The Post’s Toasties Phantom Ring was released by General Foods in the USA in 1949. The 2.5″ long tin lithographed rings were randomly placed inside Post’s Toasties Corn Flakes breakfast cereal boxes as a free give-away item.
The Postum Cereal Company was established in USA in 1895 by Charles William Post. In 1929, the name of the company changed to General Foods after several corporate acquisitions by Marjorie Post who inherited the established and successful cereal business from her father. In 1985, General Foods was acquired by Philip Morris Companies, which is now the Altria Group, Inc. for $5.6USD billion, an extremely large acquisition for it’s time. In 1988, Philip Morris acquired Kraft Foods Inc., and in 1990, combined the two food companies to what we know them as today, Kraft Foods.
Fully licensed by King Features Syndicate, the Phantom Post’s Toasties ring is the first mass produced Phantom ring to be made available to the public.
On the back of the ring we see the words ‘Post’s TOASTIES Corn Flakes’ printed, followed by ‘© 1949 King Features Syn.’.
The Post’s Toasties Phantom Ring is 1 of 24 in a set. The 24 rings in this set were inserted in 1948 cereal boxes, with mainly King Features Syndicate comic book characters featured. These characters include Henry, Little King, Flash Gordon, Orphan Annie, Dick Tracy, Katzenjammer Kids Mama, Fritz, Harold Teen, Lillums, Smilin’ Jack, Dagwood, Alexander, Perry Winkle, Winnie Winkle, Casper (not the ghost), Toots, Tillie the Toiler, Mac, Maggie, Andy Gump, Skeezix, Felix the Cat, Smokey Stover, Snuffy Smith, Olive Oyl, Wimpy, and Swee’ Pea.
The Post’s Toasties Phantom Ring was sealed in a see-through plastic packet before being randomly placed inside Post’s Toasties Corn Flakes breakfast cereal boxes. As can be seen below, the rings were provided flat, with the new owner expected to bend the ring to fit his/her finger.
General Foods, the owner of Post’s Toasties breakfast cereal promoted the free give-away rings via newspaper advertisements. Below we see 2 examples of the advertisements, with the Phantom featuring on both.