Sugar Coated Rice Krinkles: Your Parents’ Favorite 1960s Racist Cereal

That handsome fellow at left is So-Hi, mascot of the now-discontinued Post breakfast cereal, Sugar Coated Rice Krinkles. The same product had another, strangely beautiful name: Sugar Sparkled Rice Krinkles.

It was on the market from the ’50s until 1969, and baby boomers remember it fondly. It was pretty much like Rice Krispies, but covered with sugar. Mmm. It later evolved into the flavored cereals we know and love today as Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles. What Rice Krinkles left behind for us is a collection of what we now consider racist, disturbing, and disturbingly racist marketing materials.

Times change. There’s probably something that you’re doing right now that your great-great-grandchildren will find shocking and offensive.

Anyway, Rice Krinkles mascot So-Hi and his cereal hat appeared in television ads for the brand.

Whether they were just taking the product in a different direction or marketers were starting to realize that East Asian people actually have eyes, later commercials had Krinkle the Clown (Klown?) instead of So-Hi. That was good. Unfortunately, Krinkle was a terrifying clown. Why did anyone think clown makeup was ever a good idea on black-and-white TV?

I never want to hear or say the word “crinkle” again.

We have no overarching observation here other than this: the past was terrible.

Thanks to SA_Steve of the Consumerist Flickr Pool for uploading a Rice Crinkles box and inspiring this post.