Over the past year and a half, collectibles brands have been entering the breakfast cereal market. The products are intended to taste good, but also to serve as a collectible in their own right. They are often sold through retail outlets that focus on collectibles and other non-food products, rather than in supermarkets.
Three notable examples:
- Funko has built a whole line of limited-edition FunkO’s cereals based on its licensed Pop! vinyl figures, with most available exclusively through one of the key retailers of its core products. For example, the Mega Man version launched at GameStop, Cuphead at Hot Topic, A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger at FYE, The Lord of the Rings’ Gollum at BoxLunch, and the Golden Girls at Target. A wide range of licensed figures have gotten the cereal treatment to date.
- Nintendo teamed with Kellogg’s for a limited-edition Super Mario cereal to support the release of the Super Mario Odyssey interactive game. While Super Mario has been in the cereal category in the past—back in the 1980s, for example—a twist this time is that the box served as an amiibo, one of Nintendo’s toys-to-life collectibles. The cereal continued on store shelves, without the amiibo functionality, after the promotional period.
- Most recently, Topps paired with FYE for Garbage Pail Kids cereal, as part of a broader deal that also included candy, energy drinks, collectibles, and apparel. The boxes feature custom images by Garbage Pail artist Joe Simko and contain Topps GPK trading cards inside, with a total of four cards to collect. (FYE also has offered Bob Ross cereal.)
While the pairing may seem odd at first, cereal and collectibles make sense together in a number of ways. Many young adult collectibles fans are also cereal-lovers, known for eating the sugary product at all times of day. And there has long been a robust collector market for vintage and new cereal boxes, giving these limited editions a built-in consumer base among that audience.
Meanwhile, licensing in the cereal category, which ebbs and flows over time, is on the upswing of late, with limited-scope relationships particularly attractive to cereal companies. At the same time collectibles marketers are looking to enter new, untapped product sectors—e.g., t-shirts, games, backpacks, and new and unique items with collector potential—as their core categories are increasingly saturated. So a partnership between the two meets a business objective for both parties.
RaugustReports will not publish on Monday, May 27, 2019, due to the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. We will be back to our usual Monday and Thursday schedule on May 30.