Introduced in 1965
Quisp and its partner cereal Quake were introduced by Quaker Oats in 1965.
Initial boxes of Quisp referred to the cereal as "the vitamin powered sugary cereal... for QUAZY energy." The "crunchy corn cereal" pieces were often called "saucer-shaped" but more realistically resembled flattened or deflated round cereal pieces such as Kix. The cereal tasted remarkably similar to another Quaker cereal, Cap'n Crunch.
Quisp has become iconic in the cereal world thanks to its namesake mascot. Quisp the character is a pink alien with a propeller protruding from the top of his head. He was most often drawn wearing a green space suit with a large capital "Q" emblazoned on the front.
Which came first... the cereal or the mascot? In the case of Quisp, the mascot came first. Jay Ward and Bill Scott, the creators of Rocky & Bullwinkle were asked by Quaker to create characters which cereal brands could be built upon. In 1963, Ward and Scott delivered Cap'n Crunch. In 1964, they gave them Quisp.
For more about Quisp the character, check out this profile from Topher's Castle.
The counterpart cereal to Quisp was Quake. Introduced the same year, Quake was another crunchy cereal with pieces shaped like gears. Ads for the Quake referred to the cereal pieces as "wheelies". While the flavors of the two cereals were basically identical, Quisp was a far more popular cereal.
Quake featured a charter named Quake who was also created by Jay Ward and Bill Scott. The mascot was a muscular, cape-wearing, miner's helmet-sporting momma's boy with a deep booming voice.
In 1969, the Quake character was made thinner and swapped his miner's helmet for an Australian cowboy hat. Despite efforts to make the Quake character less daunting, kid's still overwhelming choose Quisp.
Quisp and Quake were almost always promoted together. The usual commercial scenario had the two characters competing against each other for screen time and bickering over which cereal was best or provided the best premium.
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.
In 1972, the final battle between Quisp and Quake began. Earlier ads, in which the cereals were promoted together, often challenged kids to choose which cereal was better. But in the earlier 1970's, the stakes were raised. Quaker ran print ads and television commercials asking consumers to vote on their favorite cereal/character. The loser would be banished from grocery store shelves.
Quisp won by a wide margin and, true to their word, Quaker discontinued Quake cereal. The Quake character reemerged for a short time playing second banana to Simon the Quangaroo in ads for Quake's Orange Quangaroos cereal. Like it's predecessor, Quangaroos was pitted against Quisp in ads. Quisp easily defeated it's new challenger in both cartoon races and sales.
Quisp cereal began disappearing from grocery stores in the late 1970's. It was re-introduced in the mid-80's for a short time. It is available today, but almost exclusively via orders on the internet. Check out this site.
Since its demise and rebirth as an "internet cereal", Quisp memorabilia has become a particularly hot commodity among cereal collectors. Recently, a 1969 Quisp Beanie cereal premium sold for $1,025 in an internet auction. A 1968 Quisp Space Quaft Cereal Box sold for $600 and a Quisp Red Smoke Gun premium sold for $310.
Other known premiums in original Quisp cereal included a 2-in-1 fun bowl, a Quisp bank, cloth dolls, mini-comics, a circus acrobat toy, a tiny flying saucer, a foam frisbee, various rings, a Quazy Moon Mobile and assorted pins and iron-ons.
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Quisp Cereal Theater
These are the most recent images. Click here to see all pictures for Quisp.
Title: Adventures Of Quisp Cereal Box (Old Version)
Title: Adventures Of Quisp Cereal Box
Title: Quisp Tasty Checkers Box
Title: Quisp Jigsaw Puzzle Box
Title: Quisp Bookmark Box
Title: Quisp Quazy Note Pad Box
Title: Quisp Circus Acrobats Box
Title: Quisp Cereal Store Display
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Comments About This Cereal
What do you think of Quisp?
Overall Average Rating = 5 (out of 5)
View all 60 comments for this cereal.
I'll get run off this board, but Quisp #1?? Top 10, maybe. But 1?? For all its mouth-scrapy goodness, I go with the Cap'n (or admiral, or whatever he is now).
Comment submitted: 10/21/2013 (#15181)
One of my all time faves.
Comment submitted: 9/17/2013 (#14099)
The good thing about Quisp is Quaker has not tried to "improve" it. They flavor is still the same as when it was first introduced. Very delicious!
Comment submitted: 8/14/2013 (#13290)
By PA Cereal Lover
Giant Market in Pennsylvania had this cereal when it made its comeback. I'm glad they brought it back; this is one of my favorites when I was little in the early 70s (possibly around 1971 and 1972).
Comment submitted: 7/28/2013 (#12971)
Spotted a single box last night at a food pantry where I volunteer. Total blast from the past! Always voted for Quisp over Quake.
Comment submitted: 6/26/2013 (#12561)
Quisp is becoming more common in supermarkets in the northeast. Ironically, you usually don't find it in the cereal aisle. It most frequently appears in a temporary small cardboard display that is placed in an aisle or end of aisle. I've seem it in the bread section in A&P stores and oddly enough the frozen food aisle of Shop Rite. This is rather strange... I don't understand, if they are going through the trouble of shipping it to stores why not just put in back on the cereal shelf where it belongs!
Comment submitted: 6/10/2013 (#12368)
They sell boxes of Quisp at the Marc's stores in Ohio. I buy it all the time.
Comment submitted: 6/4/2013 (#12284)
I love Quisp. My favorite memories are watching Rocky and Bullwinkle with a big bowl in my lap.
Comment submitted: 5/6/2013 (#11952)
By lindamim (Team Breakfast Member)
I was 4 years old in 1965 and was so totally hooked on my Quisp! I was so into Quisp that I had the cloth doll, and can't remember what happened to it. Sure wonder now, how much it would be worth today. I, for one, would love to find some... I would still buy it.
Comment submitted: 1/25/2013 (#10544)
I got you all beat. I found Quisp in Kahului Maui, Hawaii just last month with a red tag on it for 89 cents. I only bought 4 boxes, but should have bought all 20 of them. I sent a box to my sister in Switzerland. We grew up on that tasty morning treat. It was as good as ever... not suffering the same fate as the altered-ingredient facelift that Cap'n Crunch endured. The boxes of Quisp were on a mark down because no one here knew what it was. Anyone willing to send a few boxes to me in Hawaii? If so, contact me at email@example.com. Aloha!
Comment submitted: 11/14/2012 (#9883)
View all 60 comments for this cereal.