1. One of the most memorable and iconic cereals and cereal mascots of all time, Quisp, was first introduced by Quaker Mills in 1965.
2. Quisp was marketed as “the biggest selling cereal from Saturn to Alpha Centauri,” and it promised to deliver “the vitamin powered sugary cereal…for QUAZY energy” (which I am sure is code for a sugar rush).
3. Unlike most cereals, Quisp was actually created as a mascot before the cereal even existed.
4. Quisp’s story began when Quaker Mills contacted Jay Ward and Bill Scott (the creators of Rocky and Bullwinkle) and asked them to come up with cartoon characters around which they could build cereal brands.
5. Ward and Scott did have a history creating cereal mascots: They had created the now iconic Cap’n Crunch a few years earlier.
6. The duo delivered two characters, the fun-loving and zany alien Quisp, and his meathead rival Quake, who came from the center of the Earth, where he made his cereal.
Actor Daws Butler voiced Quisp; he also provided the voices for Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, and Cap’n Crunch.
Quake was voiced by Bill Conrad, who narrated Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons.
7. Quake was as an “earthquake-powered cereal,” that, like Quisp, was “vitamin powered sugary cereal.”
Check out the Quake box with Quisp saying, “Hey kids! Pay no attention to Quake.”
8. Quake and Quisp cereals were often marketed together in ads and commercials. The usual scenario featured the two characters fighting over which cereal was the best (which, to kids, really means which one has more sugar).
According to Mr. Breakfast:
“At the height of the the cereals’ popularity, Quisp and Quake took in 1.6% of the entire breakfast cereal market — almost equivalent to what Cap’n Crunch gets today.”
9. The competition eventually peaked in 1972; kids were given the choice to decide to save either Quisp or Quake. Quisp won, and Quake was discontinued.
The Quake mascot had much less appeal than Quisp, and cereal sales suffered because of it. Quake was even given a makeover in 1969 — from meathead miner to slimed-down Australian — but it did nothing to broaden his appeal.
10. Things weren’t too good for Quisp either; the cereal had declining sales and began disappearing from store shelves in the late 1970s.
11. But, unlike other cereal mascots, Quisp left a memorable mark on pop culture.
12. After several attempts at relaunching the cereal, it saw a resurgence in the late 2000s (mainly thanks to the internet). In 2012, Quisp was put back into production and is now available again nationwide.
13. Now check out this commercial of Quisp and Quake, featuring Bewitched star Elizabeth Montgomery:
14. You can watch a classic Quisp commercial here:
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