmallows. Anyway there have been over 30 shapes in various designs and promotions. Including a whale for some reason. A goddamn whale. The first four shapes were Green Clovers, Orange Stars, Yellow Moons and Pink Hearts.

This next section is about some of the more memorable ones.


Green Clovers and Hats - Four leaf clovers were part of the original line up. In 1996 they dropped the original for a two-tone hat. Some people were like, "fuck no" and wanted the clovers back. In 2004 they brought back the clovers along side the hats, and there was peace.


Pink Hearts - The only shape to remain unchanged from the beginning. That is the only mildly interesting fact about this shape.


Orange Stars and Shooting Stars - Originally six-pointed. Went away in 1994 but returned in 1995 as a 5-pointed orange and white shooting star.


Yellow Moons and Blue Diamonds - In 1975 Lucky introduced the blue diamond shapes. These were the first new shape to be added to the cereal. Very la-dee-da. However, both the yellow moon and blue diamond were slaughtered off with the introduction of the pot of gold marshmallow in 1994. But it seems that there is more to this story. Apparently, yellow moon and blue diamond made sweet, sticky, marshmallow love and a year later we were introduced to the Blue Moon shape.


She looks just like her daddy!


Purple Horseshoes - Purple horseshoes were added next in 1984. The superstition about horseshoes being lucky needs the ends to be facing up. If the ends are down, all the luck spills out of them. With about a dozen of these in a bowl you'll have a hard time keeping them all facing the same way. Your cereal is as good as cursed. Still...

Oh, right


Red Balloons - Introduced in 1989 and really haven't changed much over time. Briefly in 1991, they crammed the orange star inside of the balloons to have a two-in-one shape, making it the McGangBang of Lucy Charms.


Rainbows - Rainbows were next in 1992 using the same technology that gave us the starballoon. The Rainbow is blue, yellow and pink in one marshmallow. They aren't the gayest thing you can put in your mouth, but its in the top 5.


Pots of Gold and Hourglass - Pots of Gold marshmallows came into play in 1994 and killed off blue diamonds, orange stars and yellow moons in the process. Kind of a dick move, Lucky. In 2008 the pots of gold were replaced by a yellow and orange hourglass shape because there could only be one those colors, and what does gold have to do with leprechauns anyway?


Chocolate Bats - Chocolate bats were introduced to Count Chocula cereals in 1971. They remain largely unchanged over the years.


The Swirly Whale and Limited Edition Shapes - For some reason in the late 80's General Mills thought this would be a good idea. In fact there are a lot of crazy shapes, holiday editions, swirls, mini shapes, olympics, etc. Anybody who tells you their favorite marshmallow shape is the crystal ball or the key, they're a jerk.

Seriously, screw these people


Cereal Pieces - Throw these directly into the trash.