Quisp is a sweetened, (flying)-saucer-shaped cereal manufactured by Quaker Oats that traces its origins back to 1965.
The distinctive Quisp box is well remembered today by people who were kids back in the late 60's and early 70's. Its main feature is
a pink, propeller-topped alien in a green spacesuit with crazy eyes. Quisp was introduced at the same time as another Quaker Oats
cereal called Quake, whose mascot was a muscular miner character. Quisp was reputed to provide kids with Quazy Energy, while Quake
offered Earthquake Power. According to those who fondly remember eating the cereals, they both tasted virtually the same - probably
similar to modern Capn' Crunch or King Vitamin cereals. All of these are essentially sweetened, puffed corn meal conglomerations.
Quisp was also the name of the little alien that graced the cereal's package. From the planet Q, he is said to be just under four feet
tall and to weigh just 43 pounds. He possesses a vaguely Brooklyn accent (despite his extraterrestrial origins) with a slight lisp,
and exhibits a peculiar, unpredictable way of speaking. Apparently insane, his sole mission in life to is make sure that Quisp cereal
makes its way to Earth's children unimpeded. Both Quisp and Quake (the characters) were designed by Jay Ward, creator of such
cartoons as Rocky and His Friends and George of the Jungle.
In 1970, a contest was held to decide which of the two cereals kids liked best. Quisp won, of course (alien beats miner any day of the
week, especially if the two products taste the same), and Quake was allowed to quietly fade into obscurity (although he did reemerge
a little later in the Australian-themed cereal Quangaroos). Quisp continued to limp along throughout the rest of the decade, sales
gradually declining, finally disappearing from store shelves all together in about 1979. It made a brief appearance in stores again
in the mid-1980's, to little fanfare.
Most children's cereals of the time came with small prizes packed inside; in today's post-eBay world, vintage Quisp items are in high demand
and command surprisingly high prices. Here is a (probably incomplete) list of Quisp items available to collectors:
2-in-1 Fun Bowl
Flying Saucer toy
Gyro Trail-Blazer toy
Quazy Moon-Mobile toy
Rings (different styles)
Space Gun toy
Quisp has been reissued and is once again available in limited markets.