While eating lunch with a colleague recently the topic of cardboard cereal box records came up. “Wait, what!?” I said to my colleague (who is roughly fifteen years my senior) as he explained that back in the 1960s-1970s you could find cutout records on the back of certain cereal boxes and play them like you would a typical vinyl record.
After doing some research I learned that, in fact, these wacky novelty treats first appeared as early as the 1950s (the first on the back of a Wheaties box) and continued to be produced until the 1980s.
The Jackson Five, The Monkees, and The Archies were just a few of the different artists you could take home along with your Honeycombs or Raisin Bran.
Music wasn’t the only entertainment you could put into your ears over breakfast. Occasionally you would even find “Scary Stories” or “Spooky Tales” – which I’m sure proved to be an exciting find during the Halloween season.
And like most pop culture novelty items that weren’t necessarily created with longevity in mind, these cereal box records are now sought after by collectors of not just pop culture but also music and even advertising. As Oliver Wang points out in his CuePoint post, The Wacky, Wiggly, Razor-Thin World of the Flexi Disc, “Made using a special laminate that could be secured to cereal cartons, their charm had much to do with their incongruity:
one doesn’t normally expect to be able to cut a playable Monkees record off the back of a Honeycomb box. By design, most flexis were meant to be novelties and true to the term, here was a truly novel creation.”