Lucky Charms cereal celebrates 50 years of existence this March. Since 1964, kids and adults alike have coveted the crunchy marshmallow bits, called marbits, because everyone knows that's where the real magic lies. From the shape of the mallows to Lucky the Leprechaun's appearance, Lucky Charms and its boxes have seen a lot of changes in half a century.
John. L. Holahan, aka Mr. Cereal, developed Lucky Charms by mixing Cheerios cereal with circus peanuts marshmallow candy.
The original box contained toasted oat cereal puffs with marshmallows in the shape of green clovers, yellow moons, yellow and orange stars, and pink hearts. The cereal is in the shape of bells, fish, crosses, three-leaf clovers, and trees. Some theorize these are early Christian symbols, while others claim they are talisman symbols, carried for good luck during medieval times.
Lucky Charms would eventually start adding new, limited edition charms. In 1975, the blue diamond marshmallows entered the box. Notice the oat cereal became sugar frosted, as we now know it today.
Do you recognize these marbits as those of your childhood? The '83 box introduced the purple horseshoe for the "power of speed."
Since 1989 marked the 25th birthday of Lucky Charms, red balloon marshmallows (symbolizing the "power to float") were added to the lineup. In '91, the cereal company promoted reforestation by adding tree marshmallows to the mix. With two proofs of purchase, kids could receive their own tree to plant.
When did the magic rainbow to give Lucky the "power to travel from place to place" come about? That would be in '93.
Many a mallow changed during the '90s and aughts. Anyone recall the pot of gold? That mallow made a debut in '94 but was replaced by the hourglass in '08. The blue diamond and yellow moon morphed into one blue moon (signifying the "power of invisibility") in '95. The shooting star replaced the original yellow star in '98 and represents the "power to fly." And the favored four-leaf clover became Lucky's four-leaf clover hat in '04.
Everyone loves a good flashback! The 2011 box reintroduced the "factory mishap, swirls galore" marshmallows.
Happy 50th anniversary, Lucky Charms! The 2014 limited edition box features light and dark green clovers for extra good luck.
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