September 11, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

Golly, kids, cereal used to be fun, before it was about oat bran and fiber. Head of a weird little cult with an apparent surplus of basement space, the author has priced and poured a decade’s worth of breakfast ”collectibles” — that is, whatever made you reach for the General Mills sugar-sparkled Twinkles instead of the Post Sugar Sparkled Rice Krinkles — into the pages of Cereal Boxes & Prizes: 1960’s. It’s impressive but a bit dry, even for someone (me) who considers a Rice Krispies treat the height of gastronomic bliss. And as to why a beat-up box of 1967 Cap’n Crunch commands $25 more than a mint-condition ’63 Tony Tiger toy: Ah, sweet, frosted mini-mysteries of life… C+

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